There is a huge difference between “going to the gym” and “working out.” Intensity is the name of the game and it’s got to be high if you want to see your body change. Let me introduce you to Jenna Michael for Discover and Play. She has some great ideas to help you add intensity to your workouts, but still keep it fun!
Easy and Fun Ways to Add Intensity to Your Workouts
By Jenna Michael for Discover and Play
It’s hard to argue with the facts: We don’t have to work out for longer to get more results. Science is telling us that smaller bursts of high-intensity training will have greater effects on our bodies faster than lengthy traditional training methods. What are ways we can add intensity to a workout to make it more effective?
Grab a Partner
A quick and easy way to make any workout harder is to have someone else there to push you. Hire a trainer, join a group exercise class, find a workout buddy, join a fitness challenge, meet someone new at the gym, work out when your “crush” is at the gym, or attend a small group training session.
As soon as you add another person into the equation to hold you accountable, compete with or impress (vain but true), you will ramp up the intensity in your workout performance without even realizing it. Just make sure it isn’t someone who will distract you or keep you talking the entire time. Remember the goal is to work harder and smarter in less time!
Try Something New
A simple sentiment but true. Sometimes all it takes is changing up the monotony to have a more effective workout. There’s a wonderful theory called periodization, which, at the most basic level, means dividing your training into phases or cycles, all of which focus on different goals in order to reach a final major goal at just the right time. Add intervals, instability, supersets, tri-sets, classes, new training methods or anything else to keep your workouts from being exactly the same every week. Keep your body guessing and it will have to learn how to become more adaptable, which will encourage progress.
No one ever likes to hear this option but it’s so very true. Our bodies need time to recover in order to work harder. If you add a little rest time into your schedule you will most likely see results start to happen faster. We get stronger from the re-building process that happens after we work out; not from the actual act of lifting weights. Rest time between sets can also make a huge difference. When you are fully rested, whether it’s between a set or workouts, you will be able to practice safer and correct form for longer amounts of time, which will lead to a more effective workout.
Push Your Boundaries
No one ever achieved their goal by staying stagnant and comfortable. Push yourself to accomplish a big goal, take a chance, try something new and see where it takes you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — that’s what trainers are there for! Whether it’s driving in a snow storm, taking a new group exercise class, or wearing a fanny pack, life is more fun when you challenge yourself a little each day.
Jenna Michael is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and creator
of Little Green Running Shoes, a healthy living and exercise blog where she writes about her latest exercise tips. Jenna has dedicated her life’s work to helping others reach their healthy living goals through exercise and positive thinking.
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