-Our bodies can adjust quickly to make it more comfortable for it to hang in there when it is being challenged. So if you have a routine of exercises that you like to do it is best to switch the order to keep your body guessing. It is crazy how we can reverse the order of exercises and it will totally throw your body off and make it guess what the heck is going on. Your body was expecting you to throw squats at it first and you trick it by doing leg extensions first and squats last will do the trick!! Weird I know, but it works. Our bodies are amazing machines that like to be in control but you really can make it do what you tell it to. I will give an example of what I mean. Say you were doing the below workout for a few weeks and find it is not really challenging you like it did in the beginning.......it's because your body is prepared for it and knows what to expect:
Leg Press 3x12
Walking Lunges 3x15 each side
Leg Extensions 3x12
Throw your body off and reverse the order of your exercises. So you would do Leg extensions first, then move to walking lunges, then deadlifts, and so forth.
2. INCORPORATE SUPERSETS AND/OR DROPSETS:
-A superset is when you do two exercises back to back with no rest in between. For example you could do Squats 3x12 and with no rest SUPERSET with Leg extensions 3x12 and then you would rest.
-A dropset is when you are doing an exercise and you finish the set reps you are doing, and then immediately drop the weight and perform more reps. You can continue to drop the weight as many times as you would like until the muscle is burnt out. For example you could do Leg extensions 3x12 at 60lbs. When your 3 sets are done you would immediately DROPSET at 50lbs. If you wanted to keep going you would move down to 40lbs, 30lbs, etc.
3. SHORTEN THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOU REST BETWEEN SETS:
- By shortening the amount of time you rest between your sets, keeps your heart rate up and leaves you out of breath for longer. This technique simply means: let's say you rest on average 1 minute between your sets. Try shortening this time to only 30 seconds. Just keep your eye on the nearest clock or use a timer on a stopwatch/phone. For example: you are doing leg extensions after one set of 12 reps, instead of sitting there on the machine for 1 minute to rest only rest for 30 seconds and start set 2 and so forth.
4. INCREASE THE WEIGHT AND DECREASE THE REPS:
- You do this challenge by increasing the weight from what you are use to. By doing this you might not be able to finish all you set number of reps but that's ok....that is kind of the point of this challenge. For example, say you were doing sets of bicep curls with 12 reps using a 10lb dumbbell. Next time around increase the weight and use a 15lb dumbbell. This should be challenging and you might only be able to complete a set of 8-10 reps with that increased weight. But that is good, that's what you want. You don't want to try and hit you normal rep range of 12 reps with bad form because it is too heavy. And if you do increase the weight and still bust out 12 reps no problem, you need to increase the weight even more.
5. INCLUDE ACTIVE REST BETWEEN YOUR SETS:
-As opposed to doing a set of exercises and waiting that 1 minute to start your next set, you can do what is called ACTIVE REST for that minute and then catch your breath. For example, you just got done doing a set of 10 squats and you re-rack the bar. Instead of standing there to catch your breath for 1 minute you can do one of these.... jump squats, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jump rope, etc., for 45-60 seconds and then catch your breath before doing your next set. I love this challenge. It might add an extra 5-10 minutes onto your workout but it is a great way to sneak in cardio and a little extra calorie burn.