Mark Balfe-Taylor, TruFusion’s Director of Yoga, admits he doesn’t see the amount of crossover between members he would like. The yoga folks stick to their side and the fitness folks stick to theirs on the most part. But he would love to see that change.
“TruFusion’s strength is you’re able to do everything,” he says. “And we all know the more you cross-train the better it is for you.”
When you first started working out, the challenge was staying consistent. Today, you’ll risk life and limb to make it to class on time, and if you do miss a class, all your loved ones know to stay clear of you. You have your favorite classes and your favorite instructors. The gym is your time – a time to forget about it all. You show up. You put in the work. You feel better. It’s that simple.
But is it? Unfortunately, your consistency might end up being your curse.
Are you a camper?
Chances are you fit into one of two camps. You’re either a hard-charger who lives off the endorphin rush after a bootcamp or kettlebell class, or you’re a zen-master who thrives off the restorative benefits of a calming yoga class. You’ve tried other classes, but you would rather spend your time taking something you live for.
That approach may hinder your progress in the long run. By doing the same thing day-in and day-out over so many weeks, and possibly over so many years, your body has adapted and your gains have slowed. In other words, it explains why we can’t lose those last few pounds, can’t seem to get the the next plateau, and even why you might be getting hurt more often.
Signs of imbalance
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you stuck in a rut? Has your progress slowed?
- Are workouts getting stale?
- Are you constantly battling injury?
- If you’re a hard-charger, are you so tight you can’t touch your toes?
- If you’re a zen-master, you know there’s no way you can do a single pull-up or pistol squat?
A “yes” to any of these questions, and your exercise program might be in need of retuning.
The good news is you belong to TruFusion, which offers over 250 different styles of classes, so adding some yang to balance out your yin shouldn’t be too difficult.
Start mixing it up
What can you do? Mix it up. Regardless of your goals, mixing things up and having a little more balance in your exercise program will help you achieve your goals faster with less chance of injury.
Now, I’m not going to say you must take bootcamp or start lifting barbells if you’re a diehard yogi, and I’m not recommending to someone who lives by the kettlebell they must find a class where they chant “om.” There is a happy medium.
Many of you hard-chargers are already quite familiar with the foam roll. YinFused is probably what the doctor ordered, which is a mix of Trigger Point therapy and restorative yoga poses. And you should also consider trying TruYin or FlyGym, which are also designed to open you up and heal those muscles and joints.
If you’re a zen-master, you probably already know you should add in some weight-bearing movements and high-intensity work to improve your strength and conditioning, but I understand the last thing you want to do is start flinging around iron. The good news is you don’t have to. Consider taking TruPower Flow or another high-heat flow class to help with conditioning. TruHot Pilates, TruHot Barre, and TruHot Suspension Pilates are also excellent options to add in weight-bearing movements. And you might be be shocked by how many different muscles you’ll challenge and how good you’ll feel after an hour of TruFightClub.
But also try to be a little more open-minded and try something new altogether. You might surprise yourself on how much you’ll like it.
Try periodization like the pros
Ask any professional athlete and they will be the first to tell you they don’t train the same way 12 months out of the year. Their training year is broken up into blocks, In fact, their workouts are based around their season. They ramp up hard leading up to the season with conditioning and strength work, taper just before and during the playing season with more restorative work added in, take a little time off right after it’s over, and then start it up all over again.
Even though you’re not a professional athlete, you can apply the same principals to maximize performance and limit injury. At the end of the blog is program you can follow to ensure you’ll keep it fresh and continue to progress.
Take 2-3 weight bearing classes a week
Weight bearing doesn’t necessarily mean pumping iron. Utilizing your own body weight brings tremendous benefits, which you can get in yoga as well as TruBarefoot Bootcamp. None of us are getting any younger, and even if you’re in your 20’s, strength is a crucial component to fitness. The key though is to challenge yourself by upping the ante on a smart and consistent basis. Take the harder version of your favorite class or try different version altogether. Ask your instructor if it’s time to start using heavier weights or kettlebells if you’ve used the same ones for a while.
Try the following program for one month:
For intermediate and advanced members.
Take 3-4 fitness classes a week like TruBarefoot Bootcamp, TruSuspension, TruFightClub, TruPilates, or TruKettlebell for example.
Take 1-2 restorative classes a week like YinFused, TruYin, or FlyGym
After a month, flip your program on its head for one week or longer if you like. Take 3-4 restorative classes and 1-2 fitness classes and then get back to your original routine.
Take 3-4 challenging classes a week that are heat or flow-based like: TruFlow, TruPower Flow, or Vinyasa. But venture out your comfort zone and try bootcamp or kettlebell class.
Take 1-2 restorative classes.
After a month, reverse it. Take 3-4 restorative classes and 1-2 challenging classes for a week or longer and then get back to your original routine.
No matter your bias, be sure to revamp things further every few months. If you see yourself taking mostly bootcamp classes, maybe take a boxing or kettlebell class instead if you can fit it into your schedule.
Get enough rest
Remember we get fitter and stronger while resting after exercise – not during exercise. You must give your body the opportunity to reap the rewards of the all the hard work you put in. This means getting plenty of sleep every night as well as listening to your body. If you’re feeling a little beat up after a tough couple of days of workouts or just not feeling it, then substitute a restorative class in place of something intense you originally had in mind. And I know it’s easier said, but try not to feel guilty about it. Better to back off and let your body heal than to push it too far and force yourself to the sidelines for longer.
If you were an athlete focused on winning races or matches, then yes, your time would need to be spent on that particular activity. But chances are you don’t earn your living by playing sports, and you workout to look and feel your best. The key is balance. Follow the advice above to make sure you’re hitting all the right notes and to ensure your fitness regimen remains a positive part of your life. See you on the mat.