Square Pegs – Round Holes


Are you getting what you want from your workouts?  Think about the reasons you take time out of your day to exercise – are you seeing those things happen for you?  If your effort has been consistent and you’re not getting the results you want, it’s safe to say that what you’re doing isn’t working – it’s time to change course!

Is this how you’re feeling?

One of the biggest mistakes I see is essentially the exercise equivalent of trying to bang a square peg into a round hole; workouts that don’t fit with goals.  For example, trying to get stronger by lifting weights that aren’t challenging, or striving to lose weight without changing diet or exercising vigorously.  Exercise is just a way to encourage your body to adapt positively.  Once it adapts, though, it will go on cruise control unless you consistently give it a new challenge.  If you’ve been stuck for a few weeks or a month, chance are really good that you need a change.  Now, don’t get me wrong, ANY exercise is better than none at all and if you’re happy with your results, there’s no need to change anything.  BUT, if you’re frustrated, don’t give up, just try something different.

Trust me…there’s a better way.

The best advice I can give a frustrated exerciser is to simply work harder.  That doesn’t mean more hours at the health club.  In fact, it may mean less!  If you’re using cardiovascular exercise as a fat loss tool, shorten the workout but bumping up the intensity with interval training.  Sprint for short periods rather than run at a steady pace.  Get off the weight machines and do your strength training with free weights you can only lift 6 or 8 times instead of 12 or 15.  Try dynamic mobility work instead of static stretching.  Stay ahead of your body’s adaptation curve and you’ll see the results you want.

Learn something new!


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Michael Bento is an Advanced Trainer at the Clubs at Charles River Park. He holds a Masters degree in Human Movement and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist.

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