Workout Progress is Measured Through Consistency

Posted February 18, 2019

There is an epidemic in the fitness industry today and it is a “plague” known as workout consistency ignorance!

As the old saying goes, Ignorance is Bliss!  In fitness, though, it is not bliss.  It causes chaos.

Of course, ignorance of what is right is simply a symptom of not enough education.  Fitness facility operators sometimes provide poor counsel to clients due to the lack of proper knowledge of training methods and workout best practices.

Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of fitness training is the importance of workout type consistency.  The thing that is most annoying to me as a trainer is the requests for constant change within a workout type.  Change within a workout type should be rare, subtle and it should be for a very good reason such as an upgrade to the flow or a better posture.  The change, though, cannot disrupt a clients ability to continue with enough familiarity so as to hinder the previous measurement of progression. 

As an example, if you practice yoga, then how will you know if you are making progress if your workout is changed constantly?  What happens if you do an eagle pose within your flow and you notice that your are getting better in form and balance with each successive workout… and then one day you come in and the eagle pose has been erased from that workout? 

Chaos ensues if there is too much disruption to a routine because there is no consistent measure of progress. 

This “plague” of fitness consistency ignorance causes workout routines to go amok.   

It is maddening to listen to the uneducated and inexperienced requests and ramblings for change to a workout when people don’t know what they are talking about.  In response to these unfounded requests, trainers tend to go overboard in a knee jerk reaction for the sake of “muscle confusion principle” so far to the extent that there is nothing to measure progress against.   


Experts agree…

“Strength IS a skill, just like anything else, because if you want to attain a high level of it, it demands consistent practice!”¹

Amen to that, and to this…

“You don’t need to ‘shock your muscles’ or ‘keep your body guessing’ or do silly muscle confusion workouts or anything equally dumb. It’s a myth.”²

“To confuse/shock the muscle: This is the most popular reason for changing exercises. You cannot confuse or shock a muscle, period. It is physiologically impossible.  Muscles are passive tissues that contract when told to do so. It doesn’t have a brain of its own to get confused.  It is as stupid as saying if you pull an elastic band in a different angle you confuse and shock the band.”³

“Learning Curve: Every exercise has a learning curve called Neural Changes or Adaptations(nervous system adaptations). It is just like learning to ride a bike. You get better at whatever you do with practice.”⁴

If you are not able to measure present performance against past performance, then how will you know whether or not your are making progress?  The only way to properly measure workout performance is to do a posture flow or HIIT routine over and over again and measure progress of that exercise practice until you get it right…and then, there is always more room for improvement! 

Commit to something and stick to your commitment!

Knee jerk reactions by trainers and fitness center operators to ill-informed requests from clients for change has caused untold numbers of injuries and has thrown countless fitness programs into disarray.  What clients are really asking for is variety, and even though they think they can gain some edge from changes to a workout type, it is not the right approach.  Within any given workout type it is best to focus on progression through skill improvement. 

Skills improve with practice of measurable exercise, period.

To alleviate boredom, cross-training is the proper way to go to obtain workout variety.  Cross-training is not to be confused with Cross Fit (Cross Fit is a workout method that employs the heavy use of plyometrics).  Cross training is the use of multiple workout types to enhance the performance of each workout type.

Some 15 years ago, I began a one-on-one training program with a football coach to prepare myself for an opportunity to play arena football.  I trained for a year and a half to get ready.  I went to meet Coach Turner at New Orleans City Park outdoor training track and field facilities for the hour and a half sessions three times per week.  Coach Turner knew the right mix of consistent drills and exercises to allow for my progress to be measured.  When it came time for the actual football training camp in Columbus, Georgia, I showed up in the best shape of my life at the age of 41.  My improved skills and excellent conditioning was all due to the consistent training methods that Coach Turner had introduced me to.  If it works for football, then you can rest assured that it works for general fitness!!!

The HOTWORX Workout Method takes a logical and measured approach to revisions for each of the workout types that is offered both for hot isometrics and hot HIIT.  HOTWORX has discovered through experience that workout type revisions are best when they are done on a bi-annual basis.  Therefore, new workout videos are released every six months for most of the isometric and HIIT routines.  The bi-annual releases incorporate subtle changes and tweaks to the workout flows and postures for hot yoga, hot pilates and all of the other isometric based workouts and small revisions are made as well to the HIIT routines. These revisions, though, are not overdone and always remain consistent to allow for measurability.  Subtle changes are made if necessary in terms postures and sequencing within the flows, and new virtual instructors are introduced when needed to keep the sessions fresh while remaining consistent to the HOTWORX workout method.

Remain consistent my friends and track your progress if you want to obtain the greatest results from your fitness program!


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Stephen P. Smith, MA

CEO and Creator of the HOTWORX
Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player
Certified Professional Trainer