Ah, the humble pie.
In life it can be hard to convince yourself to take a delicious bite of humble pie, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary, especially when we begin to dissect our daily workouts.
First off, if you’re finding a way to get to the gym, you’ve put yourself ahead of the curve. They say much of sales is just showing up, and I firmly believe fitness is very similar. Getting to the gym is half of the battle. Once you’re there, small shifts to progress beyond your current training habits will work magic for your body.
For example, if you’ve been killing it on the leg press, pressing a half ton load for endless reps, it’s time to remove yourself from the leg press and enter the world of free weight squatting. You don’t even need weight. You could knock your ego back down to earth by mixing in some pistol squats.
A few sets of pistol squats and you’ll figure out what you’ve been missing. Single leg strength is where it is at.
If you’ve been dominating bicep curls, walk over to the squat rack and load up a set of chin-ups. Lower yourself slow and explode on the way up. Vertical pulling strength is a fantastic benchmark for upper body strength. It’s important to work on handling your own bodyweight (and beyond) during upper body pulling actions.
Too cool for school on the lat pulldown? Mix in some strict pull-ups using the same tempo as the chin ups. Pull ups are the king of upper body exercises. If you find yourself knocking it out of the park with pull ups, I would bet you will find yourself becoming extremely strong.
Still doing cross-words during the treadmill jog? Take the incline up to 6-8%, turn up the speed and run some 15-20sec sprints. Aerobic work is great, but shuffling your conditioning to venture into the higher ranges of heart rate BPM has great carryover to leaning out and resistance to fatigue during sport.
Tired of being unsure about how hard you are working? Buy a heart rate monitor and measure your effort. There are plenty of brands, colors and features to choose from. It’s really a solid investment and I highly encourage that everyone leverage a heart monitor to increase the effectiveness of their training habits.
Improving your workouts is a lot easier than you might think, but it requires turning away from the path of least resistance and toward the path of progression.
Trust me, I know it feels really good to be awesome at certain exercises while simultaneously avoiding the exercises that plague you, but re-adjusting your training plan to include some of the exercises listed above (among others) is a sure-fire way to see quick improvement.
It really doesn’t take much put yourself on the right track for certain progress. But you have to put yourself on the right track. You have to progress. If you don’t progress in some way, you’ll stay the same.
If you desire the next level of results, it will take some effort and an inner strength to consistently (and intelligently) push yourself out of your current comfort zone. If you remember from an old post the picture below is worth a thousand words.
Progress applies to all aspects of life. If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always had.
Keep progressing and you’ll keep improving. It’s a simple concept, but it isn’t always easy.
Cheers to progressing the workout in small increments!