While we've all heard of the importance of varying our workout routines periodically, recently I've been reading that it's important to actually perform the same workout several times for effectiveness. Of course, periodically changing your stimulus is important to keep from plateauing but what I hadn't read before is that switching your workout too often is not ideal for your muscles. I usually do certain types of workouts on certain days of the week and change my stimulus every four weeks within those set types of workouts. E.i. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are strength days and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are cardio days. I do the same workout for a few weeks (3-4) before changing my sequence/moves. Saturdays are usually my days that I don't have a prearranged/preplanned workout in mind. This is a day I usually wait until right before I work out to decide what I'm going to do. (Freestyling makes things fun and interesting every once in awhile if you get bored easily like me). So last Saturday I was thinking of finding a new Tabata workout on YouTube or selecting a workout posted on one of my favorite blogs to try (Fitnessista.com or SarahFit.com) but based on my reading about sticking with a new workout a few times before switching it, I decided to redo the Tabata workout from the week before. I noted it wasn't as challenging as I anticipated when I did it the first time around but I thought, like with any new workout, I wasn't performing the moves to maximal effectiveness since I was focused mainly on following along. Maybe I could've pushed it harder. I was reading about AMRAP, a CrossFit acronym meaning as many reps as possible. In order to get the most from your Tabata intervals, it's really important to focus on performing as many reps as possible during those 20 second spurts. And if you really want to push yourself, aim for a specific number of reps (higher than your AMRAP and work towards that number of reps as a goal). So I decided to redo the 45 Minute Tabata Workout on YouTube from Fitness Blender with the idea of aiming for a specified number of reps on each Tabata interval and, failing that, I'd simply do as many as I could eek out. Talk about an effective workout! I didn't have my Polar heart rate monitor at the time to track my heart rate or calories burned but I can say the workout definitely felt challenging and the renewed focus kicked up the intensity a notch. Also, since I had done it once before, I was familiar with the moves and sequence so I was able to focus more on my form (and, obviously, the intensity) rather than simply following along as was my focus the first time around. I'm glad I stuck with it and made an effort to increase the intensity because this time I really felt the burn. I did that specific Tabata workout once more before putting it to rest, this time with my Polar FT7 on and I burned 499 calories. Not bad for 45 minutes!