Switch Up Challenge


Today is the first day of my new workout routine. I’ve decided to switch up the style of work outs that I do throughout the week to both shock my body, and give some of the muscles that I’ve been putting a lot of strain on, a break.

Over the past several months I have been following the HITT (high intensity interval training) approach to weight training. This means that when I focus on strength training, I engage in 5-6 exercises back-to-back for about 12 reps each, 3 times through with as little breaking time in between as possible. This enables me to not only improve my strength by adding heavier weights, but to engaged my cardiovascular endurance as well. The key is in switching up the 5-6 (or however many you choose) exercises each week so that you are not doing the exact same workout every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, etc.

This keeps your body from reaching a plateau and getting too comfortable with the same, predictable routine. (This is a good challenge for someone like me who loves routine and can easily be happy and content doing the same exercises that I grow to know well.)

Although my body has had a positive reaction to my HITT workouts, muscles in my upper back, shoulders, and neck have been extremely knotted and strained and have been causing me unwanted discomfort. For whatever reason, that area of my body loves to throw on muscle and not let it go. So, we’ve decided it’s time for me to switch gears and focus on my cardiovascular fitness without incorporating weights, and expand my horizons by trying out yoga.

I’m excited to explore the exercises and stretches that yoga offers and scared to begin longer sessions of cardio.

Please Mr. Treadmill, don’t make me go faster!

And you, Mr. Insanity man, stop yelling at me through the TV. I’ll make you a homemade brownie if you quit jumping so high.

I’m surely going to get a beatin’ out of this one.

But that’s the goal right? It’s all about committing yourself and pushing through. (I think I may have just heard Matt laugh as I wrote that from many miles away). I may or may not be so pleasant when pushing my cardio endurance…

Anyway, I have many ideas and resources for focusing on my cardio fitness. But when it comes to yoga and pilates, not so much.

What about you? Do you have yoga videos or live streaming you’ve used and really like? If so, I’d love the suggestions!

I encourage you to examine the exercises you’ve been doing and think of a way to switch it up. Does your gym offer group fitness classes? If so, try taking a step class, Body Pump, or Zumba. Do you tend to be a cardio bunny who can’t seem to back away from the eliptical? Try using the HITT approach for strength training as I mentioned above, at least 2 days out of the week.

Never really exercised before? Start by taking a 30-45 minute walk this evening around your neighborhood. After a month or so, slowly add in 1 minute of jogging then 2 minutes walking, alternating between the 2 for 30 minutes. But make sure you have supportive shoes first!

What do you say, want to join me in a committing to a consistent work out that is best for you? My goal is to try out this new style of exercise for 4 weeks and then re-evaluate it from there.

Here’s to a healthier heart! ::raises Camelbak in the air::