Do you feel like you’ve been exercising regularly for a long time but not getting the results you want?
Do you finish your workouts feeling like you could’ve done something more?
Are you bored with exercise and ready to make a significant change in your workout program?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are ready for a workout recharge.
Think of a recharge as a stylistic change, not necessarily a total overhaul, to your current exercise regimen. While you may already be exercising regularly, you may be missing some vital components that can push your workouts to the next level.
bene-fit trainers are experts in progression, which is the idea that exercise should develop increasingly advanced skill sets while increasing overall fitness. This is the exact opposite of the “plateau” or “rut” that many veteran exercisers claim to fall into after an initial period of regular exercise.
Without professionally supervised progression, it is easy to fall into an ineffective or underdeveloped routine that can actually limit your fitness potential. Worry not, however – there are four easy methods for recharging your exercise lifestyle that can help you get the results you are looking for, whether that is weight loss, strength gain, muscle tone, or cardiovascular endurance.
These principles can be summarized in the acronym FITT, which stands for frequency, intensity, type, and time. These four areas are crucial for any exercise progression and will ensure greater fitness gains in both the short and long term.
Increasing exercise frequency is a great goal, particularly for beginner exercisers. Many people tend to get gung-ho on a fitness plan at the beginning and fade out as the initial excitement wanes – and the realization that exercise is a lifelong commitment sinks in. Try adding one additional workout to your regular weekly program, and if you are feeling extra adventurous, make the new workout something totally different from your current routine, such as taking a yoga class, going on a hike, or running the stairs at a stadium. As we say in fitness, aim to “break a sweat every day” by exercising more often.
In a time crunch? The best way to get maximum results in minimum time is to add intensity to your workouts. An example of an intensity upgrade is to change your steady-state 60-minute walk to a more vigorous, 30-minute run/walk. Think of intensity as the “next step up” – pushups with one leg in the air, for example, or adding plyometrics (jumping) to your regular sets of squats or lunges. A simple way to tell if you’ve added a proper level of intensity is to check your breathing and heart rate – if you are breathing harder, sweating more, and have a higher heart rate, you are most likely working out intensely. Intense workouts burn more calories in the same period of time than do low-impact workouts, making them an efficient way to exercise.
A third strategy for recharging your workout is perhaps the most straightforward: add time. Exercising for longer periods of time, even at a lower intensity, can result in significant cardiovascular fitness and endurance gains. Take stock of your current exercise routine and add up all the time you spend working out in a given week, then strive to increase that duration by 10% (i.e., if you already work out 5 hours per week, strive for 5.5 hours). You might just be amazed at what you can accomplish with relatively small increases in time!
Finally, consider switching up the type of exercise you do. If you’re a die-hard yogi, it might be time to try something more heart-pumping like Spin or Zumba. If you prefer lifting lighter weights with high repetitions, check out what happens to your muscle tone when you switch to heavy weights with lower repetitions. If you are a runner but feel like your core strength is weak, cross-train with Pilates to add diversity to your regimen. bene-fit trainers are skilled in creating the perfect mix of cardiovascular, muscular endurance, and stretching exercises with enough variety to never get bored or plateau – and you might even learn a new skill or develop a new passion with the various workouts you perform.
Especially for those who are not new to exercise, it is easy to get in a rut when it comes to a workout routine. By getting FITT - upping frequency, increasing intensity, adding time, or trying a new type of exercise – you can “recharge” your well-worn workout habits and achieve greater success toward your health and fitness goals.