Get fit: Put some variation in your excercise routine


myAspria contributor Nils Courcy says he has the get fit key to chasing away your boredom, stagnation and physical exhaustion.

Modern man is sedentary, with an instinctive fear of change.  Studies prove it that moving house is one of the greatest causes of stress in individuals. The reasons?  Change destabilizes, involves leaving your comfort zone, confronting the unknown and always having to adapt. Life is a slow evolution and changes are rarely welcome. They’re more often than not something that’s forced on us. Naturally, sometimes they’re inevitable and absolutely necessary for greater progress.

The need for change
If you want to get fit, change is synonymous with progression. The human body is intelligent and has a phenomenal capacity to adapt. An example: an overweight beginner is able to lose a few kilos in the first few months of a cycling class and his metabolism adapts to the unaccustomed effort by deciding to conserve fat, to be able to face up to this overconsumption of energy effectively. The result is stagnation in your weight loss!  The process for building muscle mass is identical.  A muscle ‘broken’ by muscle-building exercise will rebuild itself more strongly than before and will then need a new level of difficulty if it’s to continue developing: generally, that’s the time to add more weight to the bars.

If you don’t alter your training habits, you’ll almost always get the same results: boredom, loss of motivation, stagnation, even overtraining and deterioration.  Frédérique Desse, former professional footballer, osteopath and physical preparation coach in Brussels says: “The same get fit workout repeated for months can cause micro-trauma in the tissues and can entrench problems, while variation helps to prevent and heal these types of injuries.”

The keys to success
For good general physical fitness, any workout programme should include the following five elements: cardio-vascular work, work on the power of the torso (abdominals and back), muscular strength, balance and flexibility.

This is only possible by building variables into your workout plan.

– Variation between work with weights and without, to allow development of muscular strength while also promoting flexibility and explosive power.

– Alternating the planes of movement (linear, frontal, lateral, rotational) to cover all the biomechanics of human movement, to develop proprioception and to ensure good postural balance.

– Other variables to refine this progression: the number of repetitions, weights, range and speed of execution, duration of workout, diet etc.

– In order to be effective, the variation must usually be progressive and realistic with regard to your potential and consistent with your objectives.

Don’t ever skip stages and respect the time your body needs to adapt physiologically in order to avoid injury (six weeks on average). Vasiliki Mela, sports supervisor at the club Aspria Brussels Royal La Rasante, explains: “Adaptations in the human body take place slowly but rigorously, and there’s no shortage of profound changes.  When you face difficulty, sometimes you just have to persevere, but always being kind to yourself, knowing that you might need to give yourself a second chance or even a third. A personal trainer can help you focus and will discuss your objectives and weaknesses with you, to create a programme that’s appropriate and evolving.”