Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
–Dr. E. Land
Stagnation is the enemy of both mind and body. Strive to consistently keep both of them “on their toes”– or, as I like to envision my mind and body, as a matched set of trained seals, diligently balancing beach balls on the tips of their snouts. While set upon wobble boards. Each engaged in a single-flipper pirouette. Anyway, you get the idea…
One of the secrets to avoiding stagnation in your workouts is the two-pronged approach of (1) Keeping a good and relatively detailed workout journal and (2) planning ahead. Now, at first glance, “planning ahead” may sound like a contradiction in terms, vis-a-vis, avoiding stagnation, but consider this: how many times have you trudged into the gym and just — and without really thinking about it — just gravitated to the old tried, true and familiar? Don’t think for a minute that your body was as responsive to that workout as it could have been under something much more dynamic and (relatively) unfamiliar. As an example, look what I did for my workout this morning, as compared to what I did yesterday morning:
Barbell Floor Press x 5’s, 3 sets at weight
Single arm Dumbbell Rows x 5’s, 3 sets at weight
Power-Clean Grip Low Pull x 12 singles, rest-pause method.
I hit the gym floor at oh-six-forty and I was power-blasting the sweat off of my body by ten after seven.
Take a look at the two workouts, though, and see that there’s contrast everywhere. Planes of movement, primary targeted muscle groups, speed of movement; the list goes on. Tomorrow, I’ll do some sprinting (if the weather is ok), or, in lieu of that, some plyometrics in the gym. So, I’m planning a modality without necessarily being married to a particular exercise. Without a workout journal to rely on, though — and being taxed for time as I always am — I might have just resorted to the first thing that popped into my brain this morning. Something, more than likely, that I’d done recently and to which my body would have been all too well adapted.