Variety is the Spice of Life!

24th March 2016

The last couple of years have seen a change of approach to exercise by many people. It isn’t just about going to the gym and bashing out the same workout week-in, week-out – there are now so many different classes and types of exercise to choose from that there really are no excuses for getting stuck in a rut. Yet some of us still do!

So, how can we (yes, me included!) change our formulaic & regimented approach to working out?

I have an addictive personality and when it comes to exercise, this is no exception. This can mean that I gravitate towards types of training that I love and am used to, which means doing a similar type of training again & again. I’d like to point out though that I am addicted to healthy living and exercise in a good way! I know what good exercise makes me feel like…..well, it makes me feel like ME! Healthy, happier and hopefully fitter!

You should always ask yourself what are you trying to get out of your workout? Are you trying to tone up? Get fitter? Stronger? Feel better mentally?

This might be a bit of a generalisation but I think that for most women their desired outcome is getting lean and shaping up. So with this in mind, it is so important to not get stuck doing the same type of exercise all the time. This isn’t just exclusive to women by the way, men also need to be mindful of this.

To change your shape you have to mix things up. Our bodies are clever little things and they soon get used to doing the same workouts repeatedly. It may well be that for the first few weeks of your training you notice a difference in your body, but if you repeatedly do the same thing over a long period of time that is when you start to plateau, your body will adapt and become used to what you are doing. This will then mean that your fat burn or muscle building will suffer and the results you want to see will become less and less.

If like me, you also have the attention span of a nat, you’ll enjoy variety in your training. It will keep things fresh and interesting.

Here are my tips for productive yet exciting workouts:

  1. What you love
    If you love running or say spinning, that’s great but limit it to once or twice a week. Try mixing your week up with some body-weight or weight training – no ladies, it won’t make you look like the Incredible Hulk!

  2. Go on, I dare you!
    Try something new, don’t be afraid to try a new workout or class. There are so many out there. Embrace the challenge of something new, keep your body guessing, it’s not just your brain that gets bored of doing the same thing, your body does too, plus it’s great to exercise with new people & socialise at the same time.

  3. Challenge yourself
    I’ve said this before, but if you are going into your workout thinking it’s going to be easy then you NEED to step it up a gear. Don’t just go through the motions, results come through challenging yourself. Why not try a slightly heavier weight, do that extra rep, step up a notch on your treadmill sprints? You’ll notice the difference and mentally you won’t get bored.

  4. Time is of the essence
    You don’t have to slog it out for hours! After all, time is precious! Shorter but high intensity workouts (HIIT) are what it is all about, especially when it comes to fat burning.

  5. The Finisher
    I’m a big fan of a Finisher. It can be a cheeky little circuit I throw in at the end of my workout that does exactly what it says on the tin…finishes me off!

    Here’s an example for you to try at the end of your workout –
    5 circuits (You have 1 min to complete each circuit)
    10 tuck jumps
    8 press ups
    6 burpees
    Use the rest of the minute to recover. Try to beat your time as the circuit progresses.

If that’s too easy for you, then you’re not doing them quick enough!


Anna x

Comments ( 4 )

  1. Hi Anna,
    I fully agree with you and I have been to a HIIT classes for last 4weeks and really enjoy it, also done other classes like spin, bodypump and cross training.
    Also can I say you are a brilliant role model for my daughter

  2. Totally agree with your blog. I was all cardio running and cycling outside stepper spinning in the gym. I was always into my training and pushing myself when I train even excessively the last few years. I’ll be 40 during the summer and don’t want to conform to the theory that you slow down pit on the few pounds and get old gracefully. Why? The only thing is the older you get your body can’t do what the mind wants. So this January I went to fitness instructor and said I need to look at long term picture and change my training. His question was where do you see yourself in 5 yrs time? My thoughts were (getting old gracefully those extra holes on the belt or fitter looking than you are now! I started using weights end of last year which I normally hated but then I saw body changes some muscle gains firm buttocks etc. Weights are not so bad I’m thinking. So now instead of all flat out cardio it’s 3 days cardio 3 days weights. Varying everything everyday is different. Never been happier not as worn out and looking forward to my 40th summer. Looking better than I did when I was 20.
    Love your blogs and you attitude to life and training.
    Looking forward to your next blog

  3. Dear Anna,

    I just wondered whether you spent much time in the swimming pool.

    Swimming is low impact, great for cardiovascular health and a fantastic all body strengthening exercise.

    Best wishes,

    Nick Hatton

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