Why switching it up will get you better results
Ever heard of “muscle memory”? Typically used to describe the need for the repeated practice of a simple task like shooting free throws, muscle memory often comes with a positive connotation. However, when it comes to your workout, muscle memory can be detrimental. Your muscles really do “remember” how to do tasks they’ve done before. This means that every time you repeat a workout, it gets a little easier. Sounds good, unless you’re looking for improvement. If you stick with your go-to workout over and over you will never see tangible results. Here are some great ways to diversify your workout and get real results, real fast.
If you’re doing the same exercises week-to-week, not only are you increasing the likelihood of getting bored with your workout, but you aren’t doing yourself any favours fitness-wise. A quality, balanced fitness regimen includes a variety of types of exercise including cardio, strength training, flexibility training, etc. If running is your standard workout, try mixing at least 2 strength training workouts in per week to not only see gains in muscle tone and fat loss but improve your running as well. Alternatively, you may be a gym regular and pumping iron is your only form of exercise. While you may be lean and toned, you should add in flexibility and cardio training to look and feel your best. Flexibility work will help lengthen and strengthen tight muscles and alleviate soreness. A balanced routine garners balanced, favourable results.
You may feel that you have plateaued in your workout, and chances are you have if you aren’t consciously stepping up the intensity level. Another great way to beat muscle memory is to intensify your workout. This can be done through increasing resistance, speeding up, or increasing distance/time spent exercising. Try a new lifting routine with varied rep counts and heavier weights, a new running path that has more hills or is longer, or try getting your normal workout done faster. Increasing intensity in these ways will help improve your fitness and keep workouts exciting!
Variety and intensity are the best ways to combat muscle memory and workout rut. If you want to see the best fitness results, spice up your workout with something new, step up your speed or resistance and keep striving for improvement.