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Changing up workout routine will help your body to adapt

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In order to get results with your training, you have to try new things, put yourself out there, take risks.

This week, I am doing yoga teacher training, in an attempt to enrich my trainer toolbox. This is slightly out of my comfort zone. Actually, it’s way out of my comfort zone. This discomfort is exactly why I am doing it and it’s also the main reason I will benefit from it as an athlete as much as I will as a trainer.  

When you become a personal trainer, one of the first things you learn is the SAID principle. SAID stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. In short, it means that you can’t get stronger unless you stress the body, and the type of stress the body experiences will determine exactly how it adapts.

Getting fitter essentially means gaining the capacity to do things you couldn’t do before. Every time the body is stressed, it has an opportunity to adapt and to thrive.

If you ask the body to do something difficult, something just barely out of reach, and it successfully completes the task, it will subsequently need a period of recovery. As the tissues heal during recovery, the body is smart enough to anticipate the difficult times ahead and will overcompensate to make you stronger.

The body knows that was a close call, and wants to be prepared, just in case you decide to do another crazy workout like that again. If, on the other hand, you always do the same workout day in, day out, your body will cease to respond. It will not push the limits of adaptation during recovery, knowing full well it is capable of doing that same workout again because it has already done it so many times.

In order to do things you’ve never done before, you simply have to do things you’ve never done before. You can’t get better without getting out of that comfort zone. Stepping into vulnerability, setting out into the unknown, can be intimidating. Intimidating as it may be, it is a necessity. Without vulnerability, there can be no power.  Without uncertainty, there can be no insight. Without giving, there can be no recompense. Without risk, there can be no reward.

In the hope that you will dare to risk, I leave you with these words from Roman philosopher Seneca: "It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."

Tania Tetrault Vrga is owner and head trainer at CrossFit Winnipeg. Send questions to her at www.crossfitwinnipeg.com.

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