Variety is the Spice of your Fitness Life!

These are my rowing times… they’re not bad. They’re not brilliant, but they’re not bad!

rower

The thing is – I don’t really row. I probably row a sprint (250-1000m) every 3 months or so. Same with running – I’m not bad for someone who doesn’t run much (I run maybe 15-20 times a year) – 3.20 1k / 21.40 5k / 44.40 10k, but I’m not in a “runner’s” league.

I’m actually built for rowing and running and could probably be a decent-ish amateur runner if I ran more, but I get bored really easily so I prefer to have a variety of training – a bit of running, a bit of rowing, weight training (strength), Olympic lifting, swimming, cycling, calisthenics (bodyweight), plyometrics (jumping).

Whatever you are doing – you have to find a balance between enjoying your results and enjoying the process. For me, variety really helps me to enjoy what I’m doing.

As a personal trainer, I’ve always been a fitness coach for the average Joe & Jane, rather than a specialist coach. I have some great specialist coaches helping me with things like Olympic lifting, swimming, nutrition and running, but for your average person who wants to get fit, variety is beneficial, both physically and mentally.

We all have our favourites – for me, funnily enough, it’s probably the thing I’m worst at (due to poor mobility), Olympic Lifting but, regardless of what your favourite exercise is, it’s good to integrate these four components into your training: strength training, cardiovascular fitness, mobility and technique.

You can do it as easily as this:

  • Strength: Bodyweight e.g. squats, pull ups, press ups / Weight training
  • Cardio: HIIT / running / metcons / weight training
  • Mobility: Stretching / yoga / Pilates / Olympic lifting
  • Technique: Sport-specific training such as practicing golf swing / free kicks / tennis drills / running drills

If you do the above you should also, as a bi-product, incorporate power, agility and balance into your training.

So, whether you’re a Jack of all trades or a sport-specific world beater, a little variety is good for both the mind and body! Try something new today – if you run, then lift weights. If you swim, then row. If you lift, then cycle. Whatever it is will have some positive carry-over to improve your psychology and physiology.

Danny Sroda is the founder and lead trainer at Reach Fitness For Business.
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