Just as always scaling the exact same cliff will hardly improve your climbing skills, regularly changing your workout routine is a must if you hope to continue to increase your fitness level.
If you keep your routine the same it is difficult to stay motivated and your body will adapt quickly, which will make it difficult to reach your goals.
A properly structured fitness program should constantly evolve to account for your progress and setbacks, a never-ending process that will also keep you intellectually engaged.
There are many ways to thoughtfully change-up your workouts, but here are some tips to start you off.
First of all, you do not need to swap each exercise for new ones. If you enjoy bench press, by all means, keep doing it. Just try switching between eight to ten repetitions at your maximum capacity to as many as twenty repetitions at a lighter weight to increase muscular endurance as well as strength.
Similarly, if you are performing barbell curls for your biceps, for variation you can perform dumbbell curls which allow for greater isolation.
Of course, you should never be afraid to try something completely new, like TRX suspension training; just remember to ask a gym attendant for assistance if needed.
Changing the target and number of workouts can also be beneficial. For instance, many perform whole-body routines, which should be completed at least twice weekly.
Want a new challenge? Try a two-day split that targets half your body during each of two alternating workouts.
By utilizing a split, you can perform twice as many exercises per body part during each session, although it should optimally be performed four times per week.
You can tailor routines around specific activities, too.
After all, if you play tennis in the summer and ski cross-country in the winter, it hardly makes sense to maintain the same gym workouts year round! It is a great idea to incorporate explosive exercises for summer sports that demand quick sprints, and add in some plyometric exercises to prepare for the ski and snowboard season.
So, to increase your overall fitness, remember to overhaul your gym routine at least every six weeks and focus on forcing your body to anticipate a variety of stresses.
Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer. For more information, go to www.karp fitness.com.
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