There comes a time in every athlete’s career (pro or amateur, it doesn’t matter) when their workouts start feeling a bit stale, a bit less productive than before, and just downright uninspiring. Don’t worry, if this is currently happening to you, or if you’re just looking to spruce up your fitness routine, understand that it’s completely normal. After all, how many times can you curl a dumbbell before it starts to feel a bit tedious? A lot of times, actually, but sooner or later, you’re going to start craving something new and different.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your sanity and even motivate yourself to keep pushing towards your fitness goals with a newly-found passion, provided that you know how to effectively supercharge your workout routine. So today, let’s explore some great tricks that will take your workouts to the next level.
Manage intensity the smart way
More often than not, the primary reason why your workout might feel a bit dull or why you might feel like you’re not training to your full potential, is simply because you’re pushing too hard, too often, for too long. Sure, you’re passionate, you’re eager to reach your fitness goals as quickly as possible, but the more you push yourself past your limits, the more you’ll start to experience some diminishing returns. Not only will your progress start to stall, but you might even end up injuring yourself in the process.
So, what do you do? You smarten up, and you take a step back. Remember, whether your goal is to build muscle, become stronger, or faster, you need to manage the intensity of your workouts wisely. If your workouts last longer than 40 minutes, you can’t expect to keep the intensity at 110%. Instead, be sure to lower the weight a bit, or decrease the number of working sets, and focus on quality form and feeling those muscles doing the work. Do this for a few weeks, and you’ll notice that you’re able to recover faster all the while making better progress.
Nail your pre and post workout nutrition
Ask any professional athlete and they will tell you that their diet plan makes up more than half of their progress, and that a major reason why they succeeded is because they are mindful of what they eat around their workouts. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to uphold a vegan lifestyle, or if you’re an omnivore, you need to focus heavily on your pre and post workout nutrition, and for a number of key reasons.
Firstly, you probably know that your body burns glucose as its primary fuel source. This means that it’s important for your pre-workout meal to contain ample amounts of carbohydrates. Likewise, you also need to supply your body with plenty of healthy proteins after a workout to rev up the recovery process. But it’s not just about energy management, it’s also about feeling light on your feet while working out, so don’t choose heavy foods the likes of white bread, eggs, or bacon before a tough workout. Because these and similar foods will only make you want to go back to bed.
Know which supplements to take
Supplements become more important the more you progress through your fitness journey. When you’re just starting out, you should focus on quality training and nutrition. But as you get more advanced, it’s important to complement training and nutrition with supplementation in order to maximize your energy output and recover faster from your grueling workouts.
Supplementing with powerful pre-workout drinks, such as Yohimbe supplements is also important if you’re exercising later in the day when your energy levels are already depleted. Taking a pre-workout supplement if you’re going to the gym after work, for example, is a great way to re-energize your body and mind, and get another amazing workout session in the books.
Challenge yourself in new ways
It’s important to change up your workout routine in order to keep things interesting, and to “force” your body to become bigger, faster, or stronger. Your body won’t change on its own, nor does it want to, so you need to challenge it with different exercises, and by periodizing your training. Try a few new exercises that target the same muscle groups to freshen up your split, and have periodization blocks in which you focus on strength, then muscle-building, and then on active recovery and mobility.
Time your rest period
And finally, keep in mind that there are some effective ways you can improve the quality of your workouts right there on the spot, and rev up the intensity without gassing out prematurely. For example, try timing and limiting your rest periods. For isolation exercises, there’s no reason to rest more than 30-60 seconds between sets. For strength movements such as squats and deadlifts, no need to rest more than three minutes. And for endurance-based exercises, your focus should be to steady your breathing as quickly as possible, and get back into the fray.
Even the most passionate athletes among you can start to feel like your workouts are just not producing the results they used to, and sometimes, they can become downright boring. When you start to experience these symptoms, be sure to use these handy tricks to supercharge your workouts once more, and take your fitness game to the next level.