It’s often said ‘variety is the spice of life’, and when it comes to your exercise routine, this rings true.
You may like your regular workout, but if you’ve been following the same patterns for too long, it’s likely the benefits you’re receiving from all your efforts have significantly decreased. Cam Neeld is a Personal Trainer at Virgin Active Norwest. He specialises in weight loss, body sculpting, functional training, mixed martial arts and self-defence techniques, weightlifting for strength and size, and increased general physical prep. Cam’s philosophy: Routine is the enemy.
These 10 tips will help spring-clean your fitness routine and keep you motivated.
If the thought of running on a treadmill for an hour is your idea of hell, here’s a crazy thought – choose an exercise you actually enjoy doing! This way you’re more likely to exercise regularly. The mistake a lot of us make is seeing exercise as a chore. If you’re doing something you enjoy, it’ll become something to look forward to.
Try something that combines fun and fitness, like indoor rock climbing, or shaking your booty in a Zumba class.
2. Mix up your intervals
While spring-cleaning your workout routine can mean trying out new activities, you don’t have to throw everything you love out the door. Instead, give a few new intervals a try. Switch more rapidly between cardio equipment or simply choose a new course on your machine. Perhaps the ‘hills’ option rather than ‘endurance’, or vice versa.
3. Hire a Personal Trainer
It’s easy to fall into the trap of sticking within your comfort zone and doing the same exercises that you know. With the help of a personal trainer, you can learn new and challenging exercises you’ve never tried before so you can put these into practice next time you’re exercising on your own. It’s also harder to make last minute cancellations when you know you’ve got someone waiting for you!
4. Bring a buddy
A workout buddy is a quick way to inject enthusiasm and accountability into your workout routines. They may have some pointers or exercises they love to do that you’ve never tried before. Plus, you’ll kill two birds with one stone – catch up on all the latest goss, and get fit at the same time!
5. Switch up the style and duration
There are several benefits to mixing up the style, how often, and for how long you’re working out. One week go for two to three long workouts like a 60-minute cycle or Kimax class. The next, opt for short, intense sessions such as a 30-minute Grid or Kinesis class. The next, do something in between, like Yoga or Pilates. This will prevent your workouts from becoming too predicable, and will constantly challenge your body in different ways.
6. Change the time
Always exercise in the afternoon? Get up with the early-birds this week and be amazed at all you can accomplish before your first cup of coffee. Alternatively, for morning workout virtuosos, see how effective a post work session at the gym can be for releasing stress that’s built up over the day. Getting creative with your schedule will keep your workouts fresh.
7. Practice Powerlifting
Powerlifting strengthens the muscles of your legs, back and upper body. Nearly every skeletal muscle is strengthened with a powerlifting routine. The squat works the muscles of your legs, hips and butt; the deadlift strengthens your back and legs; and the bench press strengthens most of the muscles of your upper body.
8. Enter a race
You may enjoy running, swimming or biking on your own, but if your interest is waning, why not put all of that training into good use and enter a race? You’ll uncover a whole new level of motivation when you know your morning workout is preparing you for that 10 km fun run, or half marathon.
9. Enjoy the great outdoors
Exercising outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery at the same time. While it might be tempting to stay in your local area, why not go for an adventure and visit a beach or nature trail you’ve never been to before? Walking on the sand or a hilly trail are both great ways to strengthen your core and improve your cardio fitness.
10. Reward yourself
If you know you’re going to get a reward after all your hard work, then it can help to give you the extra motivation you need to cycle for a few more minutes of lift that little bit extra. Spoil yourself with a relaxing spa or sweat it out in the sauna.