There’s an expression that says, “Doing the same thing over and over and hoping for different results is the very definition of insanity.” That’s true in the gym too. Sure it’s great to find a class or activity you love, but after a while you may notice that you aren’t seeing any new changes, or you’ve hit a weight loss plateau. You may not even feel that post workout soreness anymore.
We get it—we’re guilty too. But when you become comfortable in your favorite class or with your go-to routine, it’s easy to stop challenging yourself or pushing past your limits. That’s why the popularity of studios like Barry’s Boot Camp, Switch Playground, and Orange Theory Fitness is soaring. With their fast paced formats that alternate between cardio and strength training, both your body and brain are constantly engaged----no complacency allowed.
We’ve been curious about this trend in fitness boutiques, so we visited Nashville recently to check out a few studios that you can't find in San Antonio. We tested our own limits by attending four very different classes in 24 hours that threw our bodies out of our comfort zones—and taught us some fun new moves to bring back home.
We started at Barry’s Boot Camp. We had heard so much about this place we couldn’t wait to check it out—and it lived up to the hype! The concept is pretty straightforward: rounds of high intensity treadmill drills interspersed with intervals of strength training. But while the format may seem simple, the workout is anything but basic! The one hour class kept our bodies guessing and our heart rates jumping. It was hands down my favorite workout of the weekend.
Later that day, we hit up Title Boxing. This was Wes’s pick, and I have to admit I wasn’t as excited about it---at first. But this no frills gym was the real deal and it was TOUGH. It required some serious mental focus because the punching combinations changed with every fast paced drill. And, for me, trying to make my upper body do one thing while my lower body is doing something completely different is the equivalent of trying to pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time--it's a struggle! The core work was killer, using muscles I don’t normally engage-- and I felt them for a few days.
The following morning we headed over to Krank, a cycle studio. We started with a one-hour circuit class that incorporated some of the most effective and challenging TRX exercises I’ve ever done, along with cardio, weights and more. It was a small studio, but the workout was solid---and the next day I was sore in places where I don’t normally feel the burn. We ended the adventure with a 50 minute cycle class—okay so that wasn’t really trying something new but well, we love to cycle soooo….there ya go☺
What we learned from the experience was that changing our routine recharged our batteries. We learned a few new tricks and we engaged muscles that we might not hit as often in our usual workouts. But even more importantly, we had fun! Four intense workouts in less than 24 hours tells you a lot about your strengths and abilities. Doing something new and doing it well makes you feel great! See for yourself! Try a new class, increase your weight selection, or swap your cycle shoes for running shoes once or twice a week. Little changes can make a big difference when you want to break out of a rut. Check out this article from Women's Health for more reasons why you should change things up—and some fun ways to go about it.