People are often surprised when I say I’ve been a slacker and need to work out. They see that I teach 3 to 5 classes a week and assume that that should be plenty. On the one hand, it is. I can certainly maintain a certain level of fitness just by doing my job. However, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the body is amazingly adaptable and will find a way to do less work each time. (Exactly the way I do housework…)
Since I teach a lot of classes that have a set choreography (Body Pump and Body Jam) I’m often doing the same movements over and over. Not only do my muscles know what to do to cheat on their calorie burn, but I’m only using a certain group of muscles. If you’ve been stuck doing the same workout this is also happening to you. You’ll know I speak the truth after you shovel all this snow tonight. How many “new” muscles are you likely to discover tomorrow morning when you try to get out of bed?
Keeping your workouts varied not only keeps you from getting bored but it makes sure you hit as many muscles as possible. This is good for both your physique and for injury prevention (see shoveling comment above). I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are certain body shapes associated with specific sports. Take Speed Skaters – they have thighs of steel. And swimmers with their massive upper bodies. They are athletes who put a lot of effort into one sport (More effort than I put into, well, pretty much anything) and their bodies respond accordingly. I’m certainly not saying you’ll get legs like a speed skater if all you do is use the elliptical machine but I am saying that you won’t be toning up your arms and other body parts.
Bottom line: Vary your workouts. Even if you’re already a trainer.