Variety in Training

June 15, 2022

The Importance of Varied Training

Firstly, how many of you currently exercise? How many of you do 1 form of exercise? How many of you do 2 or more forms of exercise? At LEAR, we absolutely stand by having a varied exercise routine throughout the week, rather than sticking to one form of exercise all the time. One of the reasons for this is that it prevents overtraining, which overloads certain joints, tissues, and movement patterns making your injury risk higher. If you do a lot of resistance weights and not much else, over time you may loose mobility in your joints, leading to higher injury risk and stiffness as you get older. We need to think about functionality as well, what’s the point in being able to bench press 100kg if you can’t run for the bus when you need to! Or stand on leg to tie up your shoes? Or do some gardening without having a sore back afterwards? We can break different forms of exercise into a few basic components:

Most forms of exercise will require elements of more than one of these components, if not all of them! For example, let’s think about playing tennis. You need to have good cardiovascular fitness to be able to run around the tennis court for the duration of the match. Your cardiovascular system need to be able to cope with high intensity short bursts of movement to get you around the court. Therefore, you also need some speed and agility, having the ability to accelerate towards the ball, then quickly decelerate to change directions. So what about strength? Well, the stronger your arm, shoulder and trunk are, the greater the force you will be able to hit the ball, and therefore the more pressure you put on your opponent. You require active mobility through the shoulder to swing your arm through whatever range of movement is required to hit the shot. So where does stability come into this? Good balance is required to keep you upright whilst changing direction and pivoting on one leg. If you think about all the jumping and sprinting involved in tennis, you also require stability of the tendons and ligaments within your individual joints to withstand the repetitive load and prevent them from breaking down.  

But what about if you don’t play a sport? What about if your health goal is simply to lead an active healthy lifestyle, and do your daily desired tasks for as long as you possibly can as you get older? Well, most of us live in a house with stairs. Even the simple task of climbing your stairs at home actually requires all of these above elements! Without decent slow stead cardiovascular fitness, you will not make it to the top of the stairs without having to pause to catch your breath. Without good bodyweight strength, your muscles will struggle to push you up the stairs which will put excess strain on your joints, potentially resulting in pain. Without the necessary mobility in your hips, knees and ankles, you will not be able to ascend the stairs in a normal way. Without good balance, you will not be confident standing on one leg to climb the stairs without holding on to the banister. Without good speed deceleration, you will struggle to walk down stairs successfully without overloading your knees. So as you can see, creating an exercise routine that encompasses all of these elements will bulletproof your body for however you wish to load it, whether that’s playing a particular sport or just completing your every day tasks with minimal effort and maximal enjoyment!  

So how does this link to LEAR? Well, at LEAR we provide 3 main types of structured exercise classes: reformer Pilates, mat Pilates and Hybrid Training. Pilates is training the basics of good movement patterns, balance, postural alignment and core strength. You can complete this with bodyweight on the mat, or with added resistance on the reformer. Reformer and mat Pilates will cover a huge portion of varied exercise for you, however the thing they’re missing are cardiovascular fitness, speed / agility, and the ability to load strength based exercises up higher. That’s where the hybrid classes come in. These classes are ideal to add weight and varied speeds to exercises to provide a higher benefit for your muscle and bone strength, and agility. Now further to this, wouldn’t it be great to have a service that provided you with a 100% individualised program to move you directly towards your specific goals? Our new hybrid pro service provides exactly that. Your goal is the most important starting point for us. If your goal is be able to run around and play with your children more, but currently you can’t lift your child out of bed without pain, we will tailor your program to address those specific needs.  

As they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, your health Isn't built overnight either! It’s built through consistency and variety over many weeks, months, and years. We believe in playing the long game, not quick fixes. So if you really want to optimize your health for the long run, variety is key.  

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