Why Aren’t I Progressing in the Gym?
We’ve all experienced it, we workout like crazy in the gym for hours a week, but the scale and our measurements don’t show it. What’s going on?
Does Nutrition Matter?
Yes, if your eating habits are way out of whack, your body will show it. Maybe your portions are too big, or you’re eating too many processed foods filled with sugar and unhealthy fats. You may also be drinking too much; liquid calories like pop, juice and alcohol rack up the calories and amount of sugar you consume very quickly.
Fitness Variety Matters Too
What I want to spend time discussing here, is how you can improve your workouts to help you lose weight.
If you go to the gym and always perform the exact same exercises, in the same order with the same weight, your body gets used to the routine, and it becomes less challenging. Yes it’s better to be active versus do nothing, but you have to switch up your routine to experience continuous results. Fitness variety is important.
5 Ways I Add Fitness Variety into my Workouts
I love switching up my workouts regularly, at least every 3-4 weeks. Here are my favourite 5 ways to change things up in the gym:
1. Use different exercise tools.
Fitness tools can change an exercise quite dramatically, making it tougher or sometimes, easier. I love working with the TRX suspension trainer (a sample exercise is shown below), Lebert Equalizers, the Bosu ball balance trainer, Gliding Discs and the Halo Trainer.
2. Alter the weight load.
One week you may perform 8 reps of an exercise while holding 20 pounds, the next week try lightening your load and perform 20 reps of the same exercise. This will ensure that your building both your muscular strengthen and endurance.
3. Change the pace.
Contrary to what you may believe, I find it a lot harder to slow a rep down, or to add a 30-60 second isometric hold after a move, versus speeding it up. In addition to making an exercise harder, when you slow down, you give yourself time to really think about your form.
4. Perform compound exercises.
These are the fitness moves that involve more than one muscle group and multiple joints to perform. They’re efficient and effective exercises because they require more than one muscle to complete, leading you to burn more calories in less time. Doesn’t that sound great? The Clean and Press is an example of a compound exercise.
5. Switch up your sets.
Try inserting supersets, drop sets, or circuit training into your routines. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is an effective way to really challenge yourself in a short period of time. Many of my clients love Tabata style training – this is when you complete 8 sets of one exercise for 20 seconds at a high-intensity, with a 10 second rest in between.
It’s common to need the assistance of a workout buddy or a personal trainer to push you outside of your comfort level in the beginning, and that is OK. Plateauing can happen to us all.
To Sum it Up…
Performing the exact same exercises, with the same weight load week over week will lead you to plateau in your weight loss journey. There are so many fun and innovative ways to add variety into your fitness plans. Try adding variety into your fitness routines by changing up the tools, weight loads, pace and sets you use. I’d love to hear from you, how do you prefer to switch-up your fitness routines?