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3 Ways to Hack Your Fitness Routine

3 Ways to Hack Your Fitness Routine

    As much as you all love spending hours in the gym, I have some bad news for you.  Your workouts are too long, inefficient, and frankly they’re just plain boring.  Here are 3 tips you can use to trim that workout down into an efficient, productive and time-saving routine.

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    1.  Use Full Bodied Workouts

    Let’s face it, most of you reading this are computer geeks.  Not bodybuilders.  So what makes you think you can achieve the results you want by following a bodybuilder’s routine?  I have news for you.  Those bodybuilders didn’t achieve that physique because they had a great routine.  If I had to guess I’d say they had a little help in the way of chemicals and genetics.

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    The body recovers from a workout much faster than you may think.  The need for splitting up muscle groups into different days is just an old myth.  In fact it slows your progress down because you are only hitting certain muscles once a week.  Keep the workouts short and efficient by picking fewer exercises that hit more muscles.  For example; squats over leg curls or push ups over triceps extensions.

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    2.  Train movement patterns not muscle groups

    As evolved as you may think you are, your body is primitively designed.  In other words, your body doesn’t know what muscles do what.  It just knows how to get from point A to point B.  Your biceps will contract just the same doing a pull-up as they will doing a dumbbell curl.  Cut your time in the gym down considerably by eliminating all of the “isolation movements”.  Don’t take my word for it.  Take a look at any competitive gymnast. Their entire training revolves around complex body weight movements.  They don’t have time to waste doing leg extensions and biceps curls.

    3.  Take advantage of super sets, triple sets, and circuits

    Another way to cut your time in the gym down considerably is to limit your rest periods between sets.  This can be done by training non opposing movement patterns back to back like squats and pushups.  While working one group of muscles the other is recovering.  There really is no limit to the number of exercises you can string back to back.  More than three and you have yourself a circuit.  Not only does this method save you some time, it also makes the workout more cardiovascular in nature which doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to lose a couple lbs of body fat.

    Why spend an hour in the gym when the same results or better can be achieved in half the time?  Use the methods I described above to hack some unnecessary minutes from your gym life and free up some guilt free time to do whatever you like.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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