You can bump up your fitness by adding 5 minutes to whatever exercise you do, such as when you are running, cycling, swimming, rebounding or weight lifting. And then you can bump it up some more with another 5 or 10 minutes, topped with some intensity.
Top it with Intensity
There are many ways to add intensity to your workout, and they all require your full attention. This means forgetting about chatting, ogling or moving like an aimless sloth. When intensifying any workout, you’ll need to be well rested, well fed and ready to go for it.
To add intensity to your workouts:
- Start with aerobic exercise followed by weights without resting.
- Focus on the muscle(s) you are working or exercise you are doing.
- Switch from one exercise to another without resting
- Superset 2 to 3 weight training exercises back-to-back.
- Push yourself during the last minutes of any exercise.
Do dumbbell curls for your biceps using lighter weights than you usually lift. Look directly at yourself in the mirror, concentrate on your biceps as you curl each dumbbell. The rest of the world does not exist. Forget about the number of repetitions and concentrate on form. Do rep after rep until it burns, then lift each side 5 more times. Take a 30 second break and start all over again.
Interval mash up
If you love your treadmill or other cardio machine, shaking things up with some interval training can bump up your workout. In a nutshell, interval training is a combination of alternating short, intense spurts of exercise with moments of resty. Interval training is chock-full of different aerobic exercises that keep your heart rate up for a period of time. The speeding up and slowing down of interval training turns your body into a stress-handling machine, both mentally and physically.
Make sure you eat before you workout, especially when adding intensity to your routine. You don’t want to fizzle out in the middle of any exercise, and you’ll need ample fuel to get you through an effectively intense workout. Prior to working out, eat something hearty like oatmeal, a whole banana, and half a cup of coffee.
Newbies and in-a-rutties Can Do It
If you are a workout newbie or have been in an exercise rut, it might be time for you to mix it up. If you’ve never hired a personal trainer, you might find it helpful to learn correct form and a routine that is best for your body. Ask the trainer to create a routine for you and make sure you write it down. Once you’ve followed the routine a few times, it will be like second nature.
Workout Buddy Time
You can also enhance the probability that you’ll keep working out if you have a workout buddy. This can be a friend or somebody you click with at the gym. Your buddy will help motivate you to get into the gym, and you’ll do the same for them. And when you both get into better shape, you can also celebrate together when you reach your goal.
Just go for it. Start small. Mix it up. Workout with a friend. Add new exercises. Rest less between sets. Add intensity to your workouts. Find a friend or start by yourself–and start now! The sooner you start the sooner you’ll feel more fit!