Friday, August 19, 2011

Know When To Push The Envelope

Exercise can be a tricky endeavor. Many people get trapped in a rut of the same exercises over and over again. A great number of those people may gravitate toward the same circuit of machines, same speed on a treadmill, same ridiculous number of crunches. The problem that so many people fall into is allowing their body to dictate fatigue under any circumstance without pushing to new limits. For instance, if you go to the gym and always do the same number of curls with the same weight you're always going to fatigue at roughly the same spot. That fatigue becomes your gauge for whether or not you worked the muscles well enough. The problem is: you never really make progress. Too many other factors come into play. Maybe you aren't mentally "into" your workout that day, maybe it's hot and stuffy where you work out, maybe you're afraid that you might hurt yourself going heavier. These are all very real factors that can hinder a workout. Consider that you'll have very few "perfect" workouts. Your back might be tired but your chest might feel good. Your legs might feel strong but your shoulders might be weak. Your body will let you know when to take it easy on certain muscles and that's normal. If you really want to see things change, try heavier weights with fewer reps. Let your body get acclimated to new levels of resistance. Push yourself at greater intensities during cardio work but for shorter bouts of time until your body can handle greater duration. The absolute worst thing you can do is become sedentary and remove the variety from your workout program. Push harder, for longer and get out of your comfort zone for good.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Unpredictable Is Your Workout?

At some point in your life, you may have heard the saying "variety is the spice of life". One place where this cannot be better applied is in your workout routine. Generally speaking, your body will adjust to your workout routine well before your mind does. Find ways to add variety to everything you do. If you've only ever used strength training machines, try using dumbbells and barbells as a substitute. If you typically start your workout with a moderate walk on a treadmill, try varying your speeds and levels of inclination instead. Whether you're trying to lose, gain, or maintain weight it pays to throw your body off of its normal routine so complacency never becomes an issue.