Keep your Body Guessing

By: James Flanders

If your workout routine isn't delivering the results that it once did, making a few simple adjustments could be just the ticket to jumpstart the effectiveness once again.

For years I basically worked out the same way week in week out, month in month out, year in and year out. What happened? Eventually not much. I reached a plateau. My body adjusted and I stopped making progress. Don't get me wrong, I was still in good shape. But, I just wasn't seeing the results that I wanted to see.

I know I'm not the only one who has fallen into that rut. When I used to workout at the local gym I remember seeing the same people doing the same routines the same way week after week just like me. Guess what? Most of them weren't making much progress either. There were a few exceptions, but overall, I think most people were disappointed with the results of doing the same old thing.

Listen and listen carefully. Settling for the same old same old when it comes to your workout is a very bad decision. Not only does it lead to boredom, which leads to losing motivation, which may lead to an end of working out altogether. But, it also leads to stalling on a plateau. On the other hand, changing things up on a regular basis can keep your workouts interesting, keep you motivated and keep you seeing great results.

Simply making small adjustments to your workout program on a regular basis will keep your mind engaged and keep your muscles guessing.

That will equate to increases in strength, better muscle definition and greater fat loss.

Let me give you some examples of how you can change things up.

If you enjoy jogging you can shock your system by adding a few sprints into the mix. Not only will this make life more interesting, but if will really boost your metabolism.

Every few minutes kick yourself up near your maximum speed and hold it for twenty or thirty seconds (or whatever you can handle), then slow back down to a jog. A few minutes later, do it again and then again and again. Adding five or six sprints to a jogging routine can have a huge impact. This is called Interval Training, and studies have shown that it can increase the effectiveness of your workout BIG TIME. It will literally supercharge your routine.

This same technique also works with strength training. For instance, when you work your upper body, if you are in the habit of starting a workout with push-ups, then moving on to pull-ups, then moving on to whatever, try changing the order of the exercises and you'll be surprised at what happens!

You can also alter the tempo of your repetitions. If you generally move in a steady, up down, up down motion, change it up. Instead of quickly lowering yourself down on a push-up, squat or whatever you happen to be doing, take several seconds for that movement (DOWN, two, three, four, five, six), pause and hold at the bottom of the rep, then explode back up.

To ad to the variety you can do the positive and the negative of each rep way way sloooow (DOWN, two, three, four, five, six, HOLD...HOLD some more, UP, two, three, four, five, six). Your total number of reps per set will decrease, but with a slow rep you will find all sorts of stabilizer muscles beginning to kick in that normally don't get much of a workout at all.

A great way to really shock your system is to do what I like to call Mega Reps. Mega Reps are repetitions that last as long as you can possibly hold the particular position you are in. For instance a low squat, the mid point in a push-up, the top of a pullup, or my all time favorite handstands.

Combining, 'UP one, DOWN one' movements with, 'Up, two, three four, DOWN, two three, four' and 'UP, DOWN, two, three, four' movements and the occasional Mega Rep will give you mega results whether you are doing bodyweight exercises or lifting weights. If you try doing mega reps with weights be sure to always use a spotter.

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