Are you stuck in a workout “rut’?
Looking for a way to improve your training but not sure where to start?
If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, I’ve got five tried and true tips that can take your next workout to another level!
One of the most critical factors in any training plan is intensity. The level of effort we put in varies dependent on our goals and ability levels. Thankfully, there are many ways to increase the work put in to get a better workout no matter what your experience level is, which in turn translates into improved results.
Here are my 5 tips to take things up a notch:
- Increase the Number of Repetitions: this may seem simple enough, and it is! One of the most effective and straightforward ways to increase the challenge in your training is to add more repetitions to each set or add an additional set to the workout for an added burn. You should feel challenged getting toward the last few reps of the set, so if you’re not experiencing that need for extra effort, try bumping those numbers up!
- Change your tempo: moving the weight at different speeds (faster, or with a specific tempo/hold), in a controlled fashion with proper form, requires more power from the muscle fibers, which translates to more blood flow from the heart. This creates an increased cardiovascular demand that will raise intensity along with your heart rate! When this occurs, your body will burn more calories, and you will feel the difference as well!
- Add more Weight: If your workout seems routine, it may be time to change things up with the amount of weight you’re using! Adding a higher load or resistance level will challenge your muscles in new ways, which builds strong and toned tissues. Always be cautious when increasing weight, incorporating 5-10% increases to maintain proper form while gradually increasing the workload.
- Shorten Rest Periods: As with speeding things up, shortening rest periods is a phenomenal way to improve your cardiovascular health and kick your workout into high gear! For example, reducing your break between sets from 60 seconds to 30 seconds will force your muscles to tap into different energy systems while also recruiting your heart for more oxygen to the tissues. That makes for a more intense training session that builds endurance too!
- Add Controlled Instability: Performing unilateral (one-sided) exercises is a fantastic way to incorporate balance and stability into your training. It also requires better concentration and core control to perform movements on one side of the body (for example single leg dumbell curls) which is very beneficial for mind-muscle connection. Studies show that we burn more calories when properly activating the muscles targeted during training, which is a definite win in my book!
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but incorporating one or all of these five tips can make a big difference in your overall training experience and the results you achieve! Don’t be afraid to switch things up from time to time. Happy lifting!
*As a rule of thumb, be sure to consult your physician and before beginning a new exercise program!