Shake Up Your Exercise Training for powerful results in much less time
by Ilene Gershberg, ACSM
Just as it is in business, efficiency is paramount to achievement in exercise. As a busy administrative professional, your time available for exercise is often limited. Shaking up your routine and diversifying your work-out achieves better results in less time. A quality workout keeps the exercise process fresh and challenging for your body. This article highlights my favorite four ways to execute this valuable fitness tip.
Diversity Strategy 1: Switch the order in which you perform exercises.
Action Step 1: If your cardio has been at the beginning of your work-out, try moving it to the end of your work-out, or alternate plyometric exercises with your resistance training sets. Plyometric exercises are defined as those that involve repeated stretching and contracting of muscles (such as jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power and improve your cardio-vascular endurance. Alternating just 1-2 minutes of plyometrics every 5-10 minutes will be very effective.
Diversity Strategy 2: Alter the combination of muscle groups trained.
Action Step 2: If you usually exercise back and chest together on one day of the week, work out your shoulders, biceps, and triceps on another day and your lower body or legs on a third day – then try training your entire body three times a week every other day. Alternating lower and upper body exercises will also keep your heart rate elevated and provide increased calorie burning benefit.
Diversity Strategy 3: Change the speed and pace in which you complete each exercise.
Action Step 3: If you have been exercising at a fairly quick pace with light weights, try the same exercise at the same weight level, but much more slowly. For example: Count slowly 4-6 counts to contract the muscle (exhaling), then 4-6 counts to release the muscle (inhaling). You can add even more challenge by pausing or holding the contraction for the count of 1, 2 before releasing it. You will quickly feel how much stronger you become using this simple tactic.
Diversity Strategy 4: Make your cardio work-out different each day of the week.
Action Step 4: Try changing it up by either 1) selecting a different pre-programmed work-out on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical machine or 2) selecting a different piece of cardio equipment each day of the week. One day bike, next day walk or run, the next day use the elliptical machine, the next day take a spinning or zumba class. You will never get bored and your body will become much better conditioned.
Become a Fit Smart athlete - challenge your comfort zone. Use a variety of exercises; switch the order, the weight level, the pacing, the repetitions, and combination of exercises. Enjoy the benefits of diversifying your training. Become healthier with both a better conditioned and more athletic looking body!