It should go without saying (but I’m going to say it anyways) that changing up your workouts is out of the greatest things you can do for your body. Like almost any good thing, too much of the same is going to get lame, boring, and downright ineffective. This is particularly true when it comes to exercise because whether you realize it or not, your body is an evolutionary, well-refined machine. Unfortunately, this means, it’s going to adapt, make changes, and ultimately find ways to perform the same work you impose on it, with greater efficiency. In other words, you’re going to get less out of your workouts over time. To keep the train of progress rolling along, sooner or later, you’re going to have to change things up. Today’s blog post is all about how to change things up and keep workouts interesting, fun, and effective.
In my mind, there are two key ways to change things up — alter the style of workouts you’re engaging in or alter the exercises you’re doing. I’ll explain the former first. A lot of us are used to the standard split strength training routine; X sets by X reps, for exercises A, B, C. Rinse, repeat. A few great ways to change things up is to completely do away with this routine altogether. Instead of keeping things so orderly, give yourself a time limit to complete X number of sets in.
500 Mountain Climbers
100 Push Ups
100 Clean and Press
100 Squat Presses
500 Jump Rope skips
Complete in 25 minutes.
Sets and reps are gone — you’re simply working against the clock and will undoubtedly push yourself in a different way than you had been with your standard split routine. Another option would be to change up the types of sets and reps you’re doing. Drop sets involve dropping//adding weight each subsequent set and increasing//decreasing the reps completed. Pyramid sets involve starting from 12 reps, for example, and performing 12 sets, dropping 1 rep each set. Another option would be supersets, which involve back-to-back exercises performed without rest. We do a little bit of this in the FitPlan, but there are endless ways to customize this.
Alternatively, you can keep your standard split set and simply change up the exercises. This is a great way to maintain a workout you’re comfortable with, but still gain the benefits of keeping things fresh.
INSTEAD OF THIS >> TRY THAT
(demo videos found here!)
Barbell Bench Press >> Dumbbell Bench Press
Smith Machine Squats >> Barbell Squat Jumps
Bench Step Ups >> Surrender Squats
Spider Curls >> Lying Bench Dumbbell Curls
Bent Over Rows >> Seated Face Pulls
Reverse Dumbbell Lunges >> Bulgarian Barbell Lunges
Weighted Russian Twists >> Weighted Decline Crunches
So for those of you who plan to keep up with your training after the FitPlan ends (which we absolutely encourage!), try working some of the exercises listed above into your routine. It’s important to keep in mind that even the best designed exercise routine is going to stop working after a while. To make sure your progress doesn’t slow, make a concerted effort to change things up using the tips above, always be mindful of your diet, and keep giving each and every workout your max effort.
+ Matt Paley [Founder + Trainer at Share It Fitness]