Tired of the same old, same old? We’ve got just what you need!
Until last year I don’t think I had any idea what to do at the gym besides the treadmill (hey it still feels that way even now!). That being said, now that I’ve gotten used to going (don’t worry I still hate it, but hating it is no longer enough of an excuse to deprive my body of the benefits of a workout), it’s important to not get stuck doing what I’ve always down. If necessity is the mother of invention, repetition is the mother of boredom. So, to help combat that, we’ve come up with 4 simple ways to add a little excitement to your workouts to keep you more on your metaphorical (and maybe even literal) toes.
1. Go heavier
“…embracing slow and easy gains is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.” – James Clear
I love this. I also am more than a little biased because I think James Clear is a genius, even though he’d likely say he’s not, he’s just intelligent, well-read, and good at noticing things. Anyway.
Progress happens gradually. In the article I linked above, James challenges his readers to go to the gym and do their favorite lift, only 1 pound heavier than what they lifted the week before. And then to continue adding a pound a week. A pound a week doesn’t seem like much, but by the time you’ve done that for a year, you’re lifting 50 lbs more than you were. Not bad huh?
2. Go faster
Quick, intense, bursts of exercise at 100%. That’s high-intensity exercise. Here’s why we’re all about HI(IT): 1) it burns a lot more fat, 2) it’s good cardio, 3) it increases your metabolism. Tabata is probably the most popular form of HIIT, and it will have you heart racing and your body covered in sweat in literally no time at all. Check out this tabata workout from Fitness Blender.
3. Go slower
I promise I’m not contradicting myself. A lot of us are quick to getting into running, classes, or lifting, but it’s rare that we target specific muscle groups. That’s where slower workouts can be a huge help, I’m talking yoga, pilates, barre…anything that gives your body and muscles a good stretch and makes you question just how strong you really are (seriously, barre will do that to you – have you ever pulsed up and down on your toes with a weightless ball between your legs and winced in real-life agony? I have!)
4. Go varied
Don’t get stuck in a rut, or the gym for that matter. Not all exercise requires yoga mat. Go climbing, take a hike, ski, skateboard; just do something that challenges your whole body and forces you to use different muscles.
Happy working out!
/Femi, The Girl Who Hates Working Out