By Michael Adams, Private Trainer at Reebok Sports Club/NY
Spring is the perfect time of year to shake things up. With warmer weather and increased light, we feel energized and compelled to detoxify our systems and take it up a notch on the fitness floor. Just as we need to consider the appropriate seasonal changes in our diet, we also need to take a critical look at our workout routines. To detox your workout, I recommend three steps.
Step 1: Do an honest assessment of your current fitness level after a long winter.
- Weigh yourself and take body measurements.
- Assess your strength level by doing foundation strength training exercises like the squat, deadlift, bench press and pull-ups.
- Benchmark your cardio fitness level and test your VO2max (volume of oxygen you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity). There are many ways to do this—one-mile run, five-mile bike or 400-meter swim. Whichever you choose, remember you need to come back to this in the future to mark progress.
Step 2: Define or redefine goals.
- Hold yourself accountable by signing up for a race. Whether it’s a 10k, half or full marathon or an adventure/obstacle race, the buildup to race day will keep you motivated, and the race itself can provide the healthy competition necessary to push you to your limits. Come up with an aesthetic goal: Fit into your wedding dress or a pair of jeans, look good in that bikini you’ve had your eye on, or simply have your body in the best shape for summer.
- Increase your strength or endurance capacity. What’s your one-rep max for a bench press? How fast do you want to run a mile? How many pull-ups can you do in a minute?
Step 3: Switch up your routine to get better results. It’s easy to fall into a routine, however, mixing it up and moving out of your comfort zone will help you see results.
- Add in high-intensity interval training, such as boot camps and BLITZ™ to keep your heart rate elevated while efficiently burning calories. This type of training allows you to move through many skilled movements in a short amount of time, and they’re proven to be highly effective in building endurance and strength.
- Get a private trainer. Whether you’re an advanced fitness enthusiast or a beginner, a trainer can give you an honest assessment, help you set realistic goals and show you new ways to safely achieve those goals. You’re also more likely to stay with a routine if you have a trainer to hold you accountable.
- Try a new class. REV™ classes can take your cardio capacity to the next level, and the music and group energy can be electrifying. Dance-based fitness classes are another great way to shake things up. The freedom of moving your body in self-expression can be transformative and will energize your mind, body and spirit. If you’re looking to build core strength and flexibility, try a yoga or Pilates class. Mind-body modalities can offer restorative moments that are often lost in our exercise routines.