Sunday, August 8, 2010

Strength Workout Fresh And Effective

Let's face it. Even the most devoted exercisers can get bored doing the same workouts week after week. And, if the mind is getting bored you can bet that the body is probably too, which means it isn't being challenged as much as it should.

Below are 10 ways to change up your strength workout to ensure your body is optimally challenged and that boredom is kept at bay.

  1. Change your exercises. It's easy to get comfortable doing the exercises you are most familiar with but it's important to try new ones. And, there are so many different exercises to try you could easily try new exercises every week for an entire year!
  2. Try different equipment. Don't get in the exercise machine rut. Try exercises using dumbbells, resistance bands, fitness ball, and others.
  3. Try circuit training. This method requires you perform a series of exercise moves one right after the other with little to no rest between the exercises.
  4. Alter the order of exercises. Simply changing which exercise you do first, last and in the middle can have big results on the effectiveness of your routine.
  5. Change the intensity. If you normally push yourself to lift weights that fatigue you quickly (less than 8 reps), try lowering the weight size and simultaneously increasing the number of reps.
  6. Try a super set program. This type of workout technique has you perform several sets of two for agonist and antagonist muscles (opposing muscles). An example of this would be leg curls followed by leg extensions.
  7. Alter the speed of your training technique. A typical exercise might require 8 seconds to perform a rep. To change that up you may try 15 seconds per exercise.
  8. Change your workout frequency. Try increasing from 2 to 3 days per week or instead decreasing the number of weekly workouts you perform.
  9. Don't ignore rest and recovery time. Sometimes you'll want to keep your rest time between sets to a minimum and other times you may want it to be as much as 1-2 minutes. Also, some weeks you may want to allow for several days of recovery between workout sessions and others may only need 48 hours.
  10. Ask for help. To push yourself to your potential, you may want to occasionally try the assisted training technique. This requires you have a spotter who assists you to perform an additional 2-4 reps when you think you have reached your limit.