Five Ways To Spice Up Your Gym Workouts

by James Kerrison on April 27, 2010

We’ve all been there before. Looking for the holy grail of programs. We find it and give it everything.
Great results follow and you are chuffed that you have finally found THE workout.
But then things change, all of a sudden your trusty workout isn’t delivering the same results as it was before.

You decide to have a break and start seeing other programs, thinking that ‘grass is always greener…’

You get the drift anyway! Find a good workout, go hard at it, but know that it will need changing sooner or later to keep delivering results.

Personally I think 3-6 weeks is the sweet spot for changing your gym workouts. Less and you may not get any progress, any more and you may be holding your progress back (compared to if you changed).

You can go for wholesale changes (as in completely change the workout) or you can make smaller adjustments that will keep you rolling for the next 3-6 weeks.

1. Have a goal weight or reps on a certain exercise. Push yourself extra hard to hit this goal and then set a new benchmark. For instance, you might want to be able to do 50 pushups with your body weight. Once you can, either aim for 60 or use another exercise as your focus. This will get you motivated to work harder on all of the exercises that help with pushups (upper body pushing exercises).

2. Train with odd shaped objects. Still use the same exercises but instead of using the traditional barbell and dumbbell try using kettlebells, club bells, sand bags, aqua bags etc. The movement will be the same, but the training object will provide your body (and mind) with a fresh challenge. For example, bent over rows can be done with all of these objects but will all give you a different workout on the same ‘movement’.

3. Try cables or bands for different angles. Similar to the previous point, but here you just want to make small changes to the angles you are using. If you always do cable presses on the same setting, move it a peg higher or lower. It doesn’t matter which way, as long as it is different than before. Same goes for the bands, change the height of the anchor point (or your body relative to the anchor point) and you’ll be challenging your body in a different position to before.

4. Start supersetting if you aren’t. Pick two exercises and do them back to back. THey can be the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups or completely different muscle groups. It doesn’t matter! What matters is the intensity and the slight variations you are doing. If you normally do squats followed by presses, do presses followed by squats. Simple yet effective.

5. Sweat in the warm up. You shouldn’t lift your first ‘real’ weight until you are properly warmed up. This means you should be warmed up! That means you should be sweating. It doesn’t have to take forever though. Some skipping, rolling, mobility swings, kettlebell swings and presses will get the heart rate up, body temp up and have you ready for your workout in less than 10 minutes.

There you go, 5 quick ways to spice up your workouts. Let me know what you are doing to keep your workouts alive and kicking by leaving a comment below.

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