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Avoiding Too Much Repetition: How to Get the Most Out of the Type of Workout You Love

September 18, 2015 3 min read

Are you the type of person who loves to do one type of workout every single day? That is, as opposed to those who prefer to switch it up with HIIT one day, yoga the next and spinning the day after that - you prefer to hit your yoga studio every single day, or perhaps go for that 5 mile run five days a week. Studies have shown that those who constantly challenge their muscles by switching it up are getting the most out of their exercise as far as results go. But for some, whether they're training for a race and need to fulfill the same routine every single day, or they're simply creatures of habit, the question remains: is fulfilling the same workout every day ever a good thing? fitness If You're a Cardio Lover: Regular cardio, from cycling to running, is great for improved heart health, improved efficiency in lower body muscles, and for burning a ton of calories, explains Kyle Stull, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified trainer and performance enhancement specialist. "Repeating workouts is not an inherently bad idea, especially if you enjoy what you're doing," Stull explains. And it only makes sense that repetition paves the way for great outcomes. "If you have a goal of becoming better at something, then you must repeat it," Stull notes. So what's the catch? The human body likes to adapt. "Whatever the body is asked to repeat, it will become very efficient at it," Stull says. "After a few months, you may continue to feel the psychological benefits, but not necessarily the physiological benefits." The solution? Try mixing up your cardio. Incorporate the  F.I.T.T. principle (which stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type),  Jacqueline Crockford, an exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. Implement one of the following steps per week: 1. Start by increasing the frequency of your workout from three days a week to four days a week, then increase your duration from 30 minutes to 40 minutes, for example. 2. Then, increase the intensity by focusing on your heart rate. So, if you've been working on 70 percent of your MHR, try bumping it up to 75 percent. 3. And finally, incorporate a different movement into your routine, like changing up your motion from running one day to swimming the next. This will ensure you strengthen different muscle groups, improve endurance, and avoid injury. If You Love Strength Workouts: Pumping iron can get repetitive, especially when it comes to hitting the weight room. The upside of this is that, strength routines actually need repetition over a specific amount of time to promote effectiveness. The downside? "A good general time frame to expect noticeable progress is 12 to 16 weeks, but it varies by person and intensity of training," says Darryn Willoughby, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and professor at Baylor University. This means, you have to stick to that routine for longer than you may have imagined. But there's still a level of change that needs to take place, nonetheless. "The intensity and volume of training must be repeated to develop strength, but the exercise selection can be varied," explains Stull. "For example, you can increase lower body strength by squatting, dead lifting, or doing a leg press," Stull says. "All will require the muscles to work in a very similar way, but will be very different to the nervous system." Are you a creature of habit when it comes to your workouts? Source: Shape

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