Unless you’re brand new to having a fitness routine, a new year is often a great time to consider changing things up in your workout program. (If you are brand new, good luck with the first steps in your fitness journey!)
As someone who has worked out regularly for a couple of decades, I’m a good example of why changing things up is both challenging and also a great idea. I have a tendency to find a workout program that works and then I stick to it, for a long time.
While some folks enjoy chasing the latest fitness trend, I still like my base workout to be very old-school, because that’s what worked for me when I first started working out. But as much as I love my foundational workout elements, I know that changing things up is important for a variety of reasons. Here are 2 main ones.
- To keep driving results. Doing the same exact workout over a long period of time will eventually lead to diminishing returns. Those big gains you made early on become small and smaller and the plateaus get longer and more frequent. It’s partly because your body gets used to the exercises and becomes very good at executing them with the least energy possible. You find you don’t get as tired or as sore anymore, and while this is nice, it is also a sign that you may not be pushing yourself enough anymore.
- To adapt as we get older. This one applies to me too. As I’ve gotten older, I have recognized that some exercises I did 20 years ago or the weights I lifted back then might not be the smartest for me now.
So, if you want to mix things up in your fitness routine, what should you do? Here are 3 quick tips to help you make some beneficial adjustments.
Mix up Types of Workouts
This could be as simple as resistance training vs. cardio training, but more likely will involve trying some new types of workouts in general. Look at your current fitness program. Is it mainly focused on long stretches of cardio or maybe you are largely focused on lifting weights every day. Whatever your current focus is, start looking at new routines that you either do very rarely or never. Have you tried HIIT workouts? Is CrossFit something that could shake things up? What group exercise classes are available at your gym? Consider all these options and identify some that seem appealing to you to add to your routine. There are a seemingly limitless number of exercise classes, routines, or philosophies that you can explore.
If you work out at a gym, keep an eye on what some other people are doing in the gym who are either in similar shape to you today or may be in the shape you are shooting for. What kinds of workouts do they do that are different from yours? These may give you some inspiration. But, the main thing is to find some workouts that are fairly different from what you do currently.
Change your Venue
Another way to mix things up is literally taking your workout somewhere else. If you work out in a gym, it doesn’t mean you need to quit, but you could consider joining a second gym or simply finding some workouts you could do at home or even outside. But, if you consider different workout facilities, think about mixing it up among some of these.
Kickboxing facility (with heavy bags)
Martial Arts school
Consider Personal Training
This is likely the most expensive option, but it is also the one that could drive the greatest results. There’s nothing like having a professional dissect your current workout routine and start taking you through more challenging or just different options. A good personal trainer will not only adjust your current workout routine but will also keep changing things up in order to keep you challenged and making progress.
I’ve had several personal trainers over the years and two, in particular, were really excellent at keeping me on my toes with challenging workouts that drove results. So, I’m a big proponent of finding the right personal trainer for you.
Good luck in your training in 2022!