GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT FROM YOUR WORKOUT!
Have you ever been frustrated over a lack of results from your workout routine? Welcome to the club, you are in good company. Even the most seasoned athletes experience times when their results hit a plateau. You continue to put in the same effort day after day with little or no results.
What's happening is the body adapts quickly to any repetitive routine. As a result when your results stop it's time to do something new, time to change your routine.
Following are 4 steps are guaranteed to take your workout to the next level and to deliver the fast results you want.
1. Focus on Negatives
Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are utilizing three types of strength. These are:
- Positive strength: the motion of lifting the weight.
- Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
- Negative strength: the motion of lowering the weight.
Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. The negative portion of a repetition is just as important as the positive portion, and possibly more important.
Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count.
If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier than normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.
To utilize negative repetitions on a machine simply lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.
2. Do a Drop Set
Drop sets have long been used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for adding muscle strength, endurance and for increasing the cardiovascular benefit of your workout, which results in more fat burn.
What you do is perform an exercise to exhaustion,but don't stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.
You can take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set.
Note, use this technique only once or twice per workout, generally on the final set of the exercise.
3. Modify the Exercise
Find creative ways to modify the familiar motion of your favorite exercises in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:
- Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.
- Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.
- Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.
- Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.
- Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.
4. Use Active Rests
Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don't waste precious minutes with long rest periods between exercises.
While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest than a passive one.
Perform one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.
- High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.
- Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they're straight and you're in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.
- Side-to-Side Jumps on Bench: Stand on one side of an exercise bench. Place the foot closest up onto the bench, jump up and switch feet, then land on the opposite side of the bench.
- Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
- Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right – holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.
- Jump Lunges with Pop Squat: Start in a lunge position, lunge down then quickly jump up, switching your leg position in midair, land in an opposite leg lunge. Once you've done both legs, jump straight into a squat.
- Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.
Well there you have it, a few ideas to help you jump start your work out when you hit that inevitable plateau. If you have any questions or need any additonal ideas remember I'm here.
Call or email, I'll be happy to help.
Until next time, "Remember, Stay Fit You'll Feel Better."
PS. Do you want a smaller waist? Try this easy tip: Don’t eat carbohydrates after 4pm. Instead stick with lean protein and green veggies. This will prevent late afternoon and evening snacking and will quickly result in a slimmer waist.
Here's a healthy burrito recipe I think you'll enjoy. Whole grains, lean protein and crunchy veggies make this a recipe tastes great and is good for you too. Serve with a side of your favorite salsa.
- 1 sprouted grain, flourless tortilla
- 1 Tablespoon hummus
- 1/3 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup cooked black beans
- 1/2 cup cooked chicken, chopped (or baked tofu)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh corn kernels
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cucumber
- 1/4 cup shredded arugula
- 3 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Warm the tortilla in a dry skillet. Spread the hummus evenly over the tortilla. Top the tortilla with rice, beans, chicken and veggies. Fold the two sides of the tortilla in over the filling, then flip up the bottom edge and roll tightly.
NUTRITION: (One serving equals)
380 calories, 7.8g fat, 45g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 31g protein.