Have you ever been frustrated over a lack of results from your workout routine? If so, you are in good company. Even the most seasoned athletes experience times when their results plateau. When you continue to put in the same effort day after day with little or no results it is safe to say that you’ve hit your own fitness plateau.
Your body adapts quickly to any repetitive routine, which holds true for any workout from running to cycling to weight training. And when your results stop, it’s time to do something new. I have great news—the following 4 fitness hacks are guaranteed to crank your workouts to the next level and deliver the fast results you want.
#1: Focus on Negatives
Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are utilizing three types of strength. These are:
Positive strength: the motion of lifting the weight.
Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
Negative strength: the motion of lowering the weight.
Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. Keep in mind that the negative contraction of a rep is just as important as (if not more than) the positive contraction. Concentrate on the negative contraction by lowering the weight at a very slow pace.
Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.
#2: Do a Drop Set
Drop sets have long been used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for adding muscle strength, endurance and for increasing the cardiovascular benefit of your workout – resulting in more fat burn.
In a nutshell, perform an exercise to exhaustion with heavy weight, but don’t stop there. Drop the weight by 20% and do another set to exhaustion. You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set.
Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.
#3: Modify the Exercise
There are certain exercises that are considered ‘staples’ in the gym. The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea…
While you shouldn’t throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:
Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.
Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.
Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.
Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.
Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.
#4: Use Active Rest to turn each workout into High Intensity Interval Training
Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don’t waste precious minutes with long rest periods between exercises.
While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest than a passive one. Add 30 seconds of one of my favorite cardio burners (featured below) in-between exercise sets and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.
If you’d like a sure-fire way to break through your fitness plateau and melt away unwanted fat, then contact me for a fitness consultation. My custom-made fitness programs remove all of the guesswork for you. I know what works, and I make it my mission to see you reach your goals.
Call or email today and we’ll get you started on the program that’s best for you.