Three easy ways to vary your workout

Description: How To Spice Up Your Training

Training, by its very nature, is the repetition of something in order to get better at a given task. Often, this can lead to staleness, boredom and loss of motivation. In our training centres, we pride ourselves on having an innovative approach to training. Often subtly changing or tweaking the way you train can provide a whole new stimulus. These methods will re-motivate you and great results.

Description: How to spice up your training

Try going barefoot to improve balance and strength

1.    Go barefoot…

Dropping your footwear or buying a minimal shoe such as a Vibram Fivefingers or a New Balance Minimus can have a profound effect on your training. Though barefoot running is not for everyone, and not ideal for those who run long distances, a change in footwear can benefit your balance, proprioception and strength. The idea is that your foot is trained to do its proper job and the arches of your foot are strengthened naturally – something modern supportive shoes don’t always do very well. Performing your gym-based workouts barefoot can help develop foot strength and ankle stability. If you have decent strength and good posture, try exercises such as walking lunges before moving on to low-level running.

2.    Intensity ahead of volume…

The more efficiently your train, the better the results. As you become fitter, you develop the ability to do more – longer runs or more kilometers on the bike – but the key to taking your fitness to the nest level is increasing your training intensity, not just how much you do. The benefits of interval training are pretty well documented so, rather than using steady cardiovascular exercise, mix periods of high intensity work with active recovery – it’s a more efficient way of working. We’ve found that if someone’s fitness level has plateaued, aiming to improve their top level of strength results in further gains. Drop your repetitions per exercise to five for big exercises such as squats, deadlifts, press-ups and pull-ups – it will help lift your maximal strength levels and give your training a boost.

3.    Turn the session upside down…

From time to time you can get stuck in a training rut. Turning your routine on its head can have a great effect. For example, do you normally stretch at the end of your session? If you do, it may mean you’ve not been prioritizing flexibility as part of your training. Dynamically stretching at the start of the session may give this facet of your fitness a push, as well as place a slightly different emphasis on your training. Do you normally train your abs at the end of a session? Instead, do this at the start – this will switch on your abs and mean your core muscles are ready for the session ahead.

All of these methods will rejuvenate your training. Or try combining them all with this workout. Warm up with a good 20-minute stretch of your calves, hamstrings and quads. Follow with 12 minutes of intervals on the rowing machine, alternating 20 seconds of intense work with a 40-second, steady-pace recovery. Perform three rounds of 30 seconds of the plank, reserve ab curls and side planks on each side. Kick off your shoes and perform four sets of five repetitions of deadlifts, dumbbell chest presses and seated cable rows. Finish off with four rounds of 12 walking lunges. This should give your workout a much-needed kick-start, with enough subtle variation to mix things up and keep you interested.

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