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People love routine. There’s comfort in doing the same things and knowing exactly what to expect—no surprises, no fear, no thinking required. And sometimes, routine can be a very good thing.
But when it comes to your workout, doing the same moves day in and day out isn’t doing much to help (or motivate) you. A lot of times we stick with a program because of that comfort zone. Maybe it’s all you know how to do, maybe you’re afraid of those odd contraptions, or, if you’re like most, maybe you don’t understand the importance of variety when it comes to exercise. Whatever your reason, it’s time to break out of that workout rut!
From this point on, consider the idea that your muscles are smart. When they do new things—whether dancing, martial arts, or strength training—they’re a little shaky at first. But they learn quickly, mastering these new moves, so much in fact, that they become MORE efficient at doing them. So, they don’t have to work as hard (or burn as many calories, or respond with positive gains) to keep up with the program.
For this reason, and the fact that you should always be challenging your body in order to keep improving your fitness level, you should deliberately alter your fitness routine “regularly”. This can mean different things for different people. Some will alter their exercises on a daily or weekly basis, but whatever frequency you choose, change your strength training program at least once every 4-6 weeks. This will help you avoid hitting a plateau in the first place.
If you need a little help accepting change, that’s where the Mix ‘N Match Workout comes in. Use the chart below to choose any exercise from each group (numbered 1-8 at the left) for your workout. Do your usual # of reps and sets. Then, change it up for your next workout. Pick a new exercise from the same row, and continue to alter your program regularly. This way, your muscles remain challenged—and you get fitter, stronger, and healthier over time.
*Always consult your health care provider before beginning this or any new exercise program.*