Switching workouts can slow fitness progress more than sticking to just one exercise, according to a personal trainer.
Unlike the popular theory that variety is the spice of fitness, switching between too many exercises doesn’t give the body a chance to adapt to a workout and can cause injury.
One New York personal trainer told Daily Mail Online the pros and cons of workout variety and suggested that engaging different body parts within the same workout is the best route to losing weight.
She warns that though today’s gyms offer a wide variety of classes from yoga, Pilates, kick-boxing and cross-fit, choosing one and sticking to it may be the key for producing the best results.
Contrary to popular belief, sticking to one type of workout provides better results by allowing the body to adapt to that specific exercise and can even prevent injury
There are five key elements of fitness training that should be included in workouts: aerobic fitness, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility.
These elements provide a well-rounded workout that engage different areas for a balanced routine.
Going to a variety of different classes doesn’t allow the body to build muscle and skill in the way that a planned training program would.
Five key elements of a well-rounded workout
Aerobic fitness – the better your aerobic fitness, the more efficiently your heart, lungs and blood vessels transport oxygen throughout your body — and the easier it is to complete routine physical tasks.
Strength training – this helps increase bone strength and muscular fitness, and it can help manage or lose weight.
Core exercises – the muscles in your abdomen, lower back and pelvis help protect your back and connect upper and lower body movements
Balance training – this is important because balance tends to deteriorate with age, which can lead to falls and fractures. Balance exercises can help older adults maintain their independence.
Flexibility – stretching can improve the range of motion of your joints, may promote better posture and can help relieve stress and tension. Consider stretching after exercise when muscles are warm and receptive.
Personal trainer Diane Williams of Curvy Goddess Lounge suggests circuit training is the best way to hit all five elements and shed pounds.
Circuit training is a form of endurance and resistance exercise that uses high-intensity aerobics.
The New York trainer focuses on this type of exercise for her 20 to 30 clients who are mostly plus-sized women.
She said mapping out fitness goals is the first step in deciding which workout path to go down.
‘If a client wants to improve a specific aspect, I’ll have them work on that specific thing to provide the best results’, Diane told Daily Mail Online.
For example, if the goal is flexibility, yoga or Pilates would be the best workout routine.
But switching to boot camp or boxing the day after a yoga session would promote inflexibility and make a client prone to injury, Diane said.
Her go-to exercises within circuit training are squats, planks, lunges and free weight training, all while continuously moving to burn calories.
And once an exercise becomes easy, increasing the level of difficulty by adding intensity will prevent the body from hitting a plateau.
However, she does say that diversifying workouts keeps clients from getting bored of doing the same continuous routines.
‘Working out has much to do with mindset and associating exercise with fun,’ Diane said.
Therefore, she balances between variety and consistency by changing workouts each session but keeping them within circuit training.
Diane also said that a diverse workout is also less effective on athletes who are trying to build or improve one focused area.
‘For boxing or jujitsu, there are certain exercises you don’t want to get into when training,’ she said. ‘For jujitsu it is more important to do insurance training rather than building muscle.’
New York personal trainer Diane Williams told Daily Mail Online that engaging different body parts within the same workout produces better results than switching between exercises