Thirty minutes on the elliptical followed by 25 minutes in the weight room and a 5 minute stretch week after week after week. Sound familiar? Sound *yawn* boring? The best way to get bored and to plateau is to stick to one routine.
Do you have the conviction to work on your fitness but find yourself doing the bare minimum because you’re just not into it? Do you tend to give up because you’re not seeing results or any point in continuing? To get the boost you need to keep your workouts fun and effective, and to keep yourself motivated, you need to do one thing: ditch the routine and mix things up!
You do still want to keep a workout schedule, just change things around from day to day, or week to week. There are so many options available; you just need a little creativity, an open mind and some willingness to step out of your comfort zone. It may take a wee bit more planning but it doesn’t need to be complicated. The added benefits will be well worth it.
Take your pick from these boring-routine-busters. Combine some or choose one at a time when you start to feel “meh” about your workout.
• Mix and match strength training exercises and cardio-bursts (like doing one to three minutes of jumping jacks, or jump roping) for fast-paced, full body blasts
• Vary repetitions and sets, weight selection, and the length of your workouts to prevent your body from adapting to a routine
• Challenge yourself by experimenting with different variations of one exercise. For example, try multiple variations of a plank such as: plank with crunch, plank with twist, walking plank, etc.
• Try different equipment to vary resistance and feel. Switch between barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, resistance bands, and suspension straps
• Work on different surfaces to vary stability and add a balance challenge to engage and strengthen your core stabilizers. Perform exercises on balance boards or trainers, stability balls, and foam rollers
• Change your scenery. Cycling, swimming, running, walking, rock climbing, tennis, and other activities can be done indoors and outdoors
• Play sports. Join a league, take lessons or register and train for a sporting event
• Participate in group fitness classes.
There is a class for every taste and fitness level. Choose more than one type of class for variety and to get a more balanced workout throughout your week. These boring-routine-busters will make a difference. You’ll have more fun and you’ll get better results as your body works to keep up with the ongoing changes. You’ll feel great inside and out. Go ahead, give it try!
Katya Mohsen is a fitness trainer and consultant who is passionate about active living. Follow her on Twitter: @Killer_Kat