Most people when they head to the gym rotate between the same redundant exercises, or maybe they scroll through a few fitness accounts to get some inspiration.
What do I say to that?
Workouts shouldn`t have to be on repeat, every day looking the same as last week, right down to the same weights used. That`s like running on a treadmill…you`re going no where real fast. That type of training will not get you the results you are probably looking for, you want progress.
There are a few ways in which you can spruce up your workouts:
- Change your stimulus.
Of course you can change the exercises, but there are some basic movement patterns that should remain part of every workout. For example, squats, hamstring curls, leg press and glute bridges are key movements when working the hamstrings. But, you do not have to perform the movements the same way every time. Try changing your foot placement (wide or close), add bands or chains to manipulate the resistance, incorporate pauses or focused phases (slow eccentric phase, fast concentric, isometric holds) for a greater time under tension. Also try performing the exercises on one side at a time (single leg or alternating leg/arms) to allow the different sides of your body to work independently and gain stability work. Even switching between using machines versus free weights like dumbbells and barbells can make a huge impact on the way in which you stress your central nervous system during a workout. Change the way in which you accomplish the particular movement pattern. Same blueprint, just make it slightly different.
2. Change the order.
By changing the order in which you perform the exercises, you can fatigue certain muscle groups early on in the workout in order for them to work harder later. This can be done by performing light sets of an isolated exercise as a warm up to a more multi-joint exercise with intentions of pre-fatiguing the muscle. This allows your body to be aware of the muscle it is primarily using, because often when performing multi-joint and large muscle group exercises like squats and bent over rows, stronger muscle groups like the low back and biceps want to take over.
3. Take less rests.
There`s always that one person at the gym that ties up the squat rack or a popular machine because between sets they are scrolling through Instagram or taking Snapchats of themselves. Don`t be that person. Instead, try minimizing your rests (depending on the rep range; do not rush rests when maxing out) to 30-60 seconds, or try super setting your exercises. Pick two exercises, like tricep extensions and bicep curls, to perform in secession with no rest in-between until a set of both have been completed. That way, you are maximizing time by needing less rests when switching between two opposing muscle groups.
Try implementing these tips into your daily routine to add some flavor into your workouts, help you make strength gains in the gym, and to maximize your time. Below is my quad focused workout with glute finisher from today.
Quad extension-machine- double leg 3 sets X 12 reps
Close Stance Hack Squat- worked up to a heavy 8 rep max, 4 sets at max weight
Quad extension-machine- single leg 4sets X go till failure (pick a weight you can get 10-12 reps at failure)
Single Leg toe pointed inward leg press 4 sets X 8 reps
Double leg toes pointed forward- close stance- leg press 4 sets X 10-12 reps
Bulgarian split squats- shrug machine 4 sets X 10 each leg
Glute Finishers: Visual video on Instagram
Mini band side leg abduction 3 sets X 15 reps each side
Mini band knee drive hip flexion 3 sets X 15 reps each leg
Mini band band pull aparts (lying on back with hands supporting low back and open and closing legs, keep legs straight, let motion come from your hips) 3 sets X 15 reps
Connect with me on social media and let me know what you thought of this workout!