When is it Time to Reboot your Workout?
By Nichelle L. Jenkins, NASM-CPT
If you are one of the many folks whose 2019 New Year’s Resolutions or intentions include fitness goals, congratulations on committing to put in that work this year!
But whatever your goal: fat loss, muscular development, increased stamina, or to just look good naked, you may need to switch up your fitness strategy for optimal success. If you’ve experienced any of the following, a fitness reboot may be in order:
- You aren’t having fun. Bottom line, life is too short for drudgery, even in fitness. If your workout routine makes you yawn, then how much effort, and as a consequence what kind of results will see? Reboot by finding a new activity, workout partner, class or even a new location that will invigorate you and keep you focused and encouraged to get after it!
- You are suffering from excessive soreness, fatigue or injuries. This one seems obvious, but workouts aren’t supposed to injure you. Some muscle soreness, particularly in the early stages of a new regimen, is to be expected. And it is possible that from time to time you may experience a sprain or strain. But if you are regularly visiting an urgent care, or your day-to-day movement is unduly restricted, it may be time to reboot. Similarly, if you are always tired and sore after your usual workout, it may signal that you have been overtraining. Sometimes rest is the resolution you actually need to make. Decrease the intensity of your workouts or pause them for a short period of time altogether.
You aren’t sore. While excessive soreness is a red flag, zero soreness after your typical workout is a sign that the workout may be too easy (your body has adapted) and you need to switch up to your routine (1).
- You aren’t improving. Every individual is different, and things like nutrition, proper rest, injury and stress play an important role. But most people should be noticing some changes in their body within 4 – 6 weeks after beginning a dedicated routine. Moreover, changes to the body require, well, changes in order to fight adaption. So even a workout that yielded the desired results before won’t after a period of time. To improve, it’s important to not only change up the type of equipment and moves you perform, but also the intensity of your workouts, by altering number and types of sets and reps, length of rest periods, and tempo of actual work (2). Throughout the year, I periodically manipulate each of these variables with my clients to help them bust through plateaus and achieve their goals.
- Your routine is short on mobility exercises. As essential as weight-bearing and stretching and flexibility exercise are, so are specific moves to increase joint mobility. Mobility moves are essential to properly prepare the body for movement and reduce the possibility of injury (3). Properly mobile joints help us access the right muscles for a more effective routine. So, for example, that sexy strong booty you want? Without mobile hips that permit you to fully access the glutes in, say, a squat, your training of that area is compromised. When I warm-up my clients, I typically have them perform mobility moves like shoulder circles, wrist circles, gentle neck circles, hip circles, spine rotation, and knee circles.
If any of the foregoing 5 indicators apply to your workout, the good news is there’s no time like the present to reboot so that you can level up. So, keep on moving (don’t stop). Switch up your routine regularly, rest and fuel your body well, make sure you are mobilizing your joints, and don’t forget to have fun! You will then be well on your way to crushing your 2019 fitness goals.
About The Author
Nichelle L. Jenkins, NASM-CPT is a lawyer and minister now certified personal fitness trainer and group fitness instructor who offers both in-person and online training and nutrition coaching. A former Division I college basketball player, Nichelle is in awe at what the human body can do at every age. Her client roster includes women and men from their 20’s to their 60’s committed to boldly rebooting their lives to reach new levels of success from the boardroom to the locker room. Follow her @nichelle_jenkins for more training tips