Unless you’re an Olympic athlete or bodybuilder, there’s no need to be stuck in the same routine or constantly repeat the same workout to get in shape. Working out should be fun, fresh, and challenging. If you have come to a point where your body can anticipate the muscles being worked as well as the intensity of a given routine, it might be time to switch it up.
One excuse many people give for abandoning a consistent workout plan is lack of stimulation. They’re not feeling the same post-workout effects like mild soreness or fatigue. They might say that their heart rate doesn’t spike during workouts or their muscles barely have to work. They’re not seeing or feeling the results and say that they have hit the dreaded ‘plateau’. What they’re really saying is that they have not found a schedule or combination of workouts that keeps them guessing and engaged and, more importantly, challenges their body.
Our answer to this at CardioCast is simple – mix it up! Diversifying your workout regimen will keep your mind and body engaged.
Generally speaking, workouts can fall into one of three categories: steady-state cardio, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and strength & resistance training. An optimal fitness routine that challenges and balances your body and mind will incorporate exercises from all three of these categories. Workouts from these three categories should also be accompanied by recovery activities like stretching or Yoga.
You can always refine and optimize your personal schedule, but simply adding in a strength-focused day or two to a cardio-heavy weekly routine can do wonders as a simple starting point. Don’t have weights or other resistance training equipment? Try some bodyweight exercises. Don’t want to fully commit to a strength-day? HIIT classes mix your cardio and strength training together to get your heart rate up while also maintaining and toning your muscles.
Even for our rather cardio-focused CardioCast community, we recommend a healthy mix of strength exercises and recovery activities to complement our guided cardio workouts. Mixing in a yoga/stretching day or a weight-training day during your cycling and running routine will only serve to strengthen your body more. And after adding this variety, once you hop back on the bike or tread, it will feel like a brand-new experience!
So the next time you feel like you’ve hit a rut – mix it up! The extra effort you put into trying something new will totally be worth it. If you’re looking for help or support in building your routine ask around on the CardioCast Member Community group on Facebook. Or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.