One of the most common questions we get from Platformers just starting out, especially before their first workouts is, “Can I work out more than just the couple short exercises in the protocol?” (The protocol consists of two short high intensity workouts, each done once per week, and an abs routine done three times per week.)
Our answer is of course, yes. But know that if you’re doing the protocol correctly, you should be shaking by the end of the 10-15 minute exercise, and you likely will not want to do more, at least on the two high intensity exercise days.
And usually by time they’ve had their first high intensity circuit, they don’t feel the need to do any more. But with that said, there are plenty of additional “exercises” that can be done, which we like to call forms of “play.” There’s no reason to take the active hobbies in your life away because you now have a formulated exercise plan. In fact, playful activities that you enjoy can be the best form of supplements to any good exercise program.
There are several ways people get their blood pumping that people traditionally think of as exercise. Although these forms of exercise don’t necessarily promote the same hormonal stimulation and metabolic adaptation we shoot for with our Platform high-intensity exercises, they’ll benefit your health in plenty of other ways; and we highly recommend some of the following!
1. Walking or Hiking
You likely won’t get that “shredded” or “toned” look by walking or hiking long distances. Even very long jogging is a low enough intensity that people's’ bodies tend to become very efficient at and resist burning more calories than necessary.
That said, there are great benefits from just getting outdoors and moving, especially if you can add some elevation changes and get your blood pumping well. Vitamin D from the sun is always vitally important. And in fact, if you’re able to go hike in nature, studies show your stress hormones can be dramatically reduced by just being around trees and away from the noise polution of your city or town.
2. Throwing Around a Frisbee, Football, etc.
Throwing around something that makes you run a bit is one of my favorite forms of play. It’s especially beneficial when you can play games that make you actually run for the object you're tossing in the air, since it’s one of the easiest ways to make yourself do short sprints without paying attention to the fact that you’re running hard.
Sprinting in itself is a great form of high intensity exercise that can give that extra edge to any program, adding to the adaptations we’re looking for and helping to really actually burn significant calories.
Many people think of swimming as a great form of exercise. Again, if you look at most recreational swimmers, you’ll realize it’s probably not going to be the secret to dropping 20 pounds and looking like that supermodel you were hoping for. However, it’s another great way to increase your mobility and get your blood pumping to a moderate level. Jumping into cold water has its own special advantages of hypothermic conditioning, stimulating all kinds of beneficial adaptations to reduce inflammation, increase immunity, and promote longevity.
Similar to walking or hiking, bicycling is an excellent way to get outdoors and get some vitamin D. Another great activity that likely won’t cause huge changes in body composition, but a great way to get outside and play.
5. Traditional “Cardio”
That’s right we said it. “Cardio” in the traditional sense, aka hitting the elliptical, treadmill, or cycle machine, is better seen as “play” in our minds. Some people enjoy warming up in this fashion or are just used to having these machines in their regimens. There’s nothing wrong with keeping these in your routine, but traditional cardio will generally not cause the physiological changes you’re looking for if you really want to burn fat, build lean muscle, and/or gain significant strength. Better to keep “cardio” in the play category.
The activities above are great hobbies to add into any regimen, and we highly recommend including them. We also provide a simple, short exercise routine that anyone can build into their lives, especially for those who are really looking to change their physique and health for the long term. Sign up for the best program for you at theplatformfitness.com.