Regular readers will have noticed that I generally do (and recommend doing) my exercises in a set pattern/order. By that, I mean that there is a "method to the madness" as in, I don't just hop, skip and jump from one exercise to the other. So I'll be talking about doing a 100 pushups, then maybe some pullups, finish off with some stretching - that sort of thing, as opposed to "a pushup here, 2 there".
And truth be told, sticking to a sensible routine is one of the keys to making good progress. Map out a good routine for yourself, and stick to it religiously for a length of time - and you'll see what I'm saying.
But what I'm going to say today is going to go against what I just said above - or will it?
Today was "one of those days" for me - I didn't particualrly feel like getting out of bed due to a nasty head cold that I seem to have picked up, and my energy levels were practically at zero. Not the ideal recipe for a great day, let alone workout, but yet, I knew that I'd feel way worse if I didn't get the blood flowing a bit.
So, laced up my running shoes, got out my trusty jump rope, and started jumping.
(Note: There are some of you that will take this a bit too literally and attempt to train hard when you're REALLY sick - and I'll say this right now - DON'T do it. Training with a case of the sniffles is one thing, training when your bedridden and really sick is quite another. The contents of this email are not medical advice - when in doubt, ALWAYS seek medical advice first).
My workout today was strange in some aspects. I didn't feel like I was doing good at all on the jumps, but ended up setting a personal best with regard to numbers. Then moved into pushups, but for some reason, I couldn't do them well at all today - so did about 75 (no real reason behind that number) and then figured I'd do pullups.
Now, I normally train my pull-ups in sets, along with other exercises. This allows me to hit each exercise HARD - and get the most out of the movement. But today, I didn't really follow any such pattern - it was pullups, grip work, then some ab work, then back to pull ups again. NOT the kind of order I'd follow generally - but it seemed to work for me today.
Ended up getting a decent workout in, and am feeling much better for the effort I put in.
So remember this: While sticking to a routine is key, and will lay a solid foundation for great future gains, also remember that there are going to be times you're going to have to deviate from the routine. The reasons are varied - you may not have access to a chinning bar at times, you may choose to focus on one exercise more than another on some days, or you may just not feel up to your normal routine sometimes. Whatever it is - remember that an occasional deviation from your regular routine is perfectly fine, and may even help you get better at certain exercises. And here's the main thing: Your deviating from your routine - but your still doing SOMETIHNG. Beats the heck out of sitting on the couch complaining to yourself that your too bushed to workout - don't you agree?
Just make sure that an occasional deviation is just that - occasional. For the most part, you still need to stick to your regular routine - and if you don't have a regular routine as yet, well, you need one - Fast and Furious Fitness would be a good start for some great routines.
And that, my friend, is that for now. Off to the trusty Post Office shortly. . .