I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a creature of habit. I get ornery when I’m faced with change. I don’t like it, otay?? But, the trouble is I find myself getting into a routine with my workouts, too.
Routine + workouts = not necessarily a good thing.
Here’s the reason why: Muscle Memory. Now, don’t get me wrong, muscle memory is actually a good thing. Here is a really good description I found about muscle memory.
Muscle memory becomes an unconscious process. The muscles grow accustomed to certain types of movement. This is extremely important in different types of training for sports. The more often you do a certain activity, the more likely you are to do it as needed, when needed. If you’ve kicked thousands of field goals, exercise physiologists assume that the likelihood of being able to kick one during an American football game is pretty good through muscle memory. You don’t have to think, “I need to make this kick.” Your body already knows how to do it.
Muscle memory is the very reason why Joseph hits in the batting cage over and over and over and over again. To adapt his body and his muscles in the correct form of swinging the bat. Then during the game, his body/muscles will respond in the same way—a swing that he doesn’t have to think about; it just happens-and hopefully delivers a base hit.
Exercising is no different. When we exercise and workout the same way over and over again, our muscles adapt the same way and they get used to the routine. And when they get used to the routine they get comfortable. And when they get comfortable they don’t have to work as hard. And when they don’t have to work as hard they don’t grow and produce a change.
So. What do we do about it?
You guessed it. We change up our routine and get those muscles out of their comfort zone. And oh they are going to get ornery about it, too! When we force our muscles to do something different, it makes them work harder and therefore produce that improvement and change for the better you’re looking for in your muscle tone and growth.
For my last workout that’s just what I did. And believe me, my muscles fussed about it and left me feeling extremely sore as a result!
I recently purchased this new over-the-door bar for doing pull-ups and chin-ups. I’m just like a kid at Christmas! I am so excited to have this new exercise to do! Now trust me, I can’t do many, but I sure do love trying! BooYa!
Here’s my latest workout:
Time: 30 minutes
Dumbbells: 10 pounds
Reps: 15 each or as indicated
Sets-1 set of the following
Squats with Medicine Ball
Squats with weights
Walking Lunges with Hammer Curls
Wall Seat-30 seconds
Squats with Shoulder Press
Seated Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball
Crunches on Stability Ball-50
Full Sit Ups with Medicine Ball
If you’ve hit a plateau and/or if you’re finding your workout has become easy or routine for you, then it’s time to change it up!
Here are a few suggestions:
*Do things out of order.
*Do different exercises that you’re not used to doing.
*Increase your reps and/or your sets
*Increase your weight resistance.
*Add extra equipment that you’re not currently using (i.e., along with the over the door bar, the medicine ball is also something I’ve recently incorporated to break up my habits).
You can find these exercises and more in the Workout Library (keep referring back to it as I add to it as I find new exercises)!