As I've written before, like so many of us Sweat Sisters — I'm a huge advocate for switching up my workouts. Not only does it help keep things exciting (for when the gym sounds anything but appealing), but also to keep your body guessing what's next!
During an interview with Women’s Health Magazine, personal trainer and owner of Performance University in Fort Lauderdale, Nick Tumminello, spoke on the topic saying: "The exact amount of time it takes for your body to adapt to an exercise fully varies between women, but you should typically switch up your workouts every four to six weeks."
He's absolutely right, especially if you expect to see long term results from your workouts. Time and time again, I've seen clients of mine or daily-goers of the gym do the exact same workout day in and day out. And despite their efforts, they never notice much change! Keep in mind that your body adapts to any stress you put it through. And when it comes to workouts, that's precisely what you DON'T want to happen — adaption.
This concept was recently proven true through my own body and experience. For 30 days, I took on a new challenge — boxing. I went to a fun boxing gym, Everybody Fights, located in New York City and trained like a boxer five to five times a week. Some days involved non-stop punching bags, while other days involved circuits and one of my favorites, HIIT cardio. Man was it HARD, since I've never dedicated myself to doing the same workout for such a long period of time. But to say I had fun is an understatement!
Interested in learning what else I learned? Keep scrolling for the deets!
1. I gained weight — but not how you think.
After a few days, my pants started to feel looser, I felt much hungrier, and my core muscles become visible. Curious, I stepped on the scale and learned that I had gained four pounds. But how? The answer...MUSCLE! The amount of leg and arm muscle I put on when I first started is still insane. I loved seeing progress!
2. I felt A LOT happier!
Honestly, this could have been because I find boxing to be a form of therapy. But my mood did in fact shift a lot. I started waking up earlier, I felt like socializing with friends a lot more, and altogether, I became way more productive. I wouldn't say that boxing is for everyone, since it takes having a keen interest to learn, but I do believe that finding a workout you love can play a huge role in your happiness and overall mood — not to mention your drive to exercise in general.
3. I spent a lot of money on food!
Now, this may sound crazy, but (as I mentioned before) I probably spent an extra $100 on food this past month! Training in the way I did is a fast way to boost your metabolism, because it’s such a high-intensity workout. I think I ate anywhere from 800-1000 more calories per day than usual. What I learned the most: Don't deprive your body, and listen to its signals of hunger. I look and feel great, but I had to keep reminding myself that my body needed more energy due to the amount of training I put in.
4. I grew to be in GREAT shape.
I live on the third floor of a walk-up apartment, and before boxing, I'd always lose my breath climbing the stairs or running to the subway. Not anymore! I think putting my body through that high-intensity training FINALLY cured me of loss of breath for good. Amen to that!
5. I had tons of energy to spare.
Now, I thought I was energetic before, but I reached a new level during this challenge. Although I had heard that regular exercise could increase your energy level, I now can confirm that fact for 100% sure, and it's been great having the stamina to power through my days.
All-in-all, know that this isn't an article to convince you to take up a boxing career or agree that it's the best form of exercise. It truly does vary from person to person. However, if you're interested even just a little bit, I really encourage you to give it a go and find ways to integrate the sport into your weekly routine.
Also, besides possibly picking up boxing, I challenge you to try a variety of different weekly workouts. Explore the activities you've been eyeing and decide to give them a go; you'll be so surprised what can happen when you decide to venture outside of your comfort zone! Remember: Exercise is a powerful tool that shouldn’t be underestimated, and I hope you find that one new thing you can grow to really love!
Always consult with your physician before taking up a new activity.