20 Jul 5 Workout Habits You Should Change
We all have different motives for working out – people are diverse, and their goals are just as distinct. Most people hit the gym to maintain their health, others go for aesthetic reasons, to burn fat or bulk up on muscle. Whatever your reason for working out, there’s one thing we all have in common, and that’s speed and efficiency.
If a 6-pack could be obtained in one day, you bet we’d all be doing crunches every morning! If you’re sick and tired of doing hundreds of curls and squats and seeing no apparent results, these tips are right for you. Rearrange your workout life!
1. Shock Your Muscles
Doing the same routine day in and day out will train your muscles in a very specific way. This is an incredibly important thing to realize for anyone on the road to better fitness. Sticking to the same workout for each day of the week will not provide the variety you need to impact your body correctly, and can lead to a plateau of progress that can be discouraging.
The way to switch up the monotony that your muscles are feeling is to reorder the rep count. Usually, we workout with high repetition and low weight to improve lean muscle and burn fat, or high weight and a lowered repetition count to bust up muscle fibers and build strength and mass. Consider mixing up your sets and rep/weight counts. No one likes listening to the same songs in the same order over and over again. Just like with your music playlists, put your workout on shuffle and show your muscles who’s boss.
2. Bilateral Exercises
This is one thing that most workout enthusiasts don’t consider, but have significant effects in the long run. Bilateral exercises are ones that work both halves of the body at once, as opposed to unilateral exercises that work one side at a time. If you work unilateral exercises, you’re taking twice as long to complete the exercise, and that can add up over weeks at the gym. As much as possible, focus on turning your unilateral exercises into bilateral ones. Not only will this save you time, but will help develop your muscles more symmetrically.
3. Diversify Your Lift
Our go-to instinct for an exercise is to hit three sets with a weight/rep count that works for you. Why? Because it seems to be the way it’s always been done. It’s time to tread off the beaten path. Mix it up by reversing the reps and sets. Performing three sets with eight reps per set? Try doing eight sets with three reps and higher weight.
Your body is designed to be adaptive to the stresses you put on it, with just a tiny change of pace from the norm, you can stun your muscles and encourage results to start popping up. This is what shocking your muscles is all about.
4. Reform Your Rests
It’s all in the rest period. The time you take between sets and what you do with that time all plays out in the long run, and results are definitely affected. The universally suggested rest period between a set is known to be around 30-45 seconds. Change this. Plan your workout to do three rapid sets with 10 second rest periods, and a longer rest period of 3 minutes between completed exercises. The thing to remember is this: to grow your muscles past your limit or eliminate stubborn fat, forget the normal way of doing things and push your boundaries.
5. Do the Drop
One thing that most people won’t have the guts to do is utilize drop sets. If you don’t know what a drop set is, prepare to get schooled. Intensify your training by using this technique.
If you are doing a workout with weights, perform that workout until you can’t do another rep. Then, when your muscles are exhausted at that weight, reduce the weight by just a few pounds, then do the exercise again, until you can’t lift that lighter weight. Rinse, and repeat.
You’ll be amazed at the way this technique affects your muscle exhaustion. You know you are getting the most out of every muscle fiber when you can barely lift 10% of your original weight after a workout with drop sets.