Has your workout routine become.. well routine? Humans are such interesting creatures, although there is so much variety out there, many of us stick to what we know. However this routine is so often why we lose motivation in the long run!
The reality is it is difficult to make progress and changes in your body if you do the same workout day in and day out. Variety is the spice of life… it is also the answer to getting real results faster and quicker from your exercise. The reason for this is that your metabolism plateaus when your body and muscles adapt to doing the same exercises again and again.
Experts suggest looking at your workout in a more holistic way and most importantly for women – it’s not just about cardiovascular exercise to burn calories. It's about weight training and a bunch more things...
Variety is the spice of your exercise : Many of us tend to focus on our “problem areas”. If we want to get rid of our tummies we focus on stomach crunches. But the thing is if you want to get results and speed up your metabolism it’s about building lean muscle all over your body. The more lean muscle the faster your metabolism.Yeehaw. So in other words – hit the weights every now and again!
Go hard or go home : If you aren’t giving it your all then you can’t expect to get the results you want. Your RPE (rate of perceived exertion) is a great way to gauge how you are feeling. It’s a measure of 1 to 10, with 1 being sitting on the couch watching reruns of Law and Order and 10 being “OMG I can’t go any harder!!!”. If at a minimum you are looking to maintain your current bone density (and therefore metabolism rate) you need to be going at a 6-7. To start getting results you need to reach at least an 8 for most of your workout. Even better stay at around 5- for 66% of the time and 33% of the time go at 9-10. This really keeps the body guessing and helps get you some great results!
Slow and Steady : When you are new to the whole weights thing sometimes you can accidentally drop the weights at the end of a set, or in the middle of a set if you are feeling weak. This can not only distract others in the gym but it can make you feel weak and like a failure. So take it slow and steady. Always complete the full range of motion when using weights. If you are not keeping your form you are either straining something (like your back or neck – not good by the way) and/or you are using the wrong muscle groups. So stand by a mirror and watch each individual movement to make sure you know how the movement feels when you get it right. Also most gyms have roaming personal trainers, so if you get stuck, don't be shy to ask for help!
Remember to breathe : When you are pushing a really hard workload it is so easy to forget to breath. But this can be counterproductive as it starves the body of oxygen which forces your heart to work a lot harder (not good). Remember to EXHALE during the exertion movement and INHALE during the returning to position.
Dress for success : If all else fails make sure you look and feel fabulous during your workouts. 87% of women believe that being comfortable in their workout clothing builds confidence and motivation. So have a few sports tops and a few workout pants to give you a complete activewear wardrobe. Also make sure you wear a supportive sports bra.