The days of coasting through workouts just to get them over with are DONE. I don’t know about you, but I hate finishing a workout and not feeling the satisfaction of hard work. Whether you’re not challenging yourself with difficult routines, or you’re just not trying hard enough, I think we all have those workouts that are just…meh. Unfortunately, you only get what you put into your workout.
We can’t coast through workouts that consist of just going through the motions and expect to get ripped. I know I definitely need to step up my workout game. It’s way too easy to just check each day’s workout off the to-do list without giving it our all.
Although these subpar workouts can definitely still be beneficial, and most of us do them every once in awhile, let’s be real…we’re not making the most of our workout time.
I was especially bad about this in college. I used to jump on the elliptical and just go for about 20 minutes without pushing myself too hard or adjusting the resistance at all. Since I wasn’t trying very hard, it didn’t aid my weight loss at all; if anything it made me think I could keep going with my bad habits because I was technically working out.
Over the past five years, I’ve learned so much about fitness, much of which was by doing. When it comes to making my workouts more intense and putting forth the kind effort that leads to results, I’ve found nine tactics, in particular, to make a big difference as I strive to get stronger and improve my endurance. (And they’ll no-doubt come into play as I enter this LiveFit Trainer bodybuilding journey!)
Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional; these tips are all based off my personal experience and research with exercise.
1. Shorten the rest time between reps.
You want to keep your heart rate up, while also not overexerting yourself. So definitely take short rest periods as needed, but don’t sit around and wait forever—it only drags out your workout anyways!
2. Adjust your speed.
You know when you’re doing pushups, and you’re rushing through them because going slow sucks? That’s because you’re really challenging yourself! By adjusting speed—like lifting weights slower and going faster in cardio exercises—you can often get more out of the workout.
3. Add an incline.
It’s amazing how difficult running (or even walking) is when you add even the slightest incline. This also works well for a lot of weight-based exercises, like doing an elevated back lunge, pushups with your legs on a chair, and so on.
4. Increase the amount of weight.
If you can, go beyond your bodyweight! Don’t do 5,000 reps of something; add some dumbbells to your squats; load up your backpack when you go on a hike; make your workout harder by making your body carry more weight.
5. Go deeper with exercises.
Oy vey. This one is my enemy, which just goes to show how much I need to do it. It’s often just using perfect form, but I tend to slack with some exercises. Great options for this would be squatting lower, making pushups deeper, lunging closer to the ground, and dipping lower in those tricep dips.
6. Eliminate distractions.
I’m all about having random sitcoms on in the background when I do circuit workouts. However, this can sometimes distract me because my main focus then turns to the TV and not my workout (affecting my form and breathing). It just goes to show your workout should remain front and center when you’re…doing your workout.
7. Follow a routine or plan.
This is why I started creating circuit workouts. Winging it just makes me slack because I stop when I start to get tired. Having written workouts prior to starting helps me reach a goal and not have to think about what I’m doing. I just get it done and can compare my progress to how I did last time!
8. Fuel appropriately.
Do as I say, not as I do. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve eaten candy/chocolate and then gone to workout and SHOCKER I feel like crap and can’t even complete the whole thing. Choose a small healthy snack before you workout, not junk food, so you don’t feel sluggish.
9. Find a workout buddy who will push your harder.
You think you’re in shape until you workout with someone who’s way more fit. My husband is one of my favorite workout buddies because he makes me want to work harder (to keep up, basically haha). I’ve found it’s really helpful to occasionally workout with others to keep myself in check. We can often do way more than we realize!
Alright, who’s ready to go put in a stellar workout?! (I’m not; today’s my rest day…bahahaha)
Wishing you a fun and active weekend!
How do you make sure you’re working hard enough in your workouts?
Any tips you’d add to this list?