I mentioned earlier this summer that I’d hired a trainer to help with my workouts. Well, between our daughter’s wedding and the move to Spain, I haven’t seen him in awhile. Rick and I spend a lot of time walking all over the place, but I missed the challenge of lifting weights and doing body weight exercises. For the sake of doing something, I browsed through the exercise videos I had on hand and found one I thought I’d long outgrown. It took everything I had to complete this video! The experience just emphasized the need to add variety to your workout.
We’ve been walking all over the place and climbing myriad hills and stairs, but when I tried to do a video featuring squats with a shoulder press, it felt like the very first time!
The reason for my struggle lies in the body’s ability to quickly and efficiently adapt to repetitive motion. I’m sure you’ve noticed that after the first couple weeks a workout becomes easier to do. After a month and a half or so, the body has not only mastered the movement, it learns to become very efficient in terms of energy expenditure. This is when some of us encounter a levelling off of results called a plateau. You may find weight loss or strength gains slow down. With videos especially, I find I start to get bored with the routine or annoyed at the instructor as well.
When you add variety to your workout, you’ll find yourself challenged again. It can be something as simple as swapping kettlebells for dumbbells when lifting, or riding a bike instead of walking for cardio exercise. If you’re used to working out with a video, why not try a live class? It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as whatever it is keeps you interested and improving (however you define it).
After three weeks in Spain, Rick and I have joined a gym. It’s a brisk 15 minute walk away and has an “old school” vibe about it that Rick, the gym rat, is attracted to. I think my challenges for the next couple months are set! How about yours? Tell me in the comments.