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7 Ways To Advance Your Workout Program

7 Ways To Advance Your Workout Program

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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