The body will always try to find the path of least resistance. If one muscle isn’t working, it will find other pathways. If your body can rig a shortcut, it will do so. Because of this tendency, we have to push ourselves, challenging our bodies to work outside their comfort zone. That may mean working out for longer, taking an extra class, lifting just a bit more weight, or adding an extra day to your workout schedule. Here are some ideas of how you can push yourself to new heights.
5 Ways to Push Your Body
1. Add 5 minutes to each workout
Adding just a little bit of time daily to your regular workouts can be a great way to push just a little harder to glean better results. Consider adding one extra leg strengthening exercise, or 5 minutes of extra cardio. If you’re a runner or cyclist, add 1 extra mile to your plan. Just a little push can really help you achieve more.
2. Try adding one extra class
I witnessed this strategy during last year’s Wellness & Lifestyle Challenge (TWLC). Participants went to a spin class, for example, and followed it up with yoga. Or maybe they went to S3, and then to spin. Adding one extra class to your schedule, even if it’s only once a week, will add to your overall caloric burn, and to your overall health and fitness level.
3. Try a different lifting strategy
I employ this with my regular clients. We change the exercises, the amount of weight, the style of workout, or the type of equipment in order to keep getting results. This allows me as their ongoing coach to fine tune their success. I tweak the program as we go along, and every 8 weeks or so, a complete change-up occurs.
Here’s a quick example:
- Squats with ball –> Lunge with knee lift, TRX
- Chest press, 10# –> Push ups
- Sled push –> Pulley walk
4. Add an extra day
Perhaps right now, you’re working out 3 days per week. Adding that 4th day will add additional caloric burn, stimulation for your muscles, including your heart, and speed up the rate at which you see results.
5. Look at your distribution
What are you doing in your overall program? Is it balanced? Are you getting the three crucial areas of fitness in? Remember, fitness is a combination of muscular strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Miss out on one, and you miss out on being truly fit!
Write out your weekly schedule to begin to see what patterns or ruts you may be in, and it will help you to begin to see how to challenge your body going forward.
As I mentioned earlier, I frequently change the style of workouts I prepare for my clients. If you want to try personal training, sign up for a free fitness consultation to get started!Set up a Free Fitness Consultation
Written by Melissa Abramovich, ACE CPT, NASM CGT, AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist at Elite Sports Club-River Glen
Melissa Abramovich went into Personal Training and Group Exercise instruction after successfully losing 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Her desire to help others drove her forward into a career helping others to make healthier choices. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and now also a Medical Exercise Specialist (AAHFRP), helping clients with a myriad of health issues at Elite Sports Clubs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and many group exercise related certifications as well.