We all know that the benefits of a good cardio routine are vast and numerous: weight loss and cardiovascular health to endorphins and disease prevention. All of us spend time doing some kind of cardio.
But do you ever feel like your cardiovascular routine is stuck? Like no matter how much time you spend on the treadmill or elliptical the pounds have just stopped falling off?
Maybe it’s time for something different.
Now don’t get me wrong – aerobic cardiovascular training is vital to trimming down and toning up. What I am saying is that the actual problem may lie in how you do your cardio. If you’re like most people, you show up to the gym and do 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer or treadmill (next time you’re in the gym look at which pieces of equipment are the most numerous… I can almost guarantee the treadmills and ellipticals account for close to 1/3-1/2 of all the equipment in the gym). Working out on these machines is fantastic; the problem starts to occur when the novelty of these machines wears off and your body starts to get used to… even expects… these activites. For example if you do the elliptical on level 6 resistance at 6 mph for 30 minutes every time your body starts to get strong on the elliptical trainer on level 6 at 6 mph for 30 minutes. It gets used to those same motions and using those same muscles in the same way for that amount of time. It actually develops more of an “autopilot” mode rather than essential cardiovascular fitness.
So what do we do about it? The answer is simple – to get different results you need to do things differently (I’ve always been a big fan of Einstein’s definition of insanity – “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”).
Mix up your routine… I might even challenge you to eliminate your “routine”.
Give the spin bike a try. The row machine offers a great total body workout. A jump rope can offer outstanding plyometric and fast twitch muscle training. When you do get on the treadmill or elliptical trainer, challenge yourself to a session of intervals rather than just trotting along at the same speed. Don’t just get on the treadmill, set your speed, and turn your brain off – challenge yourself with different speeds, different incline, etc.
I challenge you to expect more out of your cardio; I challenge you to expect more out of yourself. Change your routine, change your results.
Make it happen,
Have a great day!