Monotony is the ultimate motivation killer. A lot of people who come to me for personal training are actually extremely educated on health and fitness. They are in great shape, they know proper form, they know what to eat and when to eat it, and they usually have a great routine. But it's the same routine they have been doing for two years. When I ask what their goals are, they say, "I just need some variety!" Fear not!! You've come to the right girl. Never will a client see the same workout. Considering Ive been doing this for 6 years, of course that can get a little tedious ESPECIALLY with the clients who have been with me for 2+ years. But I have some solid tricks up my sleeve that anyone can start incorporating into their routine that will shake things up a bit and bring some romance back into your relationship with the gym. Now unfortunately I can't sit here and break down every single routine I've ever created. But I can give you some user friendly tips that don't require supervision by a fitness pro. These are very simple yet effective changes that you should start doing immediately. Plateaus are caused by a lack of variety. Don't get stuck. Mix it up!
1) Treadmill Intervals
Now before I hear you say, "Ugh but I can't and/or hate to run!" STOP. "Can’t” should never be in a man’s (or woman's!) vocabulary! I really hope you've seen Love and Basketball. But you don't even need to run to get the benefit of the t-mill. Say hello to my little friend: the incline button. (I apologize for all the movie references.)
Start with the incline at it's highest. This can range between a 15-30% grade depending on the gym. If full incline is too intense, take it down a notch! No judgement here. Now adjust the speed so that you can walk comfortably but you start to breath a little heavy. I tell my people to do the breath test. Try singing the alphabet. If it's easy, you need to pick up the speed. If you're having trouble just getting to the letter C, just take it down a couple notches. Do this for 1-2 min.
Then lower the incline to half of where you're at and pick up the speed a couple notches for 30 seconds-1 min. You should be breathing pretty heavy at this point.
Walk for 20-30 minutes and you have completed a set of intervals.
Another thing you can try is perform a set of weights then do about 5 minutes of t-mill intervals then go back to another set. This will cause peaks and valleys in your heart rate and help you burn more calories faster.
2) Invite a friend!
One of the best ways to change things up is to work out with someone who is more fit than you. In my case, it's my bestie Jackie. She has the stamina of a gazelle. She does a lot more cardio than me and lives in one of the hilliest neighborhoods of San Francisco. When I work out with her I know my ass is going to get kicked. She's super creative with her routines too. We both have been in the industry for a long time and I feel like she still finds a way to expose me to new things. Let a friend introduce you to something new! You never know what may be your new favorite workout.
3) Change Your Tools
There are so many different types of equipment out there. From bosu balls to medicine balls, kettle bells to Bulgarian bags, resistance bands to TRX--you have options. Ask a trainer (or google) to show you how to use something new. When you shock your body with a new exercise or routine, it has to work twice as hard than something you're familiar with. Just trying to learn coordination and balance will boost your metabolism.
4) Change the Terrain
This tip is especially geared to us gym rats. GET OUTSIDE. Switch up the environment to help engage different muscle groups. Running on a treadmill is a lot different than running on a trail. Take your workout to the pool! If you're super sore, it's easy on the joints and will help heal your muscles. Hit those hills! One of my favorite things to do is go on long hill walks. I usually discover cute new shops and rack up the miles without even realizing it. Little changes in your routine will create big changes in the body.
5) Follow my instagram! Im constantly posting new workouts that can be done at home or in the gym.
Questions? Need help with a new routine? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Call: 415-517-8679 | Follow: @dynamofit