When it comes to fitness and nutrition, what works for one person may not work for someone else. While one person may be able to run a half marathon another person- due to injury or body structure- may never be able to run a half marathon. I am not saying that you should sell yourself short or give up on your goals. What I am saying is that you should be able to find some type of workout that you enjoy and that works for your body type.
There is one rule that applies to absolutely everyone. If you are not seeing results, you are not doing the right workout or eating the right diet for you. Some people run, bike, go on the elliptical/ walk on the treadmill for an hour several days a week. It is very likely that they are bored of doing the same workout and that their bodies are also bored of doing the same workout day in and day out. What I would recommend to everyone is workout variety. Try some new things in the gym or outside and rotate them into your workout routine. Runners might need some yoga in their routine. Yogis probably need some strength training in their routine.
In addition to workout variety, you can add in some interval training. With this type of training you should start at your regular pace for a set amount of time and then increase the intensity for the same amount of time. I will use the treadmill as an example. You can start at your regular pace, lets say level 5, for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes are up you will switch to level 7 for 2 minutes then return back to level 5 and repeat. Some variations to increasing intensity include changing your speed and/or incline. You can get creative with interval training by doing a “pyramid” time challenge. This is how it works:
1 minute baseline, 1 minute challenge
2 minutes baseline, 2 minutes challenge
Continue all the way up to 5 minutes then work back down the pyramid
4 minutes baseline, 4 minutes challenge
3 minutes baseline, 3 minutes challenge
Until you get to 1 minute
Recently, due to an irritated SI Joint in my lower back, I have not be able to run longer distances. I personally feel like a hamster doing 30-40 minutes on the treadmill or the elliptical plus I get really bored. Another component that was missing is that I was not seeing results. So, what is the point in even working out if I am not enjoying it and not seeing results? Thus, I have turned to rapid cardio/strength circuit workouts. I love these because they have a lot of variety involved. I also love them because I am seeing awesome results and I feel really strong.
Rapid cardio/ strength circuits involve a type of cardio that is called anaerobic exercise. Whereas running running long distances or walking on the treadmill would be considered aerobic exercise. Both of these type of exercises serve their own purpose. I have been finding that short-duration and high intensity exercises, namely anaerobic exercises, are what my body is responding to best at this point in time. Here are some examples of exercises that you can include in your rapid cardio/ strength circuits:
– Rowing machine: 300 meter or 400 meter row
– 1-2 minutes jump roping
– 10-20 burpees
– 30-50 jumping jacks
– Jump- switch lunges
– 30-40 mountain climbers (downward dog position with arms and running motion with legs)
– 20-30 yd. sprints
Those are just a few examples of some anaerobic exercises. I usually choose 3 exercises and rotate through them 4 times. I do the 3 exercises, take a 30 second break then repeat the circuit. By the time you are done, you have done around 20 minutes of intense cardio. You should be sweating and almost out of breath.
I will be posting some specific workouts in the near future. Hang tight! For now, please leave comments if you have any questions!