Any busy person can relate to that feeling of aggravation when it comes to forcing yourself to go the gym. Gym-time can feel like detention some times. But, did you know that its good, even recommended to change up your gym routine every 6 weeks? You don’t have to feel bored at the gym. In fact, you should get excited to go the gym! Working out makes you feel good! (What a concept!)
But exactly how do you keep the gym interesting for yourself, and avoid that boring-gym syndrome? Here is my top 10 list of ways to switch it up at the gym.
10. Split System Training
This is probably one of my favorite ways to workout. You can break your workout week into upper body days and lower body days. You can get more specific with your workout week and follow a Double or Triple-Split training schedule. By breaking your gym time into 2 or 3 shorter, more intense training sessions you can really focus on each muscle group. For example, on Monday I work Chest + Back. Tuesdays I work Shoulders + Biceps…etc.
9. Compound Sets
Alternate two exercises for one body part. The key is resting for very little or no time at all. So let’s say, I’m working triceps. I would perform 12 Rope Triceps Extensions, then immediately drop down and knock out 15 Diamond Push ups. Then I would rest, and repeat the two exercises again for a total of 4 sets.
With Supersets, you would alternate opposing musce group exercises with little rest between sets. Here I would hit Chest with a set of Dumbbell Bench Presses, then immediately go into Back with a set of Bent Over Dumbbell Rows. Rest, then repeat for 4 sets total.
Oh man, Burns are fun. Not only do these help get your shredded, but you’re going to feel the effect immediately. At the end of a set, let’s say we’re doing bicep curls, you would pump out 5 to 10 pulses at the top of the curl. These are supper effective and really help break down the muscle fibers.
6. Isolation Principle
Here, you’re focusing on one muscle group. Machines are great for isolating muscle groups. Usually, there is only one prime mover. Think of Leg Extensions. The major muscle group targeted on that machine, is the quadriceps.
5. Flushing Training Principle
Keeping on the same idea, Flushing is a great way to switch it up at the gym. You are perform 3 or 4 exercises for one specific body part, before moving onto the next one. On Leg + Triceps day, I do Squats, Leg Extensions, Calf Raises, and Hamstring Curls first. Once I’m done with all of those exercises, I’ll focus on Triceps.
Similar to Burns, the Rest-Pause helps to activate all your muscle fibers to effectively workout the entire muscle group. With this idea, you’re performing a set of Bench Presses at about 85% of your 1 rep max. You perform 2-3 reps. (it’ll be pretty heavy, so you should only be able to 2 or 3 anyway.) After the 2-3 reps, set the weights down and rest for 30-60 seconds. Then repeat. Rest for a total of 3 to 4 rest-pauses.
3. Quality Training Principle
To help burn fat while you’re strength training, you should aim to gradually decrease the amount of time you’re resting between sets. If you’re resting for 90 seconds between sets, reduce that to 60 seconds. Keeping a fast paced workout keeps your heart rate up and helps show definition in your muscles.
2. Pyramid/Descending Sets
I like to finish off a bicep workout with either of these two methods. For the Pyramid principle, you start a set off with higher rep/lower weight and gradually add weight and lower your reps, until you’re at about 5 reps.
For the Descending Sets or Stripping Method, you go down the rack. Starting at a higher weight, you move down using lighter weights from set to set as fatigue sets in.
1. Muscle Confusion
This is my absolute favorite way to switch it up at the gym. Muscles actually adapt to a specific type of stress, aka plateauing! You have to constantly vary the exercises, sets, weights…etc. So I say “Treat Yo’ Self” I like to break things up and treat myself to an invigorating yoga class., or maybe a killer spin class, boxing class, or just a refreshing jog outside. The possibilities are endless.
There are a lot of different ways to add variety into your workout routine. Don’t ever fall into a pattern that makes you feel stale and bored. Working out should make you feel alive and productive. Regular physical activity relieves stress and makes you feel good.
Working out shouldn’t feel like a punishment. Go with a friend. Go running with your dog. Take a new spin class. Keep things interesting Get yourself excited to get to the gym. Get creative at the gym . Invent a workout! Enjoy your time there.
What’s your go to shake up routine? Comment down below!