Saturday, June 6, 2015

How Often You Should Switch Up Your Workout to Keep Losing Weight


Exercise variation
Your scale is in serious need of some exercise variety.

witch up your workout. Shock your muscles. Keep your body guessing. When trainers talk about workouts, it starts to sound a whole lot like your muscles have their own little brains and are constantly plotting to figure out your next exercise move.

In a way, they are. Your fitness results comes down to one simple fact: The more you do something, the easier it becomes, says certified personal trainer Nick Tumminello, owner of Performance University in Fort Lauderdale and author of Strength Training for Fat Loss. It doesn’t matter if it’s running 10-Ks, performing squats, or holding Warrior I without shaking. “During exercise, you’re putting a stress on your body, and during your recovery, your body is improving its ability to handle that stress.” The result: You burn fewer calories and build less calorie-torching muscle with every workout.

That’s why you need to switch up your workouts on the regular. While the exact amount of time it takes for your body to fully adapt to an exercise varies between women, you should typically switch up your workouts every four to six weeks, says Tumminello.

After that, you’ll want to rotate some new strength moves into your weight room routine, try a new workout class, or break up your long runs with the occasional swim workout.

“The easiest thing to remember is the F.I.T.T. principle,” says certified strength and conditioning specialist Mike Donavanik. "It stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type." Change up two of those every four to six weeks, and your workout will keep your scale moving in the right direction, he says.

Still, that doesn’t mean you should perform the same thing day after day for four to six weeks before moving on to something else. Adding little switches to each and every workout can help you maximize your exercise results even further, says Tumminello.

“Our bodies are fairly smart, but it's also pretty easy to trick them with slight modifications, also known as micro-progressions,” says certified personal trainer Carl Helmle III, vice president of training at DavidBartonGym. “I like to change as little as necessary to get a response. Eventually you will need to make bigger changes, but first, start small.”

Weight exercise

For instance, in the weight room, you can perform more reps or sets using the same amount of weight that you typically use. You can perform the same amount of reps with more weight, or you can completely switch up your number of reps and sets, he says. Or, at the end of each workout, you could throw in one of two new moves you haven’t tried in a while, says Tumminello. If you run on the treadmill, you could run sprints one day and a slow and steady run the next.

Meanwhile, performing a workout class a couple times a week is a guaranteed way to keep your workouts varied, says Helmle. After all, you never go into the same class and do the exact same thing as you did the day before—instructors like to keep their classes slightly different from day to day. Besides helping you progress and mixing things up, it’s vital to keeping things interesting.

If you’re an exercise class junkie, though, eventually you will need to step things up in the studio to keep losing weight. Donavanik recommends talking to the instructor before class even begins. “Most good instructors will give you progressions if you ask for them,” he says.

“Still, even if your instructor gives you progressions, it’s up to you to actually complete them,” he says. “Sometimes it's daunting to take that next step and move up to that next level, but your body will continually see gains if you promise to continually push it. Worst-case scenario, if you can’t handle a progression, you scale back. But you'll never know if you’ve met your limit unless you try to push your boundaries.”

womenshealthmag.com

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