Overcoming cardio burnout!

2013Apr03_CardioTraining_BIs your passion for your workouts waning? Are you bored by your routine and turned off by the thought of hitting the gym? Do you find that however hard you work you are just not getting the results you need? Well you could well be suffering from cardio burnout and it might just be time to mix things up and resetting your workout routine and intensity.

There are many emotions we associate with our exercise routines. Often there can be a feeling of dread before we start. Especially if you have to drag yourself from a warm bed, slip on your training shoes and head out into the morning to test your body to the limit. Of course, there are real ┬ápositive feelings too. Just think of the exhilaration you feel when you’ve just finished a vigorous workout, and the endorphins are coursing through your body, while your heart is pumping pure adrenalin. Unfortunately, when your only emotion is one of boredom, your exercise routine is in trouble. When lack of enthusiasm sets in and you start to dread exercising you won’t get that euphoric payoff and you know things need to change.

When you first start exercising you can see and feel the results very quickly. Even after a few short sessions, you might notice that you are starting to lose weight and you should certainly feel healthier. But after a while you find that things start to plateau. You seem to be putting in ever more work on the treadmill, in your aerobic sessions or your spinning classes, yet you are just not seeing the same results. It is frustrating and unmotivating!

Your body adapts!

But this happens because everyone’s body is surprisingly adept at adapting to exercise over time. As you get fitter, your body becomes more efficient and is able to burn fewer calories in a session than it might have done a few weeks before. So to get the same calorie and weight loss results, you need to workout for longer or with more intensity.

Add something to the mix!

These days, not many people have the time to continuously extend their fitness sessions and working out too much can lead to mental and physical burnout. However, reaching a plateau doesn’t mean you have reached the end of the road. Your body will continue to progress if you are willing to shake things up a bit. A new stimulus will not only have the effect of improving your workout, it should also renew your interest in getting fit and stop boredom from sneaking in.

Muscle confusion!

Muscle confusion is a way of helping overcome your plateau and reach new levels of fitness. The theory is that when the same levels of stress are applied to muscles over time then exercise becomes ineffective. So, constant variation of exercises and reps is needed to allow your muscles to continuously adapt. By mixing up exercises your muscles become ‘confused’, forcing them to work harder and therefore burn more calories. For example, you might do 50 push ups one day and switch to doing 50 pull ups the next. You’d be using the same muscle groups but in a different way, for extra effectiveness.

Engage your mind!

There is a lot of debate in the world of fitness as to whether the theory behind muscle confusion is sound or a total fallacy. After all, your muscles are not sentient and can’t really get bored or be tricked. They merely flex or relax. But there is not denying that by mixing up your workouts a little, you will find that you are more mentally engaged, simply because you are doing something different. You might even discover a whole new type of exercise that you enjoy even more and you enthusiasm for fitness will be restored.

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