Image courtesy of feelart

The answer is a resounding “Yes!” So then it comes down to doing a few things to prevent that from happening.

 When you do a specific workout routine for the first time, you are mentally excited to try it. Physically, the routine challenges your muscles, and because they as have not been exercised in this way, they must “work” harder. As a result, these muscles burn more calories now than they will later after they have become accustomed to this routine.

 As you constantly work the same muscles over time, they become stronger and more efficient, so they end up burning fewer calories now than they did when you first started. If you are eating the same types and amount of food, and exercising at the same intensity, you will notice a gradual decrease in the amount of weight you lose over a given period of time do to the reduced caloric burn.

 Eventually, you will hit a period of time where you are not losing weight – called “hitting a plateau”. This can have a devastating effect on you mentally; so devastating in fact, that many people just give up trying to lose any more weight. Don’t let that happen to you!

 To get back on track with your weight loss, something has to change! Basically, you have three variables:

·         your routine

·         the intensity

·         your eating.

 Change Your Routine

 Instead of only doing the same routine, add in more routines to your exercise repertoire. For example, one day you might concentrate on your upper body; another day on the lower body; the third day on your abdominal core. If you exercise one muscle group every third day or so, it doesn’t get used to the same exercises. Or you can use the same basic routine, but occasionally swap out some of the exercises for other ones that challenge the same muscles differently.  Just don’t use too many different exercises, or it then becomes difficult to notice gains in reps or weight moved. I first heard about this while reading Jason Ferruggia’s awesome blog almost a decade ago. 

 Change the Intensity

 If you do the same routine at the same intensity, your muscles and body gets used to it and becomes more efficient – not requiring as many calories to do the same work. One way to stimulate burning more calories is to work the muscles harder. In this case you can stick with the same routine if you want, just perform more repetitions per set, run a little faster, bike a little harder, etc. Stay doing whatever it is that you do, just do it with more gusto and resolve!

 Change Your Diet

Not only does your body get used to the same routines, it can get used to the same foods … expecting to get the same amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates each day. And we already know that as our muscles become more efficient, we burn fewer calories. So what does your body do with the calories left over? It stores them as fat (and part of the reason you hit your plateau.)

 However, you can break that cycle, by changing up your eating habits. Add to your foods some spices that will help speed up your metabolism, and in doing so, help burn more calories. Spices in the pepper family, such as chilies and cayenne work well, along with turmeric and ginger.

The secret to keeping your body working hard is change. Don’t let it get accustomed to the same thing day after day.

 If you have read Cheeseburger Abs then you know that I believe in food cycling. I have several different protein powders for instance, and rotate them after every shake I make. This habit can also help avoid developing sensitivities to foods you eat most often.

 Thanks for reading, and tell me what you think.

 Question:  What do you do to change up your routine?

 Image courtesy of feelart

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