The question: Should I change up my gym routine if I'm bored by it? I do cardio and strength circuits, which I don't mind, but am I missing anything by not finding it very interesting anymore?
The answer: This is the third and final part of a series on ways to change up your workout. There are just so many fun ways to modify your excerise routine that I couldn't fit it all into one. I want to share as many of my tips as possible so everyone becomes as excited to work out as I do! Thus far, I have suggested you modify your lifting tempo; emphasize different portions of exercise; combine exercise; modify your repetitions, increase total sets; and try different equipment.
This week I suggest you try "11s" or timed sets.
I love "11s". Pick two exercises. The total number of repetitions should always equal 11. For example, do 10 push-ups and one squat thrust. Then, nine push-ups and two squat thrusts. Keep decreasing the push-ups and increasing the squat thrusts by one repetition until you finish with one push-up and 10 squat thrusts.
Make the exercise appropriately difficult for the number of reps you have to do. When you have to do one squat thrust, lift a heavier weight then when you have to do 10.
How to do squat thrusts: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. As you squat down, do a biceps curl. As you stand up, push the weights up over your head. Return the weights to their starting position and repeat.
Another option is timed sets. For example, do your current weight circuit, but time each exercise. Fit in as many repetitions of each exercise as you can – with good form – within that time. See how many you can really do!
Trainer's Tip: I love piggy-backing two timed exercises back to back that work similar muscles. For example, do as many push-ups as you can in 30 seconds. Then, without resting, hold a plank for a minimum of 30 seconds.
Kathleen Trotter has been a personal trainer and Pilates equipment specialist for 10 years. Her website is www.kathleentrotter.com.
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