Are your workouts getting a little old? Are you not seeing the gains you want any more? Then it’s definitely time to make a few changes to your workout routine – but don’t worry, even small changes, made the right way, can quickly improve your results without taking up any more time. Here’s a collection of proven ways to increase how effective your workouts are, all with minor, easy changes that do not interrupt your old routine.
1. Use a Stopwatch
Sets can be difficult to do properly at the gym, primarily because of distractions – it’s easy to lose track of time, and you are losing a lot of potential gains by waiting too long between sets. The key is to give your muscles time to recover without giving them too much time and losing both momentum and the edge of an intense workout. The solution is using a stopwatch or stopwatch app to time your off time between sets. If you really want to push yourself, aim for only a minute’s rest, at the most, each time you stop.
2. Cut Your Workouts in Half
At first this sounds like great news, but wait for the rest of the instruction: Workouts can suffer from too much repetition – your muscles won’t improve much if you are still using the same exercises you’ve used for months. A great way to improve your situation is to cut your workout and sets in half, and then use your extra time for a new exercise that still targets the same muscle groups. This will give you a much better overall workout and help you increase performance without wasting any time. It’s a good idea to switch workouts from time to time to keep your muscles trying new things. Ask the experts at Fitness 19 more about how to find new exercises to meet your goals!
3. Stop Using Machines
Yes, machines have plenty of benefits, but they still can’t quite equal the workout that free weight and bodyweight exercises give you. There are a couple reasons for this – primarily, machines specialize in only certain muscles, while free weights encourage you to use larger muscle groups and refuse to do any of the work for you. Free weights and bodyweight exercise also discourage sitting and encourage more active, consistent workouts. If you really want to make a difference in your workouts, stop using the machines as often and head over to the weight racks.
4. Get Wobbly
A little bit of challenge aimed at your balance can make a huge difference in your old workouts. Try incorporating a balance board or a fitness ball into your traditional lifts and other exercises. The challenge will put more stress on your core and help you improve your overall fitness. You may want to start with smaller weights until you get use to balancing during your workouts, then move up to the weights that you are used to.
5. Put it on Pause
The more continuous strain you can put on your muscles, the better your routine will be. This means putting less stress on the peaks of each rep – in other words, stop right before you reach the final position (about 90 percent finished with the move) and hold there for a second while you still have maximum muscle tension. Then finish the rep, or better yet, go back down and start another rep. This is a great way to increase your gains without changing your current routine, which you may already love.
6. Insert a Little Cardio
Interval training is a great way to amp up your workout and burn even more calories – and you can turn your old exercises into intervals with just a few tweaks. Instead of waiting between sets, use this down time for a quick sprint or a turn on the jump rope – then jump back to the strength training. You can get two workouts done in the same time it took you to do one. Yes, it’s supposed to be exhausting, but your body will quickly grow used to it.