Try new things? Why? New things are scary. They can taste funny. What if I don’t like it? Humans are creatures of habit and we will actively avoid changing things because we find comfort in the familiar. It’s safe. We know what to expect. We exert stresses, Lifting, Running or any type of Fitness in order to spark change. The problem is that our bodies are very cool machines (not really a problem) and they will reconfigure themselves to make the given task easier and reduce the stress. If you start doing a crazy amount of Presses, the body will strengthen the muscles and bones required until the weight being used no longer produces a stress (performance gain). The more you Run, the easier it becomes… endurance increases, weight decreases. Makes sense right? So how do we keep seeing improvements? Well we need to continually keep the body off balance, trying new things and changing up how we work.
So what happens when @savannahjessie and I take a tour around the cardio area of @MovattiAthletic and she finds the above mentioned Jacobs Ladder? Well obviously she strapped on the tether and tried it out (She’s the Adventurous One). I needed a little more convincing, but eventually she persuaded me to try. Turned out to be a lot of fun and a decent amount of cardio. Picture it as a never ending climb up a 45 degree mountain. The closer to the top you get, the faster it goes. I had seen the machine on my initial walk around, but probably wouldn’t have tried it. It was a perfect example of how the body adapts. Mine was fine with the Treadmill and the Spin Bike, but this was a curveball that forced me to work harder and hopefully see results.
Not All About Strength and Speed
So while we are on the topic of trying new things, not all things are about running faster or lifting heavier. Yoga, stretching and mobility are perfect companions to all those movements that contract the muscles. Stretch them out. Make them long and lean. Look at it like Ying and Yang. This provides the opportunity to give you other side of working out. Maintenance can help provide the body with that little change to help your strength and conditioning programs go that little bit further. I don’t do enough of this, but as my volume of Yoga and ancillary activities slowly increase hopefully it will pay dividends. Make sure you look for those things that compliment what you are doing.
So what’s the moral? Don’t be complacent. You have to change things up and confuse the body in order to see the most value. CrossFit has been preaching this kind of thing for as long as I can remember. One of the core beliefs of CrossFit is that the fittest person is the one who is best across the widest domain of movements or activities. Specialization is for insects. You have to be ready for anything at anytime. Try new things. Fall down. Run around. Lift something. Climb something. Confuse your body by doing many different things and prepare it to do all kinds of things.
Some Extra Reading