Boredom with your routine quickly leads to shorter and shorter workouts, and then before you know it you're skipping the gym altogether.
While it's common knowledge that the most effective exercise routines aren't routine at all, most of us stumble through the same exercises every time we hit the gym. And then we wonder why our results are lackluster.
In order to really see results your routine must continuously change and challenge your muscles in new ways. Here are 5 ways to refresh your existing workout routine in order to see quicker and more dramatic results…
Refresh #1: Circuit Training
The days of doing single sets of each exercise are over, now it's all about circuit training. Increase your workout intensity by creating a circuit with 4 exercises and moving quickly between each one. Circuits will keep your heart rate up for longer periods at a time and will force your muscles to work double time.
Always choose different exercises to be included in your circuit, to really keep up the intensity and the challenge. Also vary the resistance and increase the load at each session.
Refresh #2: Go Heavier
Most of us grab the same weights each time that we exercise, simply out of habit. Unfortunately this is one habit that is seriously hindering your results. Next time that you reach for a set of dumbbells grab heavier ones. This will force you to do fewer repetitions, and will challenge your muscles with greater intensity.
Always use a spotter when using a heavier weight than you're used to.
Refresh #3: One Side at a Time
Do you find yourself doing presses, curls, raises and squats with both arms/legs at the same time? Increase the challenge and focus by singling out each arm and leg alone. Focus all of your effort and concentration on that single movement and be sure to increase the weight as you're able.
Have you tried single legged squats lately? The act of using one leg forces all of your core stabilizing muscles to pitch in. Start without any weight at all, simply focus on your form and range of motion. You'll be surprised how sore you feel the next day!
Refresh #4: Pump Up Music
Do you have a personal exercise playlist? This is a quick way to instantly add some pep to your workout. Spend time selecting each song to add to the playlist. These songs should be ones that get your toes tapping and get you in the mood to move. Songs with a strong beat are always a good choice.
Make your playlist long enough to cover your entire workout time. It's great to have fun, upbeat songs without any repeats. Unless you have a specific song that really gets you going – in that case play it on repeat!
Refresh #5: Know Yourself
Are you highly competitive? Then the best way to push yourself during your next workout is to exercise with someone who is in a little better shape than you. You'll spend the workout pushing yourself to new heights.
Are you happiest in nature? Then move your workout to the great outdoors. Find a new and challenging outdoor activity to immerse yourself in.
Are you a social person? Then structure your workouts around a group of likeminded, fit individuals. Don't try to go at it alone.
Tap into that unique part of yourself that make you tick and cater your workout time in a way that best suits your needs. You'll be happier with your results and you'll be more likely to stick with it for a longer period of time.
Use these quick and effective workout refreshers in your routine to instantly see improved results. Don't forget to change things up often, and to always keep your muscles guessing.