"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you're heading."
Let's face it . . . we're all creatures of habit.
We often prefer sticking to the familiar and avoiding change.
When it comes to your training, this can be a recipe for stagnation, boredom, and plateaus as time progresses!
Just as you get your oil changed periodically to keep your car running well, periodically assessing your training program is important for progressing forward.
Here are 5 strategies for tuning up your training in 2018:
1) Conquer a challenge.
When things get stale, there's nothing like coming up with a challenge to reinvigorate your training and make fitness fun again. Hop onto the rowing machine and do 500 meters as fast as you can. Great-now you have your baseline. Over the next 3-4 weeks, focus on improving your time. Or, jump up and hang from a pull-up bar as long as you can. Time yourself and keep attempting to beat your time each week. Enjoy the challenge of competing with yourself and pursuing new personal bests!
2) Go single-sided!
Choose one piece of equipment (dumbbell, barbell, or cable machine) and do a variety of uni-lateral exercises (1 side of your body at a time). Here's a full body circuit that will fire up your metabolism: single arm kettle-bell shoulder press, followed by shoulder loaded reverse lunges, followed by single arm KB rows, and finish with single arm KB swings. Not only will this help address asymmetries (imbalances between each side of your body) but it will double the work load which leads to a greater metabolic hit and enhanced fat loss.
3) Get grounded and get back up!
After sitting all day, many people go to the gym and do more sitting on a machines. This isn't a good strategy for burning body fat or improving mobility (two things most people want and need). There's nothing like getting down on the ground and doing some push-ups or bear crawls and then standing back up and doing some kettlebell swings and repeating for a specific length of time (example: 10 minutes). It takes a surprising amount of energy and is incredibly effective for stripping off body fat in a short period of time.
4) Change your definition of "cardio."
Many people think cardio means running on a treadmill at a steady pace for 30-45 minutes or reading a magazine while slowly pedaling on the recumbent bike. This approach isn't time efficient nor is it a good long-term strategy for transforming your body since you become more efficient (i.e. burn less calories) doing the same amount of work over time. A quicker and smarter approach: Grab a dumbbell (in vertical position known as goblet hold) and do 15-20 reps of squats. Then grab a pair of heavy Dumbbells (example=half body-weight in each hand) and walk around for a minute. Go 3-4 rounds with short rest periods. Is your heart beating fast? You bet and you're improving your fat burning ability as you engage more muscle fiber than you do with traditional "cardio" exercises.
5) Stop "working out" and begin PRACTICING!
Many people have confused fatigue with fitness. Just because a "workout" fatigues you, doesn't mean it is making you fitter. I believe that true fitness is about improving how well you move while increasing strength with the added benefit of improving your body composition. Head to the gym with the intention of practicing movement patterns (push, pull, hinge, squat, loaded carry) . Workouts drain you. Practice improves you.
Remember . . . nothing changes if nothing changes!
Integration is more important than information.
Choose ONE of these tips and begin doing it TODAY!!!
If you're having a tough time creating a plan and getting started, we're here to guide you in taking smart action steps forward.
Call us at 774-222-2318 to schedule your complimentary strategy session or complete our online application at http://www.aumtrainingcenter.com/aum-training-application.
In service to your success,
Chris Carreiro, MA, CSCS, CPT
Founder & Head Coach
Aum Training Center
332 Newbury St. #2
Boston, MA 02115