You need sure fire ways to change your workout, get your mojo back and boost results at the same time, right? You’ve been plodding along doing the same routine for a while and it’s ok but don’t you deserve more than just ok? These tips will have you perking up faster than you can say "Urgh! bikini season".
1. Cut your workout time down!
Something you didn’t see coming? I know! Working harder for a shorter amount of time is so much better for fat loss results. High Intensity Interval Training is probably the fastest ways to melt fat from your body and also accelerate your fitness levels. Rather than your traditional 30 or 45 mins of cardio on the treadmill at the same intensity/speed, try this: 60 secs sprints (as hard as you can) with 90 secs recovery time (this can be at a walk pace or even a slow jog). Try this for a total of 20-22 minutes. Notice the calorie burn and how you feel afterwards – similar energy burn for much less time.
2. Put down the dumbbells
Lots of us use dumbbell training in our workouts but why not shake things up? Try using a medicine ball or barbell for your entire workout. Similarly, if you only use a barbell use dumbbells. It’s amazing how heavy a 5kg medicine ball can feel.
3. Get outdoors!
If you are a regular gym goer, have a week outdoors and expand your exercise horizons. Run stairs, climb walls, step up to benches/tables/chairs. You’ll be amazed how quickly your workout goes when there’s a little more scenery to enjoy.
4. Add unstable training to your workout
Ever tried squats on a BOSU Ball? What about a single leg squat? Adding balance training to your routine will force your muscles to work harder and your reflexes to become super fast. You don’t need fancy equipment, simply using your arm weights whilst standing on one leg completely changes your focus. As a bonus you’ll get a great core workout by adding this training to your routine.
5. Try a non-electronic workout
Block all cardio equipment that uses power. No treadmill, stepper, cross trainer, bike. Great creative: high knees, ice skaters, inchworms, skipping, plyometrics, mountain climbers, running, swimming. Hello heart rate!
6. Use time under tension (TUT)
I’m guilty of performing the same speed in a lot of my workouts and I’ve been making more of an effort to include variation to my rep speed. The average time it takes to do say 10 reps is usually about 15-20 seconds, what you want to do with TUT is draw this out to 30-40 sec. Where each rep would usually take you 1-2 sec to perform, aim for it to take up 3-4 secs per rep. The more time under tension, the harder the workout and therefore greater results. Expect TUT to help increase muscle growth and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
7. Add agility training to your workouts
Rarely do I see people trying agility training (ladder runs, jumping). Yes, it’s quite sports specific but it’s great to shake things up in your current workout and everyone can benefit from agility work. Something really simple is an shuttle run, working on accelerating, decelerating and directional change – try this shuttle run.
8. Ban all floor-based ab workouts
There’s no need to freak out, here are some suggestions: Knee to elbow hangs, wood chops or try this killer ab exercise.
9. Go running with a friend
Pick someone who is a better runner than you and feel that burn. It’s so easy to get caught out running the same track, for the same distance and time. Running with a better runner will force you out of that comfort zone.
10. Try a body weight workout
No machines allowed. Get creative: step ups, lunges, side lunges, burpees, push-ups and so on. Use the TUT method with this body weight only method to challenge yourself and better results.
Natalie Carter is a Sydney-based fitness expert and personal trainer: www.nataliecartertalksfitness.com /@newoutlookpt