I don't really see that as conflicting advice.
I've had good results doing whatever workouts I feel like (videos, classes, online workout, from books, made up by me, etc) if I have a general structure in mind for the week. The structure I try for is to have 2 or 3 full body strength workouts, 2 - 3 cardio workouts, and 1 -2 yoga/flexibility/balance workout, and one day off from intentional exercise a week. It is quite flexible according to my whims, but I have had good fitness improvements doing this.
I've had slightly better improvements following programs (or partial programs) that last 4 week - 3months. By program, I mean programs from books, dvds, a personal trainer at the gym, etc. The benefit to a good program is that it should be gradually increasing the intensity or difficulty level. This is not necessarily the same as doing the same video for six weeks. That can be good too, if it is still challenging you or you are modifying it to be more difficult. (I.E. if it is a weight video adding more weight). I've never done the exact same single workout video for 6 weeks though, I would personally get bored. I have done video programs that are 4, 6, 8 or 12 weeks and found that beneficial. And I have done the same workout a couple times a week alternating with a couple other workouts for a month or more--that can be nice if they are good workouts because you learn it well but you have enough variety to keep it fresh.
I think either doing the same for six weeks or changing it is fine as long as you get a good balance of strength work and cardio work. Also important is that the workouts are appropriate to your fitness level *and* challenge you. If you do the exact same aerobic workout (i.e. follow the same dance workout, walk the same route at the same speed, swim laps at the same speed, etc) then it will become easier. Your heart rate won't get as high unless you change it a little--go faster, use harder moves, add more resistance, jump higher, go longer, something. And for strength workouts, a weight that was once difficult becomes easier. One week you can only lift it 8 times but some time later you may be able to lift that weight 15 times or more.... These are signs the workout is becoming too easy for you. The advice to change it is often more about making sure you are increasing the difficulty of your workout enough to continue seeing benefits. You can do that with the exact same activity/program if you want, you just need to find ways to increase the challenge as it becomes easier. If it still feels challenging, you probably don't need to move on yet.
Edited by: SLYSAM at: 4/21/2013 (16:39)
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