Good for you if you work out regularly. Whether you go to a gym or workout at home does not matter. What does matter is if you are getting results from your workouts. Most people just go through the motions of working out, never really seeing changes. Here are some ways to add intensity, a little more sweat and effort to your workouts, and finally see your goals show up in the mirror!
1. Slow down and go heavy.
Instead of always going for 10-12 reps at high speed, after an initial warm up set, increase the load so that you can only get out about 4-6 reps. Do that for 3-4 sets and you’re done with that exercise or body part. You can do this with any exercise to gain strength and build muscle.
2. Combine cardio with weights.
Love cardio but need to get stronger? This will be a way to get in both in a short but tough workout. In between every set of weights add in a sprint or jump rope. By alternating weights/cardio/weights/cardio you will leave your heart pounding and your muscles screaming. This is a workout that can be done in 20 minutes.
3. Add in explosive moves after each body part.
Working on legs with squats or lunges? Add in a set of 10 jump squats or box jumps after each set. Chest day? Add in some exploding up with a clap push ups after your last set of chest presses. These moves build power and will create changes sooner than most other exercises. However, these should only be done 2-3 times weekly as recovery is extra important to rebuild tissue.
4. Love cardio?
Change your long run or step session to one of intervals. Studies have shown that you gain better endurance and burn more fat when interval training is used. For every 1 minute run, sprint all out for the next 30 seconds. This can only be endured for around 10 minutes if you are going all out. If you are a beginner, start with a minute fast walk to a 30 second jog, or even a 2 minute slow jog with a 30 second sprint. The idea is to REALLY push yourself during the sprint to work your hardest. You will be surprised at how soon you start to be able to go longer and rest less.
5. Change up your lifting tempo.
This technique is often overlooked. The idea is to take 2 seconds to lift a weight, and 4 seconds to lower. The idea is that it takes a lot more concentration (mind and muscle) to lower a weight than it does to lift it, thus creating quicker gains in muscular growth and strength.
This is just 5 ways to change your workouts. Changing how much, how fast, how often and what style you use is how you will stay inspired and see changes in your body. Don’t just go through the motions when lifting or training. Aim for goals of strength, growth and fat burn. When you push yourself a little harder, you will reach your goals sooner.
One quick note. You unfortunately still cannot out exercise a poor diet. To see the biggest changes incorporate a diet loaded with lean protein, healthy amounts of good carbs and fats. Check out my Smoothie Recipes for Optimal Health E-Book for over 40 recipes of shakes to prepare your body and repair your muscles so your workouts don’t go to waste!
Use proper warm ups and cool downs and never sacrifice your form. Spring really is just around the corner. Will you be ready to unveil the body you have created?
In wellness and strength!