Stuck in a rut?

Along the road of our fitness journey, sometimes we get stuck in a rut of doing the same exercises.  While this may be mentally efficient, it often leads to plateaus in fitness and weight.  Why?  I’m glad you asked!  Though you may not be aware of it, your body is an amazing machine that becomes biomechanically efficient sooner than you may realize.  Going for a 3 mile run 3 times per week may result in amazing changes in your body when you first begin running.  However, over time, your body is able to cover those same 3 miles in a highly effectual manner.  As a result, you burn fewer calories and no longer get the same benefits you got when you first discovered your love of running.

So how do you get out of this rut?  Mix it up!  Muscle confusion is one of the principles at work with P90X and Insanity.  These workouts work well because your muscles are constantly working in new and surprising ways.  This constant change-up prevents your muscles from becoming complacent and you remain a calorie burning, lean mean machine.

Although I have taken countless courses on nutrition and physiology, I learned this lesson best through experience.  Last month, after reaching a running plateau, I went back to working with a trainer.  Over the past month I have re-tooled my weightlifting routine to lift heavier weights, incorporate some power-lifting  moves and countless plyometric jumps and other exercises (plyometric push-ups anyone?).   The results have been great!  I dropped 6 pounds in 3 weeks and am running stronger up hills.

I say all of that to say this: if you are content to stay where you are, then by all means continue your same routine.  However, if you are looking to bust out of a fitness rut, confuse your muscles and mix up your routine.  If you have never tried lifting weights, start.  If you only go to zumba, try spinning.  Do you spend all of your time running on a treadmill, try hiking or running hills. Experiment with pole dancing fitness class or take a trip to India with a Bollywood dancing class.  Mix it up!




Posted on February 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Written by

Erin Lumpkins

Erin Lumpkins is a true Blue Michigan Wolverine! She has been a health and physical education specialist for the past 10 years. Erin graduated from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with degrees in athletic medicine, physical education and health education. Currently, she is working to complete a master’s in public health with a concentration in global and community health. As part of the program, she studied at University of Oxford and conducted research on obesity. She is an avid health and fitness enthusiast. She has completed 3 marathons and is addicted to Zumba and belly dancing! She looks forward to sharing her experiences and your stories, so ladies can make this fitness journey together. Follow her on twitter @1908erin.
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