“Diversifying your portfolio” is common sense financials, and something that a number of Americans are probably familiar with. It makes sense, considering there are a number of ways to both make and lose money, and your mother always warned you about putting all those eggs in one basket. You might not always follow the best financial advice, even when you know it, but at least you have a basic understanding of why diversification is a smart move. The same approach is required for health, wellness, and scoring that dream body, so why do so many people bypass that advice?
Simply put, we’re creatures of habit and when it comes to working out (which is something the majority of people don’t actually “enjoy”), humans want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Do you find getting on the elliptical for 30 minutes each day manageable, or slipping into that thrice-weekly Zumba class? That’s great, but bodies are complex machines and they get used to routines. Even professional bodybuilders aim to get sore every week. When’s the last time you complained of achy muscles?
The constant pursuit of change
Change, shaking things up, diversity: Whatever you want to call it, it’s crucial for many aspects of your life. For example, there are many ways to make a sale, and any salesperson knows that you can’t just recycle the same approach over and over again. Some tactics work better than others, but you get to know what works for you over time. Maybe it’s getting in a quick 10-minute stair warm-up before yoga so you don’t spend the first 15 minutes “waking up your body” shivering in a cool studio.
However, understand that getting your dream body (or simply lowering your body fat and gaining muscle) is going to take you outside your comfort zone. There’s a reason your gym has so many vast options, or why heading outdoors offers endless possibilities. Your body is getting bored, your muscles have settled into a routine, and you’re cheating yourself. Every minute is not equal in your workout.
How to make a change
The answer to changing your routine is equally easy and difficult: You just need to do it. To really tackle things head on, go directly to the exercises you like the least and work through that dissatisfaction. As long as it’s not unhealthy (such as deadlifts for those with a bad back), you’re probably resisting these exercises because they push your body in a good way. It’s natural to go with what’s “easiest” with your workout, but you’re the only one paying the consequences.
Change leads to growth in all aspects of life, so why wouldn’t it apply to your workouts? The definition of insanity, as Einstein said, was doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. If it’s been awhile since you gained an inch on your bicep, lowered your body fat, dropped weight or any other goal you have in mind, you’re maintaining. Maybe that’s your goal, but if it’s not, how long are you going to stick with the same program?