By Drew Kelly
Let’s dive into this simple but very popular gym routine. A person goes to the gym Monday through Friday working out for an average of one and a half hours each time. This person also probably does the same thing every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…etc. Can you blame them? Humans are creatures of habit. Am I saying this is a bad habit? No, but what are these people doing on those days will make all the difference in their end goal and how long it takes them to get there.
Working out Monday through Friday is the general goal and routine for most fitness enthusiasts. But, one cannot go into the gym every day, do the same thing and expect to see an improvement or change in muscularity or leanness without a plan to get stronger. Yes, you can go into the gym and put some time in and walk out satisfied because “you did something” but did you really place enough demand on your body to change? Losing weight, dropping body fat percentage, shredding inches or “getting bigger” doesn’t come along with simple cardio and weightlifting. At some point, you’re going to have to sweat a little bit or do something that might be outside of your comfort zone. Increasing the stimulus demands your body to change, but you do not have to do it every day.
Let’s look at a better gym routine. On Monday, a client comes in from having the whole weekend off and does a 45 minute HIIT/cardio class. Great! This person should now focus on some sort of strength training routine for Tuesday. A workout routine that could include a focus on the upper body and some core if they aren’t too tired from Monday’s class. Now it’s Wednesday and this client performs some low intensity walking on the treadmill with maybe some lower body exercises afterwards to keep the body balanced. Thursday could be a routine with some high intensity cardio or some running and throw in a little more lower body exercises.
Finish the week off on Friday with a fully-body circuit to get you ready for the two days that you have off. Nothing really overlaps with a workout routine like this and it gives the body time to rest and recover. If you do not give your body proper time to recover from each workout there is the risk of injury, burnout/overtraining or “plateau.” “Plateau” is a common word in the fitness industry which simply means you’ve been giving it your all in the gym and you are no longer seeing results.
How do we recover from a plateau? We change up the whole routine. Maybe now we take off Tuesday and Thursday and workout the rest of the days focusing more on weightlifting or focusing more on cardio. Changing up your routine every two to three months will force your body to adjust to the change and not get overly comfortable with the intensity of your fitness regime. Additionally, changing up your workout routine will help keep your mental game and motivation on the up and up.
It’s important to stay motivated and positive through the process because you are the one that is doing it! Another suggestion to help you stay on track is to hire a personal trainer that is organized and motivated to get you to the finish line. Functional fitness facilities like BodyRite Training are great because the workouts for every class are very specific and filled with motivated clients that can help you stay on track.