Take your workout routine to the next level—if you’ve hit a plateau or are bored with what you’re doing, this is just what you need to see results and stay excited about what you’re doing. But don’t just add an extra interval or set of bicep curls to your program. Instead, beef up your program with these tips and ideas.
Supercharge Your Cardio
Your body is smart. When you do the same routine day in and day out it adapts and stops changing. Change up your cardio workout, but don’t just think within the box—or gym. Some fun cardio options include:
- Sprinting—think back to popular conditioning routines you did in high school or college sports, like suicides, quick feet and grapevine.
Or create a cardio circuit to push your body to the limit. Repeat the following twice or three times at an effort of 7 or 8 out of 10:
1 minute sprinting treadmill
1 minute jumping jacks
1 minute jump rope
30 seconds burpees
30 seconds high knees
Challenge Your Muscles
If you’re lifting too light you won’t see results. Beef up your weightlifting routine with an 8-week program focused on progressing a small amount each week in a decelerated style. The goal is to fatigue your muscles so you can barely finish the last movement of each set, moving down in weight with each round. For example:
Choose a weight that is 50 to 70 percent of your 1RM (1 rep maximum) and complete the movement as many times as possible. You should only be able to complete 6 to 8 reps.
Move down five pounds for the each of next two sets and lift until you fatigue—you shouldn’t be able to do even one more rep. This process challenges your muscles in a way that is smart, safe and effective.
Do this for each muscle group for 8 weeks, increasing your weight by 5 pounds once a week or every other week.
Find a Fit Friend
If you’re not intrinsically motivated—you need someone or something else to push you—workout with a fit friend or personal trainer. You’ll be motivated to work out harder and will likely do a routine that differs from what you usually do.