I seem to be suffering from fitness ADD this year. I’ll start a program with the pep of a 5-year-old at Disney World, follow the plan balls to the wall (figuratively speaking) for 3-4 weeks, then lose interest, usually when it’s time to swap out exercises and change things up again. I have been so busy with travel, work, and other interests since last fall that I can’t seem to work up any enthusiasm for learning a new lift that involves balancing on one foot while performing bent-over dumbbell rows, you know?
Running, which has long been my staple cardio exercise despite my ineptitude at it, is now the very last thing I want to do when I go to the gym, effectiveness at fat-burning be damned.
Does this happen to everyone that has been working out steadily for a few years?
If so, how do you get over it?
Objectively, I know that a big part of the problem for me is that I’ve already done this before–the getting into shape via diet, strength training, and intervals things, that is. I love the challenge of learning and mastering something new, but once I have successfully completed a project, I want to move on to another one that will test me in different ways. The issue I’ve been having over the past two years is that nearly all of the programs I have tried have been exactly the same as Body for Life with only some minor differences in the selection of resistance exercises.
There is no intellectual or physical challenge in doing yet another 3 days of lifting/3 days of interval cardio program, no matter what you choose to name it.
And on the nutrition front, things aren’t much better. You can nitpick for the rest of your life over whether carbohydrate/protein/fat macronutrient ratios at at 50/30/20, 40/30/30, or 40/40/20 are better, but given a baseline quantity of protein, it still boils down to how much you are taking in and burning off each day, and the differences really aren’t that significant because you are still choosing from the same list of clean foods.
In a last ditch effort to bring back the RAWR attitude for 2008 and break out of this funk, I’m going to give a 12-week program that I’ve always wanted to try from one of the final issues of Muscle and Fitness Hers (R.I.P.) a shot for the next three months. It features a three days on, one day off lifting split that varies sets and reps of the same exercises every 4 weeks so I won’t have to deal with perfecting my form on a whole new set of exercises just when I start to get into a good groove with the ones I have already learned. The most important part of the program is that it will force me to go to the gym at least six days out of every seven because I can’t perform the lifting workouts at home.
The fact that cardio is limited to one short 15-20 minute HIIT session on one of the lifting days and 45 minutes of lower-intensity steady state on the off days doesn’t hurt, either. I figure that I can mix things up on the off days with gym cardio, swimming, walking, Forza, 10-Minute Trainer workouts, Yourself Fitness, NYC Ballet, and Hip Hop Abs.
Here is the basic schedule:
Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps (60 min); (Optional) Hip Hop Abs or other home cardio (30 min)
Day 2: Back/Biceps/Abs (60 min); HIIT Run (20 min)
Day 3: Lower Body (60 min); (Optional) NYC Ballet Workout or yoga (45 min)
Day 4: HIIT Run (20 min); LISS Cardio (40 min)
1. 1.5 c. Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, 1/2 c. light soy milk, 3 egg whites
2. 1 banana, 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese, 1 T. cocoa powder, 1 packet Splenda
3. 3 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1 c. asparagus veggie mix, 5 slices jalapeno peppers, 1 apple
4. 2 unsalted rice cakes, 1 T. all-natural peanut butter
5. 1/2 WW pita, 2 slices turkey breast, 1 slice Swiss cheese, 30g baby carrots
6. 1 plum + TBD (Dinner provided by company for late night)
Water: 16 cups
Supplements: multivitamin, calcium 600+D
* 10-Minute Trainer Cardio and Lower Body (20 min)
* Forza (30min)
* YF Cardio (60 min)