Switch it Up for a Challenging Workout Routine

As we set into our workout routine, it can even become monotonous.  Avoid falling into a workout rut and learn from our expert guest blogger how to keep your workout routine challenging!

How to Up the Ante for an Intense Workout

The quickest way to ditch a fitness routine is to get bored, and the fastest track to sheer boredom is monotony in your exercises. With a combination of high-intensity intervals wrapped around circuit training that will never be the case; you’re done with your workout before it gets lame!

Step 1: Warm up
No, not stretching; warm-ups. You wouldn’t pull frozen taffy, don’t yank on cold muscles unless you desire the same outcome. 3-5 minutes of light activity from jogging in place (or treadmill, elliptical, etc) or jumping jacks, arm, neck & waist circles or very easy jumping rope will do just fine.

Step 2: Flip the switch
Short, intense intervals will not only leave you breathless in a hurry, they increase your metabolism, fat oxidation and endurance more effectively than any other type of workout. Find a stretch of road, sidewalk, sports field or treadmill where you can run all-out for :30 to 1:00 and then rest for the same interval before sprinting back to the start. On a treadmill, carefully step off the belt onto the side rails – I repeat – do this very carefully. Perform 5-10 repetitions for a total of 10 to 20 minutes. Each workout add one more :30 rep and keep pushing the tempo.

Want to take it to the next level? Find some stairs or a hill to climb; :30 up at full speed, :30 walk slowly down & repeat.

Congratulations, your workout is half over and your brain should be awash in magical happy-feeling endorphins. Take 2:00 to breathe, hydrate and prepare for some body work.

Step 3: No Weights Needed
Total body fitness does not come from pushing weights in a pre-defined motion while sitting on a bench and anyone who tells you differently is full of it. Full-body workouts use multiple joints, a full compliment of stabilizer muscles and two or more prime movers (big muscles) working together to complete. Not only are body weight exercises more beneficial to your overall fitness and athletic prowess, they continue the fat oxidation and revved up metabolism that you started with the intervals. Repeat each of the following exercises in a circuit – one exercise after the other with little to no rest in between. After each round, take a 1:00 break to breathe, hydrate and wipe off the sweat. If this short & intense circuit doesn’t make you good & sweaty, you’re not pushing the tempo enough.

Round 1
12 push-ups
12 bodyweight squats
12 mountain climbers
12 bicycle crunches
12 hip raises
1:00 rest

Reduce each exercise by 2 reps, continue to zero

Round 2
10 push-ups
10 bodyweight squats

Round 3
8 push-ups
8 bodyweight squats

Yup, that’s it! It should take 12-18 minutes to complete the bodyweight portion of your workout. If you’re keeping track of time, you’re probably at around 45 minutes depending on the intervals and reps… and you should be totally spent! Take a light jog to cool down and stretch for 3-5 minutes to start the recovery process.

Brett Stewart, Fitness author/Certified personal trainer/Endurance athlete and coach, 7weekstofitness.com

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Author: FizzNiche

This article was created with the help of FizzNiche Guest Bloggers. If you'd like your articles to appear on this site, come see the topics we're working on in the Fitness and Exercise category.

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