Changing it Up | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


I exercise quite a bit and have been since The Sisterhood challenged me to my first 5K  in 2009.  The only reason I took that challenge back then is because of the peer pressure- I thought, if all these non-runners can take up running for the next 8 weeks, then so can I.  If I absolutely hate it at the end, then I can move on to something else.

Except I didn’t hate it that came later.

I am now addicted to exercise and especially running.  My body CRAVES it.  My soul NEEDS it.  My spirit REJOICES with it.

Am I making you throw up yet?

So yeah, I workout/exercise/run/lift weights/yoga/Zumba/spin/swim and everything in between.

However, I find myself getting into a routine with the workouts, especially when I am in the midst of a half marathon training plan (my next half marathon is on March 31st).  I run 3 times a week, do strength training 1-2 times a week, and do a 101-5 min yoga routine whenever my body becomes too achey and stiff.  Routine is great- it keeps me going, I know what to expect on any given day and interestingly enough, because I know the routine so well, it gives me flexibility to change around workout days whenever the need arises.

BUT, I have stumbled upon something equally important- CHANGE UP YOUR ROUTINE ONCE IN A WHILE.

You see, a few months ago, I decided to add a Body Pump strength training class into my running mix (specifically, a weightlifting class at the YMCA).  In the beginning, I thought I might die from how the class made my muscles feel weak.  I kept going back to that class week after week after week and I felt myself grow stronger.  I noticed it most during my runs, oddly enough.  I felt strong and powerful.  My legs rarely hurt from running anymore, or it takes me at least until 8 miles to feel any kind of soreness and I attribute this to the Body Pump class I have been taking.

I never would have known this if I had quit back in the beginning, if I hadn’t decided to try something new, if I hadn’t changed up my workout routine.

Guess what?  Body Pump no longer makes me sore.  Sure, I can lift more weight and it still tires my muscles out, but I don’t get sore from the class.  one.  single.  bit.

Sounds like it’s time to change it up again, doesn’t it?

In the last few weeks, I have done two different strength workouts that are NOT my beloved Body Pump class.

I did CrossFit three times I thought I might die from this 16 minute workout.  Seriously.   I hurt in places that I didn’t even know I could hurt.  It was the shortest workout I have ever done that resulted in some serious soreness!  CrossFit deserves an entire post unto itself.  I was quite skeptical prior to the class.  I thought- how hard can 16 minutes be?  Um yeah, it kicked my boo-tay and I loved it.

I also did a combination speedwork treadmill workout in conjunction with some strength training (a workout I found in the book Run Like a Mother- I adore this book, go buy it now!).  Basically, I did a warm-up run on the treadmill, then alternated running FAST for 1/4 mile, then doing a set of strength/core exercises, repeat.  It is hours later since I did this workout and my entire body hurts, in a good way.

I have been reminded once again how important it is to change up the routine, to give my muscles new life and a new way to grow themselves, to get around the dreaded plateau.

Now, I challenge YOU to change it up.  If you’ve been doing the same workout daily or on a weekly basis, change something up within that routine.  If you aren’t working out at all, then change up that routine and do *something*.  Your body will thank you, and so will your spirit and soul.

Hit me up in the comments- tell me how you are going to *change it up*.  Don’t make me call you out!

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