I recently found that I had become somewhat bored with my workout routine. At best, beginning every day with physical exertion had been challenging, but I had always been able to keep a positive mindset. My results had justified the effort and record keeping had kept me accountable.
All I needed was a fresh outlook. I decided to add a few exercises and to delete a few. In some cases, I added more weight to the same movements, which necessitated fewer repetitions. I also changed my approach to certain body parts. As an example, I began to include 3 new core movements for the external obliques specifically. These changes were designed so that I could:
- Refresh myself mentally
- Customize my routine to my changing needs
Making changes in this manner has always been an important aspect to fitness workouts. I wanted to collect my thoughts and then write about it. Cookie – cutter workouts are not advisable to anyone, especially after we have been at it for several months. Or decades, in my case.
It is essential to look forward to our workout time, to enjoy the experience and to congratulate ourselves for our persistence.
WHY ARE WORKOUT CHANGES IMPORTANT?
Our bodies adapt easily to workloads. This seems helpful for many reasons, but this is not the case when we are trying to build strength or fitness. After a while, our muscles do not respond to the same resistance – or to an identical diet. We begin to need heavier resistance, more repetitions, different exercises or different equipment – and new sources of energy.
Endocrinologist Hans Selye has developed the General Adaptation Syndrome theory. He speaks of 3 different phases of body responses to new workouts. These are:
- The Alarm Phase – this is when you become sore or easily tired when beginning a new workout regimen
- The Resistance Phase – your body begins to adapt to the stress placed upon it. The movements become easier and you are handling the stress more comfortably.
- The Exhaustion Phase – your workouts are now producing the same results as before. Progress has stalled.
The best way to stay mentally stimulated and to avoid plateaus of progress is to introduce variations into our routines. Significant changes may be made after 4-6 weeks, though minor changes can be made on a weekly basis. Two important considerations are:
- The need to keep records, to be able to measure progress. – records of strength levels, sets and repetitions performed and resistance increases used.
- That we realize that changing our workouts does not suggest in any manner that we should let our consistency lapse. Consistency of workouts is a must. Variations are only to promote that consistency by keeping us energized.
As cited above, we may make changes in reps or sets, weight of resistance and types of movements.
We may also change the equipment we use.
For example, I use the following at home:
- Resistance bands
- Bullworker products
- A treadmill
- Exercise balls
- My own bodyweight
It is possible to do chest exercises by:
- Using my bodyweight by doing push-ups
- Doing chest compressions with my Bullworker Steel Bow
- Doing bent arm lateral raises with dumbbells while on a stability ball or small bench
- Attaching resistance bands to a door and then pulling them across my chest from a distance
I could do cardio by:
- Using my treadmill
- Going outside for a brisk walk, preferably with a dog. I can keep up with steps and time by a sports watch.
Here are a few sources for such equipment:
From Amazon (As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my upper menu for an explanation of how an affiliate relationship works). Scroll around from these links for other similar options:
- Resistance bands by TRIBE
- Lightweight dumbbells
- Adjustable dumbbells
- Stability ball
- Sports watch (there are many choices in this category)
- Workout bench
Bullworker makes quality fitness products that are challenging for beginners or veterans. The link to their website is shown here. The Bullworker Steel Bow is shown below.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has always been my favorite supplier for cardio equipment, golf clubs and accessories, tennis racquets, sportswear, workout shirts/shorts and generally any sports or exercise items of any kind. Their link is shown below. Be sure to check current discounts for your favorite items.
To summarize, consistency is the key to experiencing satisfactory results in the world of fitness and strength building. Workouts once a week are slightly better than no workouts, but only slightly.
The American College of Cardiology advises us do get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week to lessen the risks of heart attacks.
Anyone of the physical capability can at least go outside and walk around for a while. I do this for fresh air and to exercise my legs when not on my treadmill. Otherwise, I do a 30-minute workout every morning before breakfast – abdominals and calves one day, chest / back / arms the next.
If I were younger, I would be playing tennis or golf as much as possible. Others may swim, cycle or run.
My suggestion is to pick an area of exercise that brings enjoyment or at least a sense of satisfaction that you are consistently giving your heart and other muscles the attention they deserve. You will never regret the choice of a lifestyle of fitness and good health!
Please leave any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well and get those vaccinations!