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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 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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