Human beings are predominantly psychological creatures of habit. We learn through routine. Just think back to how you learned the alphabet, the multiplication tables or playing sports at school. During our informative years we are taught by routine, this route becomes a life-long habit. This mentality permeates throughout your life – the way you brush your teeth, the way you hold your knife and fork even the way you behave in the workplace. This mentality has also affected your gym regime. Therefore, we need to look at repetition in the gym and how we can avoid it which, in the long term, will increase your fitness and improve your biomechanical health.
These four steps can help you refocus your workout experience in favour of gradual, healthy and successful outcomes which will improve your gym, bodybuilding or workout endeavours in the short, medium and long-terms.
#1 – Slow down on the Warm-ups!
A lot of people tend to focus on the actual workout and this can have a damaging result on the warm-up process. The body, whilst agile, doesn’t really like jumping from a state of inactivity (or light activity) to heavy activity without a few welcome signs that this is going to occur. This is where warm-ups come in useful. However, if you do the same stretches – lunges, elbow curls et al – after a while your body will fail to notice this ‘sign’ and you could start doing serious damage to your body.
So start mixing up your warm-ups. This way your body will be alert to the change in activity and as a result you will get more out of your exercises.
#2 – Running the same route!
A lot of people get attached to the same running route – it could be because it’s the quickest and the closest. However, you need to think about running through different areas/terrains. This can help you work on other muscles and tone-up your whole body whilst helping you increase your stamina and better you’re running technique.
Therefore, next time you go out for a run chose a different route and maybe run at a quicker pace for longer or shorter bursts. This way you will get the most out of the activity.
#3 – Bodybuilding and the same reps!
When you start bodybuilding, or you have been doing it for some time, it’s very easy to get ‘set in your ways’. This can occur when your initial targets have been achieved. This is when you start coasting. This is a bad thing – you might be thinking why? I’m working out isn’t that good enough? Partially, you are correct.
However, you need to mix-up the workout in order to help the body repair damage to tissue at a different rate. If you do the same then your body will find it harder to repair the damage. So next time your down the gym think about including a different weight, rep or sets to the routine to help ‘mix it up’!
#4 – Slow and steady wins the race
Do not over-exert your body as the body can become injured and the rise of long-term exertion-based injuries are on the increasing in the UK. We need boundaries, targets and balance to help make our workout safe but more enjoyable. Lots of people dive in at the deep end and maybe lift too much in weight, run too far or perhaps undertake too many activities down the gym. You need to gradually build-up and this is a good point when it comes to repetition as many people’s initial experiences inform their workout regime outcomes.
So just because you started like a mad-hatter doesn’t mean you’ll get the most out of your workout. Take a step back, refocus and push yourself – but not too hard! This way you can avoid repetition by diversifying the activities – sometimes slow and sometimes fast – to better inform your gym-based outcomes.
We find repetition to be both boring but psychologically trustworthy. We learn from our experiences. Our experiences inform our actions and as such we develop our workout psychology based wholly on repetition. This is a bad thing for the human body. The damage repetition does to tissue, sometimes, can be unrepairable so you need to take steps to help avoid such injuries.
To help avoid repetition take these five steps into account and re-design your workout processes. By mixing-up your gym or running activities, your warm-ups and cool downs and taking it easy whilst pushing yourself will result in your exercise activities giving you the maximum return – a healthy body and a more focused mind.