6 Ways to Add Variety to Your Workouts
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You are ready to change things up.
Maybe you feel stuck or in a rut.
Maybe you are bored with the same old routine.
Or maybe you're frustrated because you haven't been able to get into a consistent routine.
When it comes to improving your health and fitness, it is easy to feel this way.
This is why we put such an emphasis on exercise variety at DSC.
You see, your body is the most incredible adapting machine on the planet.
In other words, it is quick to change depending on what type of stress it is under.
Start an exercise routine and you will probably start to see some quick improvements in strength, muscle tone, endurance and fat loss.
Start a running program and you will probably find your times and distances improving.
The problem is when we get too comfortable with our routine and start doing the same things over and over.
Our body, being the quick adapting machine that it is, starts to know exactly what you're throwing at it and actually becomes more efficient, expending less energy to do the same task.
Your 30-minute session on the treadmill or elliptical actually begins to burn less and less calories.
Your strength and muscle tone begins to plateau as your body has only been challenged with the same 10-15 pound dumbbells.
Completing the same routine over and over quickly becomes a maintenance program vs a program that is going to get you closer to your goals.
This is exactly why variety makes up one of the key foundational elements of our program design here at DSC.
Not only does it keep our members improving and progressing towards their goals, but it keeps the training fun, fresh, and exciting!
Let's get into 6 ways to add variety to your training!
#1 Focus on improving strength
Number one on our list can not be emphasized enough.
No matter what your fitness goals are, focusing on getting stronger is crucial for continued progress and injury prevention.
This is typically the missing piece to most exercise routines -- especially for women.
Picture yourself at the gym hitting a quick session with the weights.
Most of us grab weights we know we can handle and complete exercises we are comfortable with.
Do this over and over and 3 months later we've made little progress.
Instead, focus on small daily or weekly improvements to your strength.
This is HUGE for improving muscle tone, burning fat, improving posture, making daily activities easier, improving bone density and reducing injury. This list could really go on and on.
Every time you're in the gym, do something small to improve from last week.
Increase the number of reps or sets from last week. Increase your weights by 5lbs.
This will not only do wonders to your physique but it will keep you moving forward toward your goals.
Some of our favorite strength exercises to add to your routine are push-ups, inverted rows, planks, split-squats, goblet squat, dumbbell presses, and farmer carries.
#2 Vary your equipment
Walk into DSC for the first time and you'll surely find yourself in a very different gym environment with very different surroundings.
You won't find overcrowded areas of equipment like rows and rows of treadmills, ellipticals and exercise machines.
Instead, you will find big open space with a variety of equipment you may have never used or seen like sleds, ropes, medicine balls, Keiser's, kettlebells, bands, Skiergs, Versaclimbers and slideboards.
We LOVE variety at Dynamic and our members do too!
It is crucial for fitness success to keep challenging your body and keeping things fresh and fun using a variety of equipment and body-weight exercises.
This allows you to constantly attack different areas of your body, improve strength, flexibility and cardio.
Most importantly, this keeps you having FUN! :)
#3 Add variety to your favorite exercises
So you love push-ups.
You also love that machine that really works your abs at the gym.
So you do them both. And you do them a lot.
The more and more you do them, the better you get at them and progress begins to halt.
The good news is, to make continued progress, you do not need to give up your favorite exercises.
All you need is a simple change to the exercise to spark fitness improvement.
This is something we do almost daily at DSC.
Not only will adding variety to your favorite exercises allow you to continue to make fitness improvements but it will keep your training fresh and exciting.
Here are a couple simple things you can do to add variety to your exercises:
- Increase the number of sets or reps
- Increase the duration of the exercise
- Decrease the rest between exercises
- Increase the resistance
- Change the resistance (body-weight, kettlebell, medicine ball, etc)
- Pause at the top or bottom of exercise
- Slow down or speed up the motion
#4 Incorporate circuits
Ready to spice up your training and get in a great, time efficient workout?
Enter the circuit!
They are one of the most efficient modes of training.
They are a fantastic way to get out of your normal routine, burn fat, build muscle, and be awesome in a short amount of time.
In fact, research has shown short, intense workouts like circuits are a better way to build strength and burn fat over traditional cardio exercise (i.e - treadmill running).
Circuits combine a series of 4-8 exercises done all in a row. They are done for the shortest amount of time possible.
They are typically total-body, targeting your legs, back, chest, arms, core and cardio
Because they are so effective, we use them daily at DSC with our Adult and Women's Group Programs.
Here is a video of a home, body-weight circuit workout. Give it a go! :)
#5 Workout with a buddy
One of the main reasons our members are so consistent and see such fantastic results is because they aren't working out on their own.
Working out with a buddy can not only drastically increase the fun you have with your workouts but also your motivation levels up, helping you see better results.
When you workout with a friend you're more likely to push through that last set and give a little more.
When you're on your own it's very easy to quit early.
We love to incorporate I-Go-You-Go circuits where one partner completes an exercises for a certain number of reps or time while the other partner rests, then they switch.
Here's an example:
Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes
Partner 1: x10 Goblet Squats
Partner 2: Rest
Partner 1: Rest
Partner 2: x10 Goblet Squats
Partner 1: x10 Med Ball Slams
Partner 2: Rest
Partner 1: Rest
Partner 2: x10 Med Ball Slams
Partner 1: x10 Burpee
Partner 2: Rest
Partner 1: Rest
Partner 2: x10 Burpee
#6 Join a group class
One of the things our members love most about our group classes is how they don't have to think about anything like:
What exercises should I do today?
What weights should I use?
How far should I run?
Should I lift weights today?
Am I doing this exercise correctly?
My knee hurts, what should I do to modify this exercise?
These are a few things you will never have to ask yourself again by joining a group class at Dynamic.
Our sessions and exercises are all laid out for you before our members walk in the door and always touch on all 5 of the ways to mix up your workouts above.
And once you get in, our coaches are right there to guide you, support you and motivate you to bring your very best each and everyday.