By: Fred DeVito, exhale co-founder and the ultimate fitness aficionado
As a young barre teacher, back in the 80’s and 90’s, most students came to my class 4-5 times a week like clockwork. They loved the technique — because it challenged them constantly and it gave them fast and noticeable results. Back then, it was fashionable to be consistent with one method that worked.
Nowadays, that kind of consistency is out — and variety is in. The belief is that the more you mix up your workouts, the more you challenge your body. Taking a different type of class every week is the M.O. for the modern aged workout junkies and variety is the king of the exercise experience. And yet, many of those students aren’t seeing the results they want.
Amid the plethora of boutique fitness options, whether they’re going to barre, cardio, cycling, or yoga, here’s what I find troubling: most students don’t participate in any one of these choices more than twice a month. But because they feel like they’re “mixing it up”, they’re discouraged when they don’t see the results they want.
It’s hard to make progress in anything without both consistency and variety — but sometimes, the benefits of sticking with a program and a routine that works for you outweigh the benefits of being inconsistent with your workouts in order to keep your body guessing.
So here’s my challenge for you (because after all, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.) I challenge you to find balance.
Find movement classes that offer variety, practice safe and healthy movement choices, challenge you, and in the end, provide a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Then build a routine and consistency with what moves you and challenges you the most. These are the classes you will begin to crave once you find your rhythm, and you’ll see positive changes in how you live, look and feel.
In our Barre, Cardio, Yoga, and HIIT classes at exhale, we strive for that balance — always “mixing it up” with a plethora of choices to keep the body guessing. Our Cardio and HIIT class circuits change monthly, to give you a fresh challenge in a still-familiar class. Our Barre and Yoga teachers are equipped with the tools to innovate their classes with new moves and keep the variety your body needs, in an environment (and a schedule) that you can stick with.
When you find balance between variety in your training and consistency in your workout plan, that’s where you’ll hit the sweet spot. So balance it out: build your routine, keep mixing it up, and stick with what you love.