Improving your workout
Not only is it monotonous (think: boring), but doing the same thing day in, day out might also stop you from you getting the results you expect. The fitter you become the more efficient your body is at doing your regular workout, so if you stick rigidly to that workout, you might be heading for a plateau. But the good news is it’s easy to get the ball rolling again. Here are eight ways to up the ante on your workout and start getting the results you deserve.
1. Lift heavy things
Many women avoid the weights room at the gym for fear of bulking up, and prefer to stick solely to the cardio machines instead. However this isn’t a problem for the majority of women. Resistance training is not only the best form of exercise if you want to develop your muscles but the feeling of being strong physically delivers multiple mental benefits. As well as changing your physique, resistance work builds strong muscles and bones, increases metabolism and improves overall body shape and posture. If you really want a fit and strong body then it’s time to add resistance training to your routine. Australia’s Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults recommends doing muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.
2. Up the ante
If you're feeling pretty comfy during your usual cardio workout, a great way to reap more benefits is to play around with duration and intensity. It’s called overload, where you push your body harder so that you continue to improve your fitness and get more out of training. A good approach is to extend the length of time first. Try running for 15 mins rather than 10 mins. Once you’re comfortable with the length of time try increasing the intensity too. Try choosing a hilly course instead of a flat one. It’s a good idea to change things around a bit by having shorter, faster sessions on some days and then longer, slower ones on others.
3. Progress your program
Increase the intensity of your fitness program.This means choosing slightly more advanced versions of exercises, lifting a heavier weight, or doing the move for a longer period of time (like holding that plank longer or doing just two more reps than usual). You want to progressively overload the muscles by making small increases over time – that’s where you’ll make the progress and get the results you’re looking for.
4. Don't put limits on yourself
And by this, we mean the mental kind. Saying something like ‘I won’t do that until I’ve lost more weight,’ even if there’s nothing physically stopping you from doing it now. Try not to let a lack of confidence keep you from experiencing life and getting in there, whether that’s finding a gym, joining a team or attending an exercise class. Just be sure to do some research first. That way you’re much more likely to find and walk into an environment you feel comfortable with, and where you’ll meet like-minded people. It’s always a bit challenging trying something new, but it’s really worth it.
5. Find a new passion
If you feel like your activity of choice is a bit stale, so that your workouts are more ‘ho-hum’ than ‘hell yeah!’, it’s time to find a new passion. Variety is the spice of life. Varying your activity program helps to keep you motivated and may prevent you from hitting a plateau. A good strategy is making a conscious effort to do a brand new activity four times a year, to prevent boredom from setting in. If you’re tired of your Zumba class, try boxing classes instead, or swap from running to swimming in the warmer months.
6. Pump up the jam
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – if you’re not using music as your legalised performance-enhancing drug-of-choice, then you’re missing out. Listening to upbeat music while you’re exercising can make you work harder and for longer, without even realising it.
7. Get a trainer
Enlisting the help of a qualified expert is a great way to stay accountable to both showing up and working harder than what you’d do on your own. They can also provide you with a more structured plan for when you’re exercising solo. If you have any medical issues or injuries an exercise physiologist or physiotherapist would be a good option.
8. Find a plan
If you want some inspiration for your workout or a simple plan that you can start following today, browse our WW workouts. You’ll see a wide variety of workouts to choose from. Whether you’re trying to get fit at home, the gym or the beach, or want to strengthen your core, legs or arms, we’ve got all the moves you need to get great results.