Us humans are creatures of habit. Whether it’s a regular coffee order, favourite lunch spot or your regular workout routine, there’s comfort in familiarity.
However, in order to get the most out of your fitness regimen – and to avoid losing interest – it’s time to push yourself out of your comfort zone. One such way to ‘change it up’ and break a sweat is by adding strength and conditioning to your current routine. Whether you’re into yoga, Pilates or dance, there are a number of reasons to add strength training into the mix – we explore three of them below.
IT HELPS YOU MOVE BETTER
As well as build muscle, strength training is proven to enhance your perception and awareness of the position and movement of your body. This is great if you’re into yoga or Pilates, as it means you’ll be able to hold poses for longer, or nail more difficult poses, such as ‘lord of the dance’ or ‘warrior 2’.
Simple knee strengthening exercises like leg presses, squats, and lateral arm movements are great ways to build strength. To make it even easier, Virgin Active has several great strength and conditioning classes.
So if you don’t want to go solo, you can jump straight into a body balance or X-train class. Even if you’re a beginner, we offer several classes to help build your strength, lose weight and make some friends along the way.
IT BURNS MORE CALORIES WHILE YOU’RE WORKING OUT
While something like Yin Yoga is great for balancing the body and mind, it isn’t designed to get the heart racing. Which is why by adding strength and conditioning, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), to your existing yoga or Pilates routine, you’ll get fit, fast. In fact, research shows that HIIT burns 25 to 30 per cent more calories than resistance training (such as Pilates). A mere 15-minute interval of HIIT has great benefits for cardio fitness, regardless of age or fitness level*.
What is HIIT, you ask? Well, HIIT is when you do short periods (10-30 seconds) of all-out intensity, typically running or cycling, interspersed with low-intensity recovery. Virgin Active runs HIIT-based classes daily, including Grid, Burn and other strength-based training routines.
IT WILL HELP KEEP YOU INTERESTED IN EXERCISE
Doing the same thing over and over again can get pretty boring. And when it comes to exercise, it can mean that you either plateau in your fitness, or worse, you lose interest entirely. Adding strength and conditioning training to your usual routine can give your body (and mind) the jolt it needs to not only burn more fat, but also prevent overuse injuries – from repetitive strain, for example.
One way to keep things interesting with strength training is through a variety of classes. And a class we love is Tabata (which can be completed in just four minutes!). With Tabata you pick an exercise, like bicycle sprints, jumping rope, or box jumps, and do an intense 20 seconds of exercise with 10 seconds off for rest, repeating 8-20 times total. Check out a Virgin Active Tabata workout, there’s no excuse not to try.
To easily add strength training to your workout and kick those fitness goals, check out our classes, chat to one of our coaches or drop by for a free tour today.
*Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Guidelines, Department of Health, accessed 28 February 2019.