I almost feel guilty. As someone that knows how to program safe and progressive workouts – when it comes to my own program…I don’t wanna. I want someone else to tell me what to do. And by someone I mean someone I have never met with questionable credentials on social media. During my daily/hourly/5-minute-ly scrolls it’s like my algorithm knows me as workout-after-workout pops up and I screen-shot them like a neanderthal (instead of neatly saving them in an orderly fashion as Instagram intended). I digress. If you’re anything like me (not the neanderthal part) and your workout regime is more on screen-shot than science, it’s time for order in the court with these following 4 rules:
Rule 1: Variety
Variety in exercise type is important to ensure that you are tapping into all the fitness pillars to build and maintain holistic wellness. Think resistance exercises, cardio and stretching. Variety also refers to the individual exercises.
When patching together your screen-shot workout regime ensure that you have a mix of all the pillars (whether they are in the same session or not) and that there is a mix of individual exercises.
Generally speaking we choose exercises we are already good at, so a good rule of thumb to ensure variety in your screen-shot workouts is this: screen-shot a workout you don’t love the look of – and do that every now and again.
Rule 2: Duration
Your body is/can be a jerk and is adaptable to the same repeated stimulus, that is it becomes exceptionally efficient. In exercise terms that means your results will plateau.
If the workouts you are patch-working together are consistently the same duration, every now and again throw in a slightly longer workout (or even a shorter workout *gasp*). Surprise the f*cker (your body that is) and keep those results coming.
Rule 3: Intensity
Repeat-after-me: wanting to die and/or vomit at the end of your session is not the marker of an effective workout. What I have found over the years as a trainer clients train too intensely all the time. Your body is/can be a jerk and is adaptable to the same repeated stimulus (see above). The bummer is this: when you do plateau and you need to turn up the dial to kick-start results again, you’ve left yourself no-where to go as your workouts are already at death’s door.
It may sound counter-intuitive but to make sure your hodgepodge workouts are as effective as they can be carefully balance the intensity that you are working at throughout the week. Perhaps one day you do knock on deaths door (honey I’m home….), on another day maintain a steady heart-rate throughout and on another do interval style workouts where your heart-rate alternates between high and low.
Rule 4: Frequency
Frequency refers to the number of times you workout in a week and you guessed it, you need to mix that up too if you want your screen-shot workouts to be as effective as they can be. At the end of the day even squeezing in your current regime might be a military operation in logistics, but all I’m saying is when you can dig into your archives of workouts and squeeze in ONE more cheeky sesh into your regular regime.
Fine print: professional advice is always recommended for the most effective/safe way to workout specific to your individual needs and goals.