Get ready for fall fitness: It’s time to embrace the change |

Get ready for fall fitness: It’s time to embrace the change

Jackie Wright

Editor’s note: This is the third column of a three-part series.

As discussed in the previous two columns, when the seasons change, it is an excellent time to change your workout program. The fall season lends itself to indoor workouts, although you may certainly continue outdoor bike rides, hikes and even kayaking to compliment your indoor workout regimen.

When we discuss change, this may mean that you are changing your entire program, or just one element of your program. In order to make the determination of what degree of change is necessary, schedule an appointment with your fitness professional for their guidance — it truly pays off.

In the interim, this week, six fantastic fall workout program changes are highlighted. Choose one and make the change today to ensure that your physical fitness level continues to improve throughout the fall season and over your lifetime. Prior to beginning any exercise program, consult your physician.

Change No. 1 — Choose one component of your current program (i.e. cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition), and change either the frequency, intensity, type or time of that component.

For example, if you have been concentrating solely on HIIT, add in a long steady distance cardiovascular endurance workout. If you are unaccustomed to performing long steady distance, build up gradually. The key is to land at approximately 40-50 continuous minutes. Strive to train at an RPE that is somewhat hard to heavy exertion.

Change No. 2 — Dissect your current muscular strength training program and redesign the sequence. If you regularly train the chest and back on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the biceps, triceps, shoulders and lower body on Tuesday and Thursday, flip the sequence of the days.

While it seems like a simple change, you are creating an emphasis modification leading to some recovery for the chest and back and greater focus on the biceps, triceps, shoulders and lower body.

Change No. 3 — Modify your muscular strength program by including descending or ascending sets, giant sets, compound sets, changing the body’s position in relationship to gravity, changing from free weight to selectorized or plate-loaded equipment. The movement patterns will change stimulating the neuromuscular system leading to further improvement in strength and fluidity of movement, not to mention preventing overuse injuries.

Change No. 4 — Add self-myofascial release to your program. So many clients walk in the door, do not warm up, workout, never roll or stretch and end up stronger, but not mobile.

Change No. 5 — Stretch daily. Performing stretches for all major muscle groups of the body is essential to promote flexibility (i.e. range of motion about the joint) and mobility.

Change No. 6 — Be certain to include a variety of specific nose to toes core strengthening in every program. Strive to include weight bearing exercises such as squats, lunges, planks and deadlifts. And vary the type of squats, lunges, planks and deadlifts that you perform.

For example, rather than performing a classic squat, add alternating squats from a plyo box. The variety of movement pattern in the frontal plane, differentiating load and body position in relationship to gravity, provides the body with the necessary challenges to continue improving.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She may be reached at her website at, and her email at

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