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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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