25 August 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Variety is the Spice that Keeps the Motivation

I don’t know about you – but I have been working out with weights for a lo-o-o-o-ng time.   I really notice it when the workout routine comes around to the start of the cycle and I think “man I just did legs….  or so it seems”.   Does no-one else get that feeling?  Is it just mydays and weeks that fly by, along with the workout cycle?

Do you ever think “…. I have been doing these same workout routines for … forever”? ……. 3 days on, one day off……  Back and Biceps, Chest and Triceps, Legs and Shoulders………rest and repeat!  If that thought crosses your mind more than twice in a month – time to consider a new routine; more than twice a week – get a new routine now; and if that is all you are thinking while working out – get out of the gym and take a hike (literally)  – you and your brain need fresh air!

So what can you do to spice up your workouts – besides finding a 25-year old, cute male workout  partner?  (That really works even if only for a while.)  Here are some other suggestions for thinking outside the box:

1.       Mix it up *

a.       Do Supersets for the entire workout.  This would mean:

  • Lighter weights, and a constant weight rather than building up during the exercise
  • Higher reps than you were doing with the heavier weights
  • Less rest between sets
  • Working strictly and with intensity

b.      Get a trainer for a few sessions to totally revamp your workout.  If you are working with a trainer, then challenge him/her to come up with a totally new and different workout routine.  Different equipment; maybe using the stability ball for some exercises, or even incorporating weighted balls into the routine; moving to two days on two days off with cardio on one of the off days.  Trainers today have a variety of innovative ideas available to them.  Take advantage!

2.       Forego the Machines *

a.       Use only free weights and your bodyweight, especially if you have been using a mix of machines and free weights.  Pushups, Pull-ups, Dips…… Body builders didn’t always have the modern machines we have today.

b.      Spend two or three weeks focusing on the butt.  I just thought of this and plan to try it.   When do we really spend time working out and focusing on just what is behind us?   I have a list of 7 – 10 exercises that will focus on the leg and butt.  I will report back in a few weeks, share the exercises and let you know which ones I think work well.

3.       Think outside gym

a.       Take a hike once a week.  The country has some awesome mountains and trails.  Before the states’ budgets close them, get out and enjoy a different form of exercise

b.      Take some dance classes.  This is near and dear to my heart.  I keep bumping into women and couples who are taking interesting and challenging dance classes – challenging the mind and the body.  Salsa and hip hop are popular.  My current indulgence is Break dancing… more on my progress in future blogs.  I have long since gotten over being 2.5 times the age of my fellow dance students.  And the class I plan to take after doing the butt exercises for a few weeks (there I have committed) is pole dancing.  It seems to me that pole dancing would build strength and lean muscle – but I will let you know.  Embarrassing or a rush, you will read it here first!

We all love body-building and  working out with weights.  But “the same old routine” is the cause of plateau’ing in our progress.  So get out there and try something different for a month or two.  Then feel the difference when you return to the routine!

*    Watch this space for future downloads and podcasts on innovative workouts that will allow you to mix it up and still get an excellent workout in line with your workout goals.  And website is in progress – if slow.  I plan to offer some surprises.

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