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Why are Different Workout Programs important to do?

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I know some of you continue to do the same workouts over and over and I was in that mode a few years ago myself.  It is quite easy to find something that you either like to do or maybe something you can do and repeat each week.  It is certainly better than not doing anything of course, but let me share some of my thoughts on why changing things up is so important.

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When I was in High School I really began lifting weights hard and every day.  Sure it had results as I became stronger and bigger and I really enjoyed it.  As a teenage male, being bigger and being noticed for your muscles felt great to my ego.  Size was important to me and that was the focus – and I really like lifting weights.  I did NO cardio of any kind at the start, but added in some running once in a while later in my High School years.  I hated running and to this day I am still not a fan.  So that helped me justify that I didn’t have to do too much as long as I kept lifting.

As time passed I noticed that while my size was still there I was a bit ‘thicker’ than I wanted to be and also that I really was not in great ‘shape’ overall.  I couldn’t run for too long as my lung capacity was something I was not building.  I also did a few setups now and again but nothing serious.

What happens to your body as you continue to do the same thing over and over?  It learns to adapt to what you are doing and actually becomes stale and your gains slows down (or stops), you are not really sore other than the day after leg day as you only do those maybe once a week, and mentally you are just on cruise control.  This is exactly where I was for a while after school when I needed to focus on my career and life after school.  Also as you get older of course your metabolism slows down which brings in more factors as well into the equation.

I then tried to change up my weight lifting exercises but while this brought on some new soreness as I was hitting my muscles with different angles and approaches, it was still basically more of the same.

P90x

I realized I was looking at working out incorrectly after many years.  I did not (1) have a well balanced approach and (2) I was not focusing on my eating habits as I needed to.  This is when I saw an infomercial for P90X from Beachbody that changed everything for me.

What I learned was that you really need to include consistent cardio, core focused training, focus on what you are eating, along with resistance (weight-training) training to really get in your best shape.  it took a long time coming for me but it finally hit me like a rock to the head.

As for workout programs, P90X to me is one of the best I have ever done as it had it all in one program laid out for you to follow.  But if you do P90X all the time, you will plateau as your body will adapt to it just like any other workout program.  P90X has 3 stages so your body isn’t allowed to adapt but think about it – if you do these 3 over and over again your body will learn to adapt.

I am now a very strong believer that you need to cycle workout programs on a regular basis.  I never do the same program back to back as an example.  Workout programs are created by different trainers and with different goals in mind, so mixing them into your year plan is the best approach in my opinion.  The workout programs at Beachbody range from 30-90 days so after I complete one I determine what I want to focus on next and select a program that matches those goals.  This does a number of things – keeps you very motivated as you are not going to get bored doing the same program over and over, challenges your body as it cannot get used to the same thing and you hit it differently every 30-90 days, and it is FUN!

I will go after muscle-building by working out with Beachboy’s Body Beast for 90 days, then will move to one that focuses more on cardio or core, then depending on the time of year or where I want to focus next I select my next program.  I will go back to Body Beast for muscle building but this cycling of programs helps my body recover, doesn’t put constant strain on my shoulders/knees/back by lifting all the time and again is FUN.

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I strongly believe in this approach whereby you need to focus on resistance training, cardio, core and eating healthy using a variety of different programs to see the best results you can.  Also as time moves on, there are new findings in science and technology that introduces us to better ways to workout for success.  The latest craze is shorter but more intense workouts as opposed to 60-90 minute workouts so you will find newer programs taking this approach which helps attract more folks as they can manage this time daily more easily.

No matter what your approach is, working out regularly is the most important step!  But to get your best results focus on a combination of resistance training, cardio, core and a good approach to eating healthy most of the time.  And of course – have FUN!

—Mike

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