Bored with your current exercise program? Lost motivation to work out? Looking for fun and innovative ways to spice up your workouts? Look no further. Here are some great ways to get the ‘zing’ back into your fitness regime!
1) Circuit training
Rather than doing 2 or 3 sets of the same exercise with rest in between, why not group 3 to 5 non related exercises in a row and perform them with little or no rest between?
For example, you could choose 1 exercise for legs, 1 exercise for your back, 1 exercise for chest, and 1 exercise for your mid section -eg:
Barbell squats 1 x 15 reps
Lat pulldowns 1 x 15 reps
Chest press 1 x 15 reps
Bicycle crunches 1 x 20 secs
Once you’ve completed the circuit, you would take a minute to catch your breath and repeat 2 or 3 more times.
Not only do circuits make your workouts more exciting, you’ll get a great cardiovascular workout as well. Plus it’s an incredibly efficient and time saving way to work out.
(Tip: For best results, choose compound exercises that work multiple joints. In other words, a chest press is superior to a tricep push down as the chest press works the chest, shoulder and triceps, whereas a tricep push down only targets – you guessed it – the triceps)
2) Interval training
Would you like to escape the drudgery of long duration,”go slow” cardio? Would you like to cut your cardio time by at least a third and increase your fitness and fat burning ninefold?
Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. There are now numerous studies demonstrating the incredible health benefits of interval training.
One of the most effective interval workouts (and that I regularly use with my personal training clients) is called ‘guerrilla cardio.’
To perform guerrilla cardio, choose a cardio machine such as the crosstrainer or rower. Warm up for 2 minutes at a speed that represents about 50% of your perceived maximum. After this initial warm up you then alternate 20 secs fast (your perceived 90% speed) followed by 10 secs recovery (your perceived 50% speed)
Depending on your level of fitness this 4 minute cycle can be repeated 3-5 times – or 12-20 minutes in total.
(Tip: Combine circuit and interval training for the ultimate workout!)
3) Use a Stability Ball!
Over the years I’ve seen many fitness fads come and go, however the stability ball (also known as a swiss ball) is here to stay!
The stability ball calls into play significantly more muscle fibers due to it’s unstable nature – in particular the core. In addition, your balance, co-ordination and agility will be put to the test!
Here are some common gym based exercises that can be substituted for the stability ball version:
Dumbbell bench press – substitute with the stability ball dumbbell chest press.
Machine shoulder press – substitute with the stability ball dumbbell shoulder press.
Seated cable row – substitute with the stability ball bentover dumbbell row.
Floor crunch – substitute with the stability ball crunch.
4) Team up!
A workout partner offering positive words of encouragement can lift your spirits and push you to even greater heights. And of course, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.
Many people prefer to work out in a group rather than going it alone. So why not consider joining a fitness boot camp or attending group fitness classes?
Camaraderie can go a long way toward exercise consistency. In other words, there’s a very good chance you’ll achieve your fitness goals even faster when you have a friend or you’re part of a team that can inspire, motivate and support you.
5) Get a P.T!
These days it’s quite fashionable to have a personal trainer. In other words, no longer are personal trainers only for wealthy executives and Hollywood celebrities.
Whether it’s a weekly one on one session or a once a month change of program and fitness assessment, a personal trainer can help you reach your fitness goals faster.
Best of all, personal trainers can provide a variety of exercises to keep your workouts fresh and exciting. Kettlebell training, boxing, swiss ball and medicine ball work just to name a few.
According to a recent survey conducted by an international health and fitness organization, 75% of people who exercise are not getting the results they want. However, out of the 25% of people who are getting results, 90% are working with a coach or personal trainer.
And there’s good news for the budget conscious. Having your own personal trainer just became an affordable reality thanks to the advent of virtual personal training.
So whether it’s online or in person, a personal trainer might be just what you need to spice up your workouts and have fun at the same time!