Challenging an existing workout is not at the forefront of people’s minds. It’s very easy sometimes to just fall into a pattern of routine when it comes to exercising. You’re comfortable where you are, you know your moves and their order by heart. Changing things up can be tricky to the average person, and it requires time!
Or does it?
In this post, I will go over 5 super simple ways to challenge your existing workout, that don’t require extra work and time on your part.
Challenge your workout tip #1: Do your routine backwards
It sounds super simple and a bit like d’oh! but it can actually make a huge difference. Do you always start with one body part and work your way up? As you go through your routine and you get more tired towards the end, it’s easy to lose your form, skip a few reps and maybe not push yourself as hard. And if you’re always doing the same sequence, the exercises at the end are the ones more likely to suffer.
So why not start from the end? That way the exercises at the end get a chance too! And your body will feel the change!
Challenge your workout tip #2: Switch up cardio and weight training
If you’re doing cardio and weights together on the same day, you usually have a preference as to which one you like to do first. Throw that preference out the window once in awhile. Start with cardio if you usually do weights first. Sure, you’ll be sweaty for the second part of your workout, but it’s the gym. Everyone’s gross. So whatever.
Challenge your workout tip #3: Increase the number of sets
You don’t need to constantly add new exercises to your routine to start feeling the burn again. Instead, do an extra set here and there. To keep it simple, do the sets back to back. That is, perform one more set of the same exercise before moving on to the next.
Tip: don’t start adding sets to ALL of your exercises or you’ll double the time it takes to do your workout and you’ll never be done. Add an extra set to only one or two exercises. And switch it up. Add sets to different exercises next time!
Challenge your workout tip #4: Up your weights! (And drop your reps!)
In a previous post, Types of Training to Give you Results, I went over different types of training you can focus on and the guidelines to follow for each. If you’re always doing endurance based workouts (around 15 reps per exercise), it’s time to move outside of your comfort zone. Keep doing the same exercises but up your weights and aim for 10-12 reps instead.
If you’re in the 20 rep range, now is the time to really adjust your weights so you stick closer to 15. Either way, you will find it a worthwhile (and really simple!) change. You’ll feel the burn in no time.
Challenge your workout tip #5: Do core first
The general recommendation is to perform core exercises at the end. Your core is really important when you work on other parts of your body because it acts as a stabilizer during the exercises. So most people work their core at the end.
That being said, if you’ve been working out for a while and have been building a bit of strength, doing core exercises at the beginning can add a nice challenge to your routine. By fatiguing your core, subsequent exercises become that much harder and your core is working that much more. Try it!
I hope I’ve convinced you that variety in your workouts doesn’t necessarily mean scrapping all you’ve been doing and starting all over. The suggestions above are a great example of changes you can make without changing the exercises you are doing at all! These are simple changes that can make a huge difference.
One final note: As always, it’s important to listen to your body. You want to push yourself, and you want to experiment, but you don’t want to cause injury. Be smart! And don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone – that’s where results are!
After being skinny unfit for the majority of my life, I discovered fitness by accident after having my daughter. A couple of years later, I started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. My mission is to teach people about fitness and work with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes. My personal values include being professional, honest and transparent in all of my doings but also being funny and silly because that’s what makes life (and your training sessions) fun! To learn about how I can help you reach your fitness goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch.