In this podcast I talk about the value of mixing up your workout, specifically creating a systematic progression. Each workout should build on the previous. I talk about how we progress here at My Core Balance.
CHRIS: This is the Core Balance Podcast, I am your host, Chris Janke-Bueno.
I remember I used to work at the YMCA and I used to kind of walk around the gym and you know kind of assess everyone's workout and you know, how are they doing, you know, I wasn't trying to judge them. I was trying to determine what the best workout was, right? Because I wanted to, you know, take a little bit of this, little bit of that, the best, I guess the best pieces of each workout system, and, you know, I worked there a couple of years and what I noticed is that some people, usually the people who looked much healthier and fitter, those people had their headphones on, they were not talking to anyone else during their workout, you know, afterwards they could, but whatever, not during their workout. They, what else, they were doing different stuff every time, that was the main thing. And then, I noticed another group of people who, I felt so bad for them, I wanted to just go up and talk to them and say, "Hey, you have to shake it up!" because these people, I saw them every single day at the gym, like every single day. So, discipline was not their issue. They were there every day, but they were doing the exact same workout every single day, and now, I mean, I can't, I can't fault them. I used to do this myself. When I was in college and high school, it was the same workout, I mean it was just, you know, it just lacked creativity and it was, you know, that's why I got injured, that's why I bulged a disc when I was 13, and that's why, you know, my results pretty much peaked, and I wasn't able to get anywhere past that, but going back to, you know, workout after workout after workout, doing the same thing, your body, your body is a marvelous machine, and it will find the path of least resistance, which is a blessing and then a curse in a way, right? It is a blessing because that means when you start doing workouts, your body will actually change, your body will find a way to make that workout easier. That's good news, because if it didn't, then, you know, working out would be pointless because there would be no adaptations in your body, but the fact that if you go out and run a mile a day for a month, you know, your last workout of the month is going to most likely be better than the first workout, unless, of course, you are injured like so many runners, but anyway, don't let me get down that pathway now. So, results come from progression, and it's not a linear progression like you may think. Like, if you look at a graph, like when you took algebra in high school, right? You look at a graph, or say the stock market, right? Actually, the stock market is not a good example because it goes up and down, but just let's say you look again at your algebra graph, and it's going up, up, steady line, straight up. That's actually not the way that your progress would most likely go. I'd say it looks more like a staircase and you are at the bottom step, and the only thing you want to do when you take your first step is literally just do that, take your first step, right? So, you just take your step to the next platform, right, and then you are at a plateau for a little bit. You know, you got people say, "Oh! My training has plateaued!" Well, in a way, sometimes, that's a good thing. You want a plateau. Work that plateau for a little bit. Now, for some people, it might be one workout, it might be three workouts, 10 workouts. I tend to go like five to eight workouts that are very similar in nature, and then, what are you ready for? You are ready for another step up, and then you can work that plateau a little bit. So, when people get all, you know, flustered because they are at a plateau that just means they need to make their workout harder, they need to change some variables and stuff like that. So, the results come from a progression. They come from a gradual progression one step to the next, because your body will stop responding after however many workouts, you know, it's different for everybody. So, it needs to always be different, and you need to have that feeling that you are doing different stuff because your body will not doing the same thing, it'll just get too good at it, you'll be too good, and you won't be good at anything else, but you also have to sort of line up those different workouts like kind of create somewhat of a line, right? So, you kind of want a blend between the steps going upstairs and your graph, your algebra graph, right? So, alright, so how do we do this. On a fairly practical level, how do we this. Well, I have talked a little bit about parameters before. You can change your reps, you can change your sets, you can change time on your tension, you can change the weight obviously, change the intensity, change how many days per week you are doing your workout. All these different things that you can change, right. You can change the complexity of the exercise and that's actually what we work on most here, at my studio, at my Core Balance. We focus on increasing the complexity of the workout. So, how does it look in real terms? Well, most of our exercises have three different levels to them and they have a one and a two and a three. I would recommend you doing the same thing if you are organizing your own exercise progression like this or you can check out what we have as well. Each exercise has a one, a two and a three - a beginner, intermediate, advanced. You start at the beginner, no matter who you are, I would want you to start at the beginner, and you work on the beginner for a little while, again it depends on the person, it might be a week, it might be a year, depending on your situation. When you work the beginner, you work different time, so you might start and you do one set of a minute, or if you can't do a minute straight, you might work up to it, you might start at, you know, six sets of 10 seconds. We like to stick with a minute of total time, because that just seems to be the best combination of endurance and strength. So, anyway, you work those exercises, you can change the time, the sets, things like that, and when your body just says, "You know, I am really good at this, it's not doing anything for me," then at that point you ramp up to the next one. Now, you are at level two. Now, you can manipulate the variables again. You can change the time, the reps, the sets, stuff like that, and so, in that way, it's really similar to the belt system of karate, alright? You get a belt in karate, you get your, I don't even know what the belts are in no order, but you get an orange belt, and then you are always thinking about that next belt, right, and the black belt is the end, right? They even have like third-degree black belt, fourth, fifth, I don't know how far up it gets, but even you get your black belt and that's not done, and that's really similar to my exercise system is that there is always a progression, right. So, the analogy I use with goals also is that, yes, you achieved your goals, you should be happy, you should congratulate yourself for the fact that you did a, you know, you did a good job, you've accomplished what you wanted to accomplish, and then at the same time, you are always looking ahead. So, if you look too far ahead and you never look at where you've come from, then you are going to be really discouraged because you are always going to have something to do, right, something to accomplish in the future and you are not gonna feel any sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, if you are always looking to the past, then you are always patting yourself on the back for what a great job you've done and you have nowhere to go in the future. So, you have this balance, right, between "Oh! Look how far I've come! Look how far I'm going!" and that keeps you, kind of, in the present and it keeps things in perspective. So, doing these strategies will prevent you from getting to the point where you are doing the same workout year after year, not only is it boring, but it's ineffective, right? It doesn't work. It's just not good to do, right? So, think of those variables, think of the progression and if you haven't checked out our program, check out the Core Balance Baseline Program that is basically a step by step system, exactly what I was detailing here, taking you from level one, level two, level three. Once you pass level three, then you move on to the next kind of macro level and you are ready for that next transition at. Our main progression is exercise complexity. So, that's one area that a lot of people don't even think about exercise complexity, they'll do the same exercises, but those just add weight, you know, that's the only parameter or variable they change. Try manipulating several variables, not necessarily at the same time, but just see what your workout turns into when you start manipulating several variables, so, that's it for today. Again, that is at mycorebalance.com, the Core Balance Baseline, check that out and I hope it helps you, I hope it provides some value for you.
You have been listening to the Core Balance Podcast. I'm your host, Chris Janke-Bueno. We'll talk again next time. Until then, let's be fit, let's be healthy and let's be happy. It feels good to move, so keep moving.
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