I’ve often said that when it comes to losing weight, getting fit, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, “Consistency is key.” And, there’s no doubt that the only way to get to the top of that mountain is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, in spite of the obstacles that might fall into your path.
I’ve also been quoted as saying it’s important to continually switch up your workout routines to avoid plateaus and keep your muscles guessing, adapting, and growing. So, you might be asking yourself, “Which is it? Do I follow the ‘consistency’ mantra, or do I keep on trying new things?” The trick is to do both. While it’s important to follow a regular, methodical routine, you’ll only get results if you keep incorporating new moves. Think of it as consistent change.
For example, I’ve been following the same weekly routine for some time now – to an extent. It looks something like this:
- Sunday – hiking
- Monday – yoga
- Tuesday – circuit training
- Wednesday – wild card
- Thursday – Pilates
- Friday – strength training
- Saturday – spinning
I call Wednesday my “Wild Card” day because it’s my freebie – not my “day off” from exercising, but my day to do anything and everything I might want. It could be an exciting new class like dancing or indoor rowing (my friend Josh Crosby teaches an incredible one called Indo-Row; if you’re ever in the LA area, I highly recommend it!) – or it could be another day of cardio, strength training, yoga, or Pilates, depending on what my body needs, and what will “surprise” it.
That element of surprise is the key; it’s what the great Tony Horton refers to as “muscle confusion.” After you’ve been exercising regularly for a while, your body learns the routine and adapts accordingly. The good news is workouts become easier. The bad news is, this is when you often stop seeing results. So, to overcome those plateaus, take a “wild card” day and switch things up.
Now, go climb that mountain and put one foot in front of the other but don’t forget to shake it up on the way!