Working out, at its core, is all about challenging your body. You put your muscles under stress and they grow back bigger and stronger. You run, row or bike to convince your cardiovascular system that it’s capable of more. You run 3 miles away from your home to give yourself no chance to bail out on your planned 6-mile run. All of these challenges help you grow both physically and mentally.
However, we all have our down seasons, even if you don’t realize it. Whether scheduling issues arise, you’re training for different things or you’ve just lost a little bit of the spark, you might need a workout routine kickstart. Lace up your workout shoes for men or women and try these tips and challenges.
Implement Every Minute on the Minute Training
Every minute on the minute (EMOM) training can help make your workouts more efficient and challenge you in new ways. Rather than doing 3 sets of 12 reps at a certain weight, you could instead do 5 reps of a lighter weight for 15 EMOM rounds. When the timer dings, you perform the reps and use the remaining time to rest. Rinse and repeat and you have a sneaky-hard workout that will bring out the best in you. If standard lifting has gotten a little mundane, throw on your workout clothes for men or women and give EMOM a try.
Let Mother Nature Do Her Worst
Air-conditioned or heated gyms are definitely nice but can make working out, something that’s all about pushing yourself, a little too comfortable. Sometimes a change of scenery can make your workouts more exciting, not to mention more challenging. For example, rather than walking on an incline on the treadmill, go for a hike, where you’ll encounter different terrains, obstacles and weather. You could also take your HIIT workout outside, sprinting up and down a local hill to really turn up the burn. Sometimes all you need to do to make your routine more exciting and challenging is to let Mother Nature do her worst.
If you have the time in your schedule and have big goals you want to accomplish, two-a-days might be for you. They’re not just for the professionals anymore and everyday athletes have seen tremendous success by following a two-a-day workout regimen. For example, you can use your morning training session for cardio and your post-work workout for strength training. Everyone is different, so adapt a schedule that fits your goals, schedule and needs. Throw on your workout clothes for men or women and get after it.
Set a Precise Goal This Month
Do you have any short-term goals? You probably have a dream PR in mind or you’re training for a race later in the year, but having short-term, immediate goals can help add a sense of urgency to your workouts. Many people enjoy setting a challenge for the month, such as running 60 miles or doing a certain number of total reps in a month. Rather than going for a specific PR, these goals are about consistency and breaking down a seemingly high number into manageable workouts. If your workouts are lacking purpose, set a precise goal for this month. If you can be strategic and stay consistent, you’ll surely achieve the goal.
Have Someone Create a Routine for You
When you first started working out, you probably followed a routine you found online or one a personal trainer developed for you. This first routine helped introduce you to fitness and get you to your original goals. Now that you have a few personal bests under your belt, it can be easy to artificially limit yourself without even realizing it. It’s worth seeing if a second set of eyes could look at your current progress, your future goals and create a routine that helps you go to the next level. Even if the numbers on paper seem impossible, once you start working through the program, you’ll probably amaze yourself with your capabilities as you unlock your true potential.
Set Time Limits
How long do your workouts typically last? For many of us, it can take around 45 minutes to an hour to get a good workout in, but does it really need to take that long? Throughout the course of that hour, there are likely plenty of idle times where you’re resting, walking to the water fountain or queuing up your playlist. In actuality, it’s totally possible to have a comprehensive, killer workout in only 30 minutes, such as on your lunch break. Try setting a timer and putting a time constraint on your workouts. It can help you be more efficient and can really crank up the intensity.
Face Your Fitness Fears
What exercise or machine do you fear the most yet know deep down you shouldn’t ignore it? For some, it’s heavy deadlifts. For others, it could be cardio. You know that doing this exercise will help you in the long term, yet the discomfort associated keeps you from including it in your regimen consistently. It’s time to draw a line in the sand and face your fitness fears. You’ll be better because of it and you might learn to love it soon enough.
Get to It
Sometimes you can be in a workout rut without even realizing it. Conversely, your regimen might be in high gear and working well, but you need something new to keep it interesting. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, these tips are worth trying. With these ideas, you can keep your routine fresh and challenge your body in new and exciting ways.
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