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Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Jul 10, 2008
How many times have you heard the above saying to then completely disregard it and continue on with whatever you were doing before? This is a common scene in the gym environment, people slogging away at the same routine day after day, week after week, month after month and so on.

Now it takes a huge amount of work and dedication to achieve the results that most of us look for in the gym, and I must admire the people that can and do stick to the same routine, yet why make things more difficult for yourself? With just a few tweaks and additions here and there, you can propel your self onwards towards your fitness goals.

Now one of the most common questions often asked by exercisers is how can I achieve(insert goal)? My answer normally consists of some training advice mixed in with some nutrition, yet every time one thing always stands out; keep your programme varied to keep the body guessing!

Now don't get me wrong you need some structure to your exercise routine, a selection of exercises for various body parts, stretching and cardio that can be suitably monitored and progressed over 4-6weeks. Yes you heard 4-6weeks! After that amount of time generally the body will undergo adaptive changes that will mean that it is doing the absolute minimum to achieve what it needs to do.

This is all to do with motor learning and skill development and the fact that by nature the body will always follow the path of least resistance to do the absolute minimum to achieve the end goal! Basically it's lazy, why work hard if you don't have to, is the bodies approach. Think of when you first learnt a new skill, ridding a bike with out stabilisers is a classic example; first you learnt how to just stay upright, then a little shakily you managed to stay up right, after a few attempts you were soon on your way to riding and performing tricks!

Now exercise is exactly the same, when you first start your body has the shock of its life and has to work very hard to execute this routine. With consistent practice using good form your body begins to store this routine within your memory, once it has it stored on it's own hard drive you tend to get a minimal return for all that hard work.

Now it doesn't have to be a dramatic change, if you are used to running on a flat for 20mins then add 2mins of a gradient every 5, try a new machine like the rower, go to a class or try the weights. Add a few new exercises, shock the body, and break the routine. Give it a go, what have you got to loose, remember the following quote "do what you've always do, get what you've always got!" add a bit of a variety every now and then and you'll get the return you've been asking for!
About the Author
Dave Elcoate is a Personal Trainer and Exercise Coach based in Islington North London and Basildon Essex.
He is a dedicated trainer who has a thirst for knowledge and training and passing that onto all his clients.

Find out how you can expand your horizons at my website which is here
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