Stuck in a rut with your fitness routine? Want to maximize your results? It’s time to change things up and take your workouts to the next level!
When you embark on a fitness routine, it’s usually with a goal in mind. But as you start reaching that goal, you need to be able to take the challenge further, and keep pushing yourself. This will help you stay motivated and become the best you can be.
If you want to push yourself to the edge, you need to be prepared to work hard and embrace new ideas.
Here are 10 suggestions to take your workout to the next level.
1. Warm-up correctly
Be honest. Do you always warm-up before a workout?
An effective warm-up could be the thing that’s missing to push your workouts even harder. Before a hard workout, a warm-up before you start getting after it and lifting will get your body ready for the challenge ahead.
Choose warm-up exercises that feature some of the moves you’ll be making during your session, just at a lighter weight – you want to wake your muscles up and get them fired up for your session. A proper warm up with ensure that you can push your body to it’s limit without injury.
2. Perfect your form
Poor form does not achieve results. The only thing you’ll achieve is injury. While it’s good to work on lifting more weight, and pushing yourself, it’s important that you get your form correct first (like with this squat strength article). One of the king of movements is the squat
Take time to analyze your movements, or better still, get someone to do it for you. Learn about proper technique from a qualified coach who can review your movement and help you make adjustments. With your form nailed, you’ll begin to see much better results from your workouts, as well as feeling safe in the knowledge that you’re avoiding injury.
3. Create a killer playlist
The right playlist can help get you in the mood to work, while also helping to give you some focus. Create a playlist packed with motivational workout songs – it might just make you work harder. Music can have some surprising effects on your energy, helping you to push yourself, and have a little fun too.
Some people like to time their playlists to their workout, starting with a lower tempo song before heading into something high-energy for the peak of their workout. Why not give it a try and see if it can work for you?
4. Rest-pause to push to failure
Getting results is all about pushing yourself further in some way. For rest-pause, after doing say 5 or 10 reps and putting the weight down, try taking a 10-second break and then picking the weight back up again. This is what’s called a rest-pause. By taking that short break, you could put in an extra couple of reps to push to failure, which is when you’ll see some of the best results from your workout.
Knowing you’ve worked to your maximum will leave you feeling pumped and motivated – a feeling you should always leave the gym with. All it takes is a little extra effort to enjoy a sweet victory.
5. Work on your cardio
When your workouts are mainly focused around weights and strength training, cardio can become a distant memory. But the main purpose of cardio is to get more fit and boost your endurance, which is something your strength workouts can benefit from. Improving your baseline fitness will help you push harder during a workout, while the cardio itself will present a new challenge for you.
Try adding 3 sessions of easy cardio a week to your routine and start boosting your overall fitness. You could even mix it up with some easy and some interval style cardio to get more results faster.
6. Get your nutrition right
Fuelling your body with the right foods is key to getting the most out of your sessions. There’s no point working hard in the gym if you’re not going to feed yourself correctly.
When you’re doing a lot of training, you’ll need to eat high quality foods in the right ratios – it isn’t just about the protein here! Carbohydrates and fats will help give you the energy you need, supported by proteins to help you build muscle and stay healthy.
Cut out artificial and processed foods and start working on improving your diet to see vastly improved results in the gym.
Learn more about fuelling your body for a workout to help you get your nutrition right.
7. Work with a coach
It’s easy to lose motivation when working out. When it’s just you, it’s up to you to push yourself and make sure you complete the workout. If you’re finding that things are going stale, it could be time for some reinforcements.
Working with a coach or personal trainer can help you push your workouts harder than before. They can design a routine that’s based around your goals, and really push you during your workout. Not only that, but they’ll be able to check on your form and make sure you’re doing everything safely.
Online coaching is an amazing way to work with a professional and get the boost you need. After a couple of workouts, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t tried it before!
8. Drop sets
A good session in the gym means working as hard (and smart) as possible, and leaving knowing you’ve given it your all. One technique that can help you achieve that is the drop set.
During a drop set, you’ll be able to increase the amount of reps you do, pushing your workout even more.
Here’s how it works, after pushing to failure with your heaviest weight, drop to a lower weight and continue until you fail again. You’ll be adding in reps you wouldn’t have been doing before, making your workout extra challenging. You can do multiple drop sets, but it’s important not to overdo it and risk causing yourself injury. Know your limits.
9. Try some supersets
Supersets will help you get the most from your workout in the shortest amount of time. A superset workout contains multiple movements to really help you push your workout and train multiple muscle groups at once. These can include just about any variation you can think of.
Be prepared for a tough workout when you start doing supersets. But if you’re focused and committed to seeing results (without spending hours upon hours in the gym) this type of HIIT workout could work well for you.
10. Plan and track
One effective way of getting more from your workouts is to plan them out. Deciding what you’re going to do for each session will give you a plan you can follow, instead of just doing what you feel like. Planning your workouts is an effective way of making sure you’re properly programing for your whole body.
As well as planning your workouts, you need to measure your progress. Recording how many reps you did, how heavy, etc. can help you see if things are moving in the right direction. Seeing those wins will help spur you on to keep going, pushing you to increase the challenge each workout.
Taking your workouts to the next level takes a lot of work, as well as planning. It’s not always easy to push yourself, especially after a long day or when there are other things on your mind. But if you’re determined and want to succeed, there’s no telling where you might end up. Set yourself a challenge to work harder, faster and stronger and you’ll soon start to see results.