The Fall-Back Exercises
There are times when we prepare for the gym, we go there and we just don't feel like doing our routine for the day. Whilst this can be a sign of staleness and an indication to change your weekly routine, there is always something to do in the gym when you are there. Something is better than nothing, so don't get there only to feel you are not up for it and turn away. There's always something to do in the gym and you should always have a fall-back plan; not for every day but a few trump cards to play just in case your brain says no to your current plans.
What do these fall-back exercises usually look like? Well the simpler the better, and the less machines/weights used the better. These exercises are designed to be so easy to do especially if it is a crowded gym; that way you can use the back up exercises in more than one situation! That's what makes such exercises so good. Simple, effective and not needing too much. These fall-back routines can last from 20 minutes to a whole hour depending on how you design them.
So how do we design them? There are a few steps to making your own:
1) Designate what kind of training your fall-back routine should be; should it be very cardio based (recommended)? Should it be very abs based? Could it be very specific weighted muscle group? It's up to you but pick one or two variants.
2) Choose very specifically what objects/machines you will need for this routine. Make it as few as possible, just one object/machine is ideal. The fewer the more successful in different circumstances it will be.
3) Choose the specific exercise(s) to go with your answers to step 1 and 2. For example if you chose cardio and treadmill then you can pick aerobic intervals.
4) Quality control. Test it, see if it's easy to remember, easy to access and if it makes you tired and happy afterwards.
Some examples of tried and tested fall-back routines are:
- 25 minutes of long slow cardio on a spin bike with high resistance followed by 6 minute Ab workout
- 1000ft distance climb on treadmill at 9kph
- Barbell clean and press pyramid sets followed by 10 minutes long slow duration cross trainer
- 17kg dumbell for 4x bicep curls and 4x tricep skull crushers followed by 10 minute Ab workout
As you can see a routine can be as little as 1 exercise and at most around 3 exercises per workout. These are for those days when you find your workout just isn't doing it for you, or you feel not quite up to what you have planned either through injury or motivation (which is common). There's very little worse in the fitness lifestyle than going to the gym and just not feeling it but you made the effort to go all that way. This affects everyone at some point in their gym routines and TDL FITNESS always likes to be prepared. So be prepared as Scar said in the Lion King and kill Mufasa and be king! I mean have fall-back exercises ready for any occasion.
It is recommended to have at least 3 of these routines available at all times, fully memorized and treated like any other workout. These routines should remind us that anything is possible in the gym to enjoy, we just have to come prepared and willing to change things up in a day's notice. It might not sound ideal to those who have strict routines, but it is better than the alternative of not exercising that day and feeling kinda crummy for not working out. This is your get out of jail free card, your 'i will not give up' cat poster in an exercise routine.
This is the kind of stuff most personal trainers don't tell you. That's what we are here for.