Most people who are into fitness love training. It’s more than a hobby – it’s a passion. That said, everyone at one point will feel like they’re stuck in a rut and need to find ways to breathe new life into a stale workout program.
By Roger Lockridge
While these tips appear simple to do and might not look like much, it will surprise you how much they will alter the course of your training which means your body will have to adapt. That also means your body will improve which at the end of the day is what we all want.
Use Bar Grips
In case you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, bar grips fit over your barbell, dumbbells, machine handles, or in some cases, even cambered bars. These grips aren’t for comfort but rather so the place you position your hands is thicker. This means your forearms will be more involved because it will be more of a challenge to hold onto whatever you’re trying to move. This also forces the muscles your training to work harder to stabilize and control the weight.
This is more popular with arm training, but it can be used with almost any upper body movement. Switching it up with grips can help you crawl out of your fitness rut by challenging you in a way that is different than just upping the weight. So don’t be afraid to try grips for a new approach to bench presses, overhead presses, or even rows. You can also use them on cable attachments or machines too including the rope or single handle attachments.
Superset Cardio with Weight Training
You might have done supersets with two weight training movements before but have you ever tried supersetting cardio with your weight training? If not, this will be a whole new challenge to get you out of your fitness rut, so be prepared. We’ll use abs training as an example. Let’s say you do hanging leg raises for abs. Instead of supersetting with crunches, go into doing mountain climbers for 20-30 seconds. This complete change in training will shock the muscles, help you burn calories, challenge your endurance as well as your cardiovascular system, and force you to take deeper breaths and more oxygen. This is going to take a few sessions to get used to so don’t expect to go straight into master levels if you’re new to this.
Reverse the Pyramid
You’ve likely started training by doing lighter sets for higher reps followed by adding weight when the reps decrease. That’s nothing new but have you ever flipped the script? Yes, I mean start with the heaviest weight for the few reps and lightened the load as the sets progressed. No, this isn’t a drop set. This will challenge your Type 1 muscle fibers because Type 2a and 2b fibers will be pre-exhausted from doing the heavier weights.
You can do the first exercise as you would normally so you can warm up effectively but for every exercise after that, start with your heaviest weight and do standard sets. Start with 6-8 reps and go up to 10 on your second set. Follow that up by going for 12-15 on your third. You’ll be surprised how much different the weights will feel and your muscles might even be sore the next day. The results will make it worth it, and will get you one step closer to getting out of your fitness rut and getting you excited about training again!