Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bored with your Workout? Need a Workout Facelift? Want to Step it Up?? …..

Whether you are a seasoned fitness guru or trying to take off some extra pounds and tone up, you are probably ready for a new workout. How about one that will get you fast results and beat the boredom?

Add into the equation the fact that spring and summer are quickly approaching – don’t let this give you anxiety. Now is just in time to start pursuing that highly regarded ‘beach body’. Your question may be ‘how?’, or ‘I’ve tried everything’, or I already know what to do’, or a million other doubts, I know I usually respond to articles like this skeptically too. However, I have found this to truly work, so read further and then decide…

People often think that if they just diet and get to the gym the rest will follow, and for some it does. So if you have the ‘perfect physique’ and wouldn’t change a thing, you can save yourself the time of reading this. But for the rest of us, I believe it is what we are doing at the gym or in our workouts that makes the difference (not discounting diet of course). But food alone won’t give you washboard abs or perfectly toned legs and arms.

I’m sure if you know my blog, you already understand the concept of changing up your cardio workouts and trying different intensities and activities, right? And that is great – but as I have discussed before – if you really want to challenge yourself and break through any fitness or weight loss plateau try a plyometric workout!!

Not only will this increase your endurance, speed and stamina, it will burn more calories and fat in a shorter amount of time than almost any other form of exercise. For example: 1 min of plyometrics is equivalent to approximately 15 minutes of steady cardio. So prepare to get lean and strong – and put more work into less time!

Plyometric Training

I know I spoke about plyometric training in one of my ‘first-ever’ blog postings, but I thought it important to expand on it. Why? Because, honestly, I get so many questions from people of all types and fitness levels about how to squeeze in ‘great workouts’ into busy and chaotic schedules. People want workouts they can take with them when they travel, do in their homes, gyms, outside. But most of all, they want to know what will really help them breakthrough to the next level and alleviate the boredom.

So upon answering these questions, one of the first things that comes to mind is Plyometrics! Plyometric training has long been a staple of athletes who need to work on their explosive strength. Plyocity defines it as "exercises that enable a muscle to reach maximum strength in as short a time as possible. This speed-strength ability is known as power."

With athletes, plyometric training involves intense exercises specifically designed for their particular sports such as jumping off a platform and rebounding off the floor onto a higher platform (hence I did a lot of this in my competitive running days and became addicted).

While most of us don’t need exercises to this level of extremity, we can all benefit from the effects of a workout that incorporates this. I believe that if you are going to spend the time out of your day to exercise, you want to maximize your time and get the most out of it - and for most people that means visible results.

One benefit (and probably my favorite part) of plyometric workouts is that, due to the intensity, everything is done in short segments. You would never spend a full hour on plyometrics alone. You can get an excellent workout in a fraction of the time, (ha, I sound like I’m trying to sell something).

I’m not going to lie, plyometrics are hard, VERY hard, but nothing truly great was ever achieved without pure hard work. My philosophy is that if you’re willing to put the work in, you might as well do it right. Hopefully in six months from now, people will be asking you, ‘What’s your secret?’ (and hopefully you’ll refer them here ;)
If this isn’t enough to convince you, I hope you test it yourself and let me know.
I will be posting a good plyometric workout example you can do this week (so stay tuned)!

Happy Exercising!

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