No goals, no variety, no intensity!
Here are a few ways to help you change up your workouts to turbocharge your results!
Movements/exercise – Most people always do the same stuff. They run 2 miles everyday or they use the same machines at the gym or they take the same class for like 2 years. The bad part is that your body quickly adapts and stops really being challenged. When there is no challenge, the results slow to a hault and your body stabilizes leaving you frustrated. What most people need is a new workout and the first place to start is by the exercises you choose to do. So, switch it up, try new things, use new machines, try not to use any machines, use dumbells, kettlebells, squat, bodyweight exercises, sleds, sand bags, etc. There is a world of possibilities!
Load – how much weight are you using? Has it changed in the last few weeks? Months? Are you getting stronger? If not getting stronger every week, you are probably burnt out and need to change of some other variables.
Repetitions – everyone knows this one. How many times do you perform the exercise? This one is important. Most people do 3 sets of 10 reps, but there are a million variations. Low reps (1-5 reps, heavy weight), medium reps (6-15, medium weight), and high reps (15+, lighter weight). Most beginners should start with lighter weight, lower resistance and learn how to move properly. As you progress, get stronger and have more body awareness you can begin to use heavier weights and work in the lower rep ranges.
Sets – How many sets of a particular exercise depends upon your goal, experience and rep range that you a working in. A basic rule of thumb; the higher the rep range, the less sets you will perform. the lower reps, more sets. For example, a beginner may do 2 sets of 20reps, where someone more advanced may do 5 sets of 5.
Tempo – This is one of my favorites! Most people just lift and drop weights, not paying any attention to the speed at which they lift. Without getting into to much detail or scientific reasoning, vary the speed at which you lower, raise and hold each movement. Slowing an exercise down and making it explosive will dramatically change how your body is stressed. For example, a simple squat to a chair is easy, but squatting down, then jumping is much more difficult. Start slow, keep good form, develop a foundation of strength, then start experimenting with different tempos. Your body will respond quickly!
Rest – This is another powerful factor. Most people do an exercise, then talk for 5 minutes, then do another, etc etc. If you are looking to make significant changes to your body, then you need to pay attention to how much you are resting. One of the easiest ways to shock your body is to reduce and monitor your rest intervals between sets. Keep track and only take 30 sec-1 min between sets. The time will fly by and you will be surprised how much more intense your workout gets.
Recovery – listen to your body. If you a stressed, tired, have poor nutrition and try to workout 6 times per week, you will not get the results you desire. In fact, you will probably just end up burning out and falling over. Make sure to give your body time to recover, at least a day or two each week. Also use ice, massage and other therapy techniques to help speed your recovery. Read more about recovery here.
Intensity – This is #1 most important factor. Do you walk in the gym with purpose, focussed on your goals for that day and mentally ready to work hard and make things happen? You should be aggressively attacking your goals and focussed on making progress during each workout.
Goals – why do you go to the gym? Is it some general “wish”, like I wanna lose 20 lbs or get bigger arms? Those arent bad goals, but they are fague and lack any real commitment or vall to action. I believe that every goal needs to be specific, measurable, written as if its already occurred, realistic and timed. For more information, check out our blog on writing goals.
SO, there you have it. Hopefully you have some new ideas and can go into next week with a renewed vigor and excitment about the changes that are about to occur. Remember, the best workout for you is a new one! Shake things up and shock your body into changing!
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