Posted on July 12 2016
If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.
Are you serious about getting faster, fitter, and stronger?
Training is the process of gradually placing more and more stress on our muscles, forcing our bodies to adapt, grow, and become more fit. Whether you're a weekend warrior or an elite athlete training for your next marathon, triathlon, or Spartan race, the methods we use to improve ourselves is fundamentally the same. We're constantly looking for new ways to challenge ourselves with more instensity and more resistance.
Here are four tips that you can use to easily change up any routine and start kicking your own butt:
1. HIIT it up
HIIT stands for "high intensity interval training", which is a method that incorporates alternating between higher and lower speed and intensity to maximize your metabolism. An simple example of a HIIT workout would be 3-5 minutes of warmup, then alternating between 30 seconds of all-out sprints and 60 seconds of light jogging. What's important is that even while you're resting, your body is always on the move and never fully stopping.
2. Complete the Circuit
If you're short on time, circuit training is a great way to get a lot done in less time. Circuit training means moving quickly from one drill right to the next without breaking. Each exercise should target a different muscle group so that the previous muscle group gets to rest. For example, going from squats to crunches to chinups will get your whole body engaged in a very time-efficient, cardio-focused workout.
3. Go for Failure
When we think we're tired, our minds tend to give up before our bodies do. This is a natural safety switch that prevents us from injuring ourselves, but sometimes it can trick us into thinking we're pushing ourselves when we're really not. Research has shown that training to failure is an effective way to increase strength and improve the body's ability to build lean muscle. It's not as hard as it sounds- one way to reach failure is through super slow movements with relatively light resistance. For example, try doing a slow-motion pushup over 10 seconds and see how that feels.
4. Add more Resistance
Pretty straightforward, right? Extra resistance means making your body work harder, helping you get you better results. For runners, a great way to add some natural resistance is by running on an incline, such as a hill or a set of stairs. But if you live in a relatively flat area, you can always create some extra resistance by wrapping yourself up with some resistance bands, strapping on a set of weights, or sporting a pair of Physiclo resistance pants.