There are five simple ways to help you bust through your workout rut. By using one of these or all of them can help tweak your workout regime just enough to get you break through your wall.
If you skip your warm-up, you are just cheating yourself out of a better workout. Warming up primes your body the right way, this allows you to train harder, burn more calories and prevent injury.
Take Five. Spend five minutes doing moves that lightly work as many muscle groups as you can (jumping jacks, butt kicks, windmills). On an exertion scale of 1 to 10, go no higher than 4.
Roll, Do not Stretch. Just one minute of loosening muscles with a foam roller increases their range of motion without draining your strength the way static stretching does.
Trick your muscles 😀
When your body gets used to a schedule, it becomes more effective—and you stop seeing results. Your muscles are not that clever, though. Keep them guessing with simple modifications.
Get out of your comfort zone. Do the moves you love, just change the tools. Switch out dumbbells for a cable machine or TRX. Do ab exercises on a stability ball instead of the floor.
Change is good. If you have a go-to strength workout, go through it backwards. Or mix up the moves completely.
Bust your Ass
Not seeing results? You may not be sweating enough.
Develop Your Moves. One detour to toned muscles is to go up in the amount you’re lifting, but it is not the only way. Experiment with using your body weight differently (single leg exercises). This will shift the weight so each side (and your core) has to work harder to hold the weight and balance.
Baby Steps. If you run at 6 mph on the treadmill, bump it up to somewhere between 6.1 and 6.6 for your next session. Small changes are not overpowering, and they keep you improving. Same with weight, if 5-pound weights are not difficult enough, move to 8 lb weights . You will not bulk up, but you will see definition.
Assuming you are already working out three or more days a week, maneuver your schedule to boost results.
Break It Up. If you run 4 miles twice a week, try doing 2 miles four times a week (or vice versa).
Be Flexible. Mixing up the time of day you sweat can give you an advantage, which is contingent on your goal. To burn fat, work out before breakfast, when you have not eaten for several hours—it helps you burn stored fat instead of dietary carbs (muscles’ usual energy source). To boost strength and calorie burn, go in the evening.
Time For Recovery
Authorization to relax. You in fact get fitter between workouts—it is when your body repairs (aka builds) muscle.
Active Recovery. You should try participating in an easy activity (light cardio, a restorative yoga class) on days between tough workouts. This helps keeps your muscles from getting stiff and get your blood flowing which promotes healing.
Take a Day or Two Off. You need at least one no-exercise day each week. If you do not take a break, there is higher risk for injury because your body is not getting enough time to repair. Additionally, this can hinder your performance on the days you are going all out too.
Every once in a while, Take a Week Off. If you have been hitting it hard five to seven days a week for months, take seven days of downtime. When your body hits a plateau this is possibly a sign that your body needs more time to recover and needs a break. It will prepare you to return to the gym refreshed and ready to kill it once again.