Looking to step up your workout program and see faster results? If so, there are some things that you should consider putting into place that will challenge your body and lead to more intense results.
Advancing your workout is something that does take some conscious time and effort because you have to plan to overload your system to allow for the real strength and progress gains you’re looking for.
That said, with proper planning and preparation, you can definitely move forward easily and successfully to get that body you’re after.
Let’s go over the top tips you must know to advance your workout program.
1. Superset Exercises
The first way to see advancement is to superset the exercises that you’re doing. So rather than doing all your sets of one exercise and then moving onto the next, you’ll do one set of one exercise and then immediately move onto the next exercise to complete a set of it.
Once both sets are completed, stop and rest before carrying on to the next superset once again.
This works perfectly for full body workouts because you can pair together an upper and lower body exercise.
2. Use Drop Sets
Next, consider drop sets. Drop sets are a great way to boost your strength gains and can definitely help speed up progress while getting your body used to dealing with fatigue.
To do a drop set, simply perform one set at your standard weight level and then drop the weight by five pounds to do another set. Then drop the weight one more time and crank out as many reps as you possibly can.
Once that set is finished, rest and then repeat.
Note that this is very intense, so only do it once or twice per workout session. If you do it on all your exercises, you’ll quickly suffer from over-training.
3. Add Cardio Intervals
Moving along, the next must-do for success is to add some cardio intervals into your workout. Rather than doing just straight strength move after strength move, try doing a strength exercise and then breaking for a minute of cardio training.
Add in some skipping, burpees, mountain climbers, or any other exercise that will get your heart rate up higher.
This is a prefect way to burn more calories during your workout and add a cardio element into the mix.
4. Make Use Of An Exercise Ball
An exercise ball is the next method of boosting the intensity of your workout and advancing to the next level. Start performing as many exercises as you can on the exercise ball to add a degree of instability to the session, which will then get your core muscles sitting up and contracting harder than they ever have before.
An exercise ball can be used when you perform shoulder presses, the bench press, lateral raises, bicep curls, tricep extensions, as well as for most of your core exercises as well.
Keep in mind that you may need to lower the weight when you first start doing these exercises as your body adjusts to having the exercise ball underneath you.
5. Focus On Speed
The speed element of your weight lifting exercises is something else that often goes overlooked. If you typically use a tempo pattern of 2:1:2, try slowing it down.
By doing so, you’ll increase the total time under tension with the muscles and evoke greater strength gains.
In addition to that, you’ll also teach your muscles how to better tolerate fatigue, which will then also help you progress onward.
Or, add a brief pause at the top of the exercise instead. This is one of the best ways to really challenge the muscle as the hold will train your CNS to keep working for a lengthier period of time.
Again, this is a very intense technique, so don’t use it on every exercise in the workout.
Add a mid-exercise hold on one or two exercises that you really want to advance up to the next level.
6. Change Exercise Modalities
Moving along, also consider changing the exercise modalities that you use. Rather than using weight machines for instance, try moving over and using free weights instead.
Or, if you typically use dumbbells and barbells, try using cables for a while and see how that goes. Simply changing up the way in which you are doing your weight lifting workouts can have a profound influence on your progress, so don’t overlook this factor.
7. Try Something New
Finally, last but not least, try to do something new. If you can’t remember the last time you added a new exercise to your workout program, now is definitely the time.
Trying something new is going to not only stimulate you mentally, but it will also keep your body physically guessing as to what’s coming next, which will help you push past any plateau that may be brewing. If you don’t know of any new exercises to try, consult with a personal trainer who can teach you some advanced techniques to further stimulate the muscles.
Change is very good as far as advancing your fitness goes, so never let yourself get too overly comfortable.
So there you have the top things that you should consider if you want to take your fitness up a notch. Don’t do all of these at once, but rather, implement them into your workout program over time so that you can continue to see ongoing success.
It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)Featured photo credit: HealthGaugevia Flickr