Unsettle All Things…and get fitter

I’m sure many of you have heard that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” When I used to work at a gym, I’d see so many people doing the same thing on a regular basis–same speed on the treadmill, same workout on the weight machines, putting in the same level of effort. Sure, they were consistent; sure, they were doing something other than sitting on the sofa, watching TV and eating doughnuts. But, many of them were not progressing–they weren’t losing weight, reshaping their bodies or drastically improving their health.

It was disheartening to see such a “waste” of the consistency and dedication they had managed to achieve.  While they may have had some results within the first weeks or months of beginning to work out, most of these people didn’t realize that their body had, at some point, adapted to the new stress of working out.

Once the body adapts, the same old fitness routine will provoke litttle change in your body. That is why you (or your personal trainer) should always be looking for ways to “unsettle” your workouts–to change things so that your body is constantly challenged to adapt. At the very least, you should look to make changes to your program every four to six weeks.

You can challenge your body with change in a number of ways–increase the amount of resistance (weight); increase the number of repetitions; increase the total volume (sets and/or number of exercises) of a session; decrease the total volume of a session and really focus on high-quality, high intensity exercise; take a new group fitness class.

One of the best things you can do to shake up your training and take big steps towards your goals is to enlist the help of a personal trainer. Most trainers will spend a good part of their first session discussing your training goals and developing a plan to achieve them with you. Most personal trainers will also build in periodic program changes to constantly challenge your body, your mind and your motivation.

I don’t think Ralph Waldo Emerson knew much about personal training, but he certainly knew a lot about life. Still, I like to use one of his most famous lines in my approach to my own training and to training my clients:

“I unsettle all things.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson






(from the essay Circles)

~ by kipwkoelsch on July 5, 2009.

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