Variation Is a Killer…

by Joe Lawrence | March 2nd, 2010 | Cardio, Strength Training

I just arrived at a professional development school yesterday in the mountains of Tennessee and was rudely reminded about the importance of variation.  The quarter mile hike up a very steep hill to the check-in office was a killer after eight hours on the road.  It was even more fun to learn that my room was further up the hill on the third floor.  All those months of jogging on level ground or running on the elliptical seemed pointless.

None of these exercises have prepared me to lug my luggage consisting of six weeks of clothing and three different styles of uniforms for different phases of the training back up this quarter mile slope and eighty pound suitcases up three floors.  The whole time I thought about how much fun this walk would be at the end of the trip and how little prepared I am for this.

So, I developed a new plan for the coming tenure.  I am going to jog a circle around the perimeter to take full advantage of this new obstacle.  I am going to invite this training variation into my arsenal.

Fitness is all about taking advantage of the environment you are in and doing the most with what you are offered.  By adapting to your new environment and seeking new opportunities, you are inviting variation into your world.  Variation in your workouts offers a different range for your muscles.  Our muscles get bored with the same workouts over and over again.

Just as you are not going to watch the Goonies every single day (even though it is quite awesome) because you would get tired of it and begin to tune it out of your mind.  Our muscles do the same, and we begin to plateau.

By challenging our bodies to a new routine or simply a slight variation, (for example, running up this mountain instead of just running on the flat and level), we will excite our muscles and challenge them.  Often times if you were plateauing and then vary an aspect of the exercise, you will break past that ceiling!

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