But we know that falling off the wagon makes getting back up and back into shape that much harder, so even in the dead of winter don’t forget Summer is not too far off and will be here soon enough.
Around this time of year, especially after the holidays I like to spice my routines up a little and change my program. You may not know this but our bodies are master adapters, and when it becomes used to a routine it becomes more efficient and uses less energy. So basically what that means is we burn less calories and our muscle and cardio gains are less.
When we first start exercising our body is challenged and everything is new, so often results come faster compared to someone who may have been training for several years. In order to continually see results we have to periodically push our body outside its comfort zone. So what is the best way to “shake the tree”? Speed training! This not only jump starts your heart, it reboots your metabolism by burning fat faster, and ultimately prevents your body from plateauing.
Speed workouts are great but keep in mind you do not want to do too many of them, and not more than once a week This is because they can increase the risk of injury in the long term, especially if you are not accustomed to working out hard. My suggestion is that you add one of the following drills to your regular weekly workout. Both of the following 2 drills can be done on the tread mill, bike, elliptical, or stair climber.
When you alternate high intensity with recovery periods in between you increase your heart rate tremendously and torch lots of calories. This type of training is great if you are short on time since you can squeeze a 60 minute workout into half, with less wear and tear on your body.
✤ Try this: After about 10 minute warm up (you should be a warm and a little sweaty), increase your speed to your maximum for 30 seconds, then return to a light jog for 1-2 minute. Ideally if you can do 7 sets with a 10 minute cool down you will feel the results. If you are on the mountain climber, elliptical or bike just increase the intensity to the maximum for the same amount of time, and return to a manageable pace for the 1-2 minutes and the repeat as mentioned.
If there is one thing worth adding to your routine, it is an increased tempo for a certain amount of time. It is a standard in training and anyone can benefit from this technique. It teaches your body to use oxygen more efficiently and run at a harder pace before getting too tired. You should be able to go longer and stronger and burn more calories before quitting. You must work outside your comfort zone, so based on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being impossible you should try and find your 7-8. You will be breathing heavily but not to the point where you can not catch your breath.
✤ Try this: After a 10 minute warm up, increase your pace and keep it for 15-20 minutes. Finish with a 10 minute cool down. If maintaining this pace for 15-20 minutes is too hard then try holding the increased tempo for 5 minutes and recover for 2 minutes and then repeat 3-4 times, then cool down.
Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour ~ William Cowper
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