If you’ve been working out for a while, you’ve probably heard that it’s essential to “keep your body guessing.” Instead of performing the same workout day after day, the top trainers say to change it up – try different things, alternate muscle groups, and add some variety to your workouts to make them more effective.
But why? What does workout-hopping do for your body that consistency and predictability don’t?
In this blog, we will take a deep dive into why switching up your workouts is so important and how it can help you reach your goals faster.
Is Habit A Good Or Bad Thing For Your Workout?
When it comes to physical activity, most of us are creatures of habit.
In many ways, that’s a good thing. After all, you need to be consistent with your workouts to get results.
Research has also shown that working out consistently is the best way to reap the health benefits of exercise, including better cardiovascular function and decreased risk of developing many diseases like diabetes.
The catch, however, is that logging the same workout day after day may shortchange you where results are concerned.
Sure, it’s better to log the same elliptical workout day after day than to be sedentary, but if you want to get results and meet fitness goals, it’s essential to vary your workout routine.
While going to the gym is an excellent habit, we must avoid falling into a rut once we get there.
5 Benefits Of Mixing Up Your Workout Routine
Whether you’re training for a big event or just looking to improve your physical fitness, alternating your workout routine offers the following benefits:
1. Easier, Faster Weight Loss
Are you trying to lose a few stubborn pounds? You need to challenge your body to work in a way that it’s not used to. Here’s why: when we perform the same exercise day after day, the body gets very efficient at that movement. You may reach and stay at a plateau when you don’t introduce new exercises, activities, and movements.
While that may seem like a good thing, it means that, over time, you won’t burn as many calories or build as much muscle with your same workout as you used to. When you build muscle during a workout, you are actually causing tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibers. Building muscle comes from when your body then repairs and adapts the muscles to grow and become stronger.
By adding different movements and activities, you work harder and burn more calories.
2. Lower Risk Of Overuse Injuries
Our bodies don’t like to perform the same activity again and again. Mix up your workout routine so you aren’t strength training the same body part day-after-day. It’s recommended to rest for 72 hours before working out the same muscle group again. This gives your body the time it needs for muscle recovery and growth without risking injury from over-training.
Take, for example, how easy it is to get carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrist if you spend daily typing on a computer. The case in point is that the exercise doesn’t even have to be intensive to be harmful. When you put your body through the same motions repeatedly, especially if you are doing so with weights or at a fast pace, you can suffer “repetitive strain injury.”
When you change up your workouts in the gym, though, you do your body a favor. Mixing up your activities gives your overused joints, muscles, and ligaments a rest and reduces the likelihood that they’ll suffer in the long run.
3. Better Functional Fitness
Bodybuilders and fitness models focus on making their bodies look a specific way. Most of us, however, want our bodies to feel a certain way and be able to feel good doing your everyday activities.
Functional fitness is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. Mayo Clinic explains functional movements train your muscles to work together and prepare you for daily living activities by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work, or in sports.
The ability to move freely in your everyday life without risk of injury results from activities that improve strength, balance/coordination, power, range of motion, and mobility. The American Council on Exercise recommends functional strength training improves all of your daily movements such as walking, jogging, running, sprinting, jumping, lifting, pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, turning, squating,standing, starting, stopping, climbing, and lunging, according to.
While some activities focus on a single muscle group or part of the body, varying your workouts allows variety and makes you feel better.
The result is a strong heart, toned muscles, and a flexible, adaptive body that carries you through the day without pain or stiffness.
4. More Fun
Have you ever avoided the gym because you’re sick of doing the same thing repeatedly? If so, you’ve suffered from what’s called exercise burnout.
Fortunately, varying your activities is an excellent way to motivate you and beat workout boredom. Trying new things prevents your workouts from getting stale and allows you to make new memories and build new skills.
If you like to work out with a friend or a partner, trying new things is also a great way to have new experiences together. When you effectively vary your workouts, you leave the gym feeling invigorated rather than burnt out.
5. Cross-Training Promotes Strength And Stability
Think about a runner for a second. Elite runners may log hundreds of miles a month. Still, many of them suffer from overuse injuries in their knees and legs, and it’s not uncommon for somebody to have their running career cut short by injuries.
This is where cross-training comes in. Cross-training is the action or practice of engaging in two or more sports or types of exercise in order to improve fitness or performance. In addition to making you a stronger and more well-rounded athlete, cross-training reduces injury risk and promotes strength and stability.
According to one study published in the Journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, long-distance runners who completed 48 squats each week, in addition to their standard running exercises, experienced “significant improvements” in their running abilities.
Cross-Training And Functional Fitness: A Match Made In Heaven
Whether you are training for a big event or just looking for a way to increase your fitness, cross-training is the way to do it.
By developing and enhancing different parts of your body at different times, cross-training promotes functional fitness, mobility, and flexibility, all of which decrease injury risk and help you live a long, healthy, pain-free life.
Here at Alloy Personal Training, we vary your workouts and we use functional fitness as the foundation for everything we do. Instead of focusing on people building massive muscles by lifting heavy weights but can’t walk around the block, we focus on helping people meet their fitness and lifestyle goals.
We vary our workouts, tailor activities to our members and their needs, and provide small group personal training to help keep you motivated, seeing results, feeling good and living life to your fullest.
Ready to learn more or get started with your own Alloy personal trainer? Click this link to find an Alloy location near you.