Let’s be real: The conversation around fitness—whether it’s online or at your local gym—tends to focus on the first-timers. It’s free trials galore and beginner discount aplenty. But once you’ve established a routine and know how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may begin to ask yourself: Is this as far as I can grow? We at TA know that progress doesn’t end once you’ve achieved your fitness goals. Life is endless growth—from the mental to the physical journeys, and all the connections in between. If you think health is a destination and you’ve arrived, we’re here to change the narrative: Your journey is only just beginning.
The key to maintaining progress is elevating your baseline, and avoiding the dreaded fitness plateau. In other words, it’s less about sustaining that linear progress, and more about changing up your routine so you’re constantly trying new challenges. If you maintain that beginner’s mindset by experimenting with new kinds of movement, your body will grow every single time.
In the fitness world, we talk about the term “muscle confusion” to define the practice of switching up your routine to avoid plateaus. The goal is to not overbuild certain muscle groups so as not to throw off the balance of your frame, and also to prevent strain-induced injury. But the question remains: What does this look like in practice? In reality, it’s not about doing Pilates one week, and learning Tai Chi the next. It’s about finding movement sequence plans that are constantly engaging all kinds of muscles over extended periods of time. That was the goal behind the development of the Tracy Anderson Method: a huge bank of content designed to consistently forge new connections in the body. Even the smallest changes—from the direction of an arm movement to flexing your feet—can alter the targeted muscles.
Periodization is an important term for athletes. It’s a strategy that involves adjusting the type, intensity, and frequency of working out they use to keep their bodies primed for optimal performance. Athletes and their coaches will usually develop extremely detailed training programs with macro and microcycles. Do we recommend this for non-athletes? No. However, for people looking to simply optimize their health, it’s an inspiring idea to take a moment and think about what feels right for you. How does your body respond to consistent high-intensity workouts? Would balancing out your muscle training with some dance cardio suit your program? For those who follow Tracy’s Method—mixing and matching classes is encouraged, depending on the conversation you have with your body. For days when exertion is not possible, the TA Online Studio offers 15-Minute Body Boosts. For other days when your muscles are tired, we have dance cardio. It comes down to balance.
Getting Out of a Rut
Ruts come in all forms: physical, psychological, contextual. Sometimes your body gets used to a routine, and you don’t notice the same physical benefits, or it just doesn’t feel right. Other times, you might feel underwhelmed by the same routine, and lose stamina because you lack motivation. The secret to getting out of a rut is establishing a routine that is designed to change and adapt as you progress. The story around getting out of a rut usually involves big, transformative changes, but you can also start a new chapter in your routine with a few small tweaks. You can maintain a consistent workout routine, and still keep it exciting with new variations. In Tracy’s Method, the fitness pioneer designs movement sequences that follow the same foundation, but always incorporates fresh movements and angles that keep the mind and body engaged. It’s a practice in which you can improve, but also one that encourages new neural pathways and powerful ways of inhabiting the body. At the end of the day, getting out of a rut is about engaging in a conversation with your body, and giving it the diversity, kindness, and joy it deserves in movement.