As humans, we are creatures of habit. That’s no different with our chosen method of training and staying in shape. And while those habits are the foundation of any healthy lifestyle, they also can work against us at times.
If you find yourself stuck in a rut and not seeing the changes you want, stop and ask this question – what is the best workout you’re not doing?
The simple answer to that is, the one you aren’t doing. We’re willing to bet that, for the most part, your style of training today is very similar to the one you originally started with, in one way or another. Why? You don’t feel like changing your entire training style and learning something new at this point, and we don’t blame you. It works. You know what you’re doing, and how long it is going to take. Bottom line – it’s comfortable for you. But isn’t that a reason to change already?
When was the last time you truly left the gym feeling like you couldn’t even go up or down the? Or feeling a pump so hard that you couldn’t move your limbs? We’re sure you felt like that when you first started training, or after a long layoff. But if you’ve been at it for a while, feeling like that is mostly a thing of the past.
The body is much smarter than you think and in order to trick it you need to change your entire training style for a few weeks and truly create a new pattern for your body to have to adapt to. So how do we do this? Here are a few general, simple ways to mix things up.
• If your training style has been mainly geared towards building size and strength, start to add some HIIT workouts to your routine. The same goes if you have been sticking mainly to HIIT style training, incorporate some strength and hypertrophy style workouts.
• Incorporate intensity techniques like giants set with super sets. Incorporate cardio acceleration – short, intense bouts of cardio between your working sets – to keep your heart rate up the entire workout.
• If you have been a body part split type of individual, add in some full-body workouts or even upper body and lower body days. Do this for a few weeks – don’t’ split up your workouts by body part, train them all together and truly tax your system into having to get used to something different – and harder.
• Have your workouts been all about isolation movements and a few compound movements at the beginning? Well then switch to all compound movements and don’t train with any isolation exercises. Move heavier weight throughout that training and tax your bigger muscles throughout the entire training.
• Have you been focusing on building your abs by simply using machines and isolation exercises? Then for a few weeks add stabilizer exercises that don’t involved you directly hitting the core such as standing military presses or bodyweight lunges and don’t directly attack your core.
Basically, try something new for a few weeks – things you never thought you would do. Even the best athletes in the world switch their style of training up periodically. Challenge yourself, push your body and mind into new gears and do the best workout you’ve never done before.