Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Importance of Variation

Some people plod along with the very same workout performed at the very same pace for week after week and month after month and wonder why they never really see any improvement.  The main reason behind the lack of results comes from the fact that you body has gotten used to the workout being performed - that what you are doing is no longer challenging enough to yield any positives.

On the other side of the extreme lies Crossfit, where workouts can change drastically from one day to the next.  While I don't think it's completely necessary to perform workouts that are entirely different every single time you step into the gym, this methodology has seemed to work wonders for many of the followers.

The point here is that change is not just a good thing, it's a necessity if you want to continue to get results from your fitness plan.  You either have to change the exercises you are performing, change the set and rep scheme, change the frequency - you've got to change something or you will stagnate and the progress that you were making will cease.

About a year and a half to two years ago(?) I was in a workout funk, focusing too hard and too long with a similar routine in order to try and reach a goal.  Both my hands and my lower back were in dire need of a break, when I paid professional stuntman Nick McKinless' website Beyond Strong a visit - Nick was talking about performing the workout from One Hundred Push Ups a try as a break from his recent regimen and after exploring the website I thought I might give it a shot as well rather than taking a layoff.

I performed the initial test via the website then followed the program as prescribed according to my results.  Even though this was completely different from what I had been doing the program kept me moving, allowed my overtrained muscles a much needed break and also gave me the motivation to hit a long time goal.

There are now free workouts linked to the On hundred Push ups site for squats, sit ups and pull ups - the programs are free, very easy to follow and allow you to get the rest you may need from your current plan in order to come back fully refreshed and focused.

Though these programs are excellent examples of something that you can do to break up the monotony, you can really switch up your current program however you'd like.  The important thing is to not allow yourself to perform the same movements for so long that you stop seeing positive results.

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