Five Challenging Ideas for Tougher Workouts

Hi guys!  So recently I've been trying to challenge myself more in my workouts- lifting heavier weights, holding squats for longer, taking less breaks, etc.  These little changes throughout the workouts actually leave me more exhausted and satisfied with my work by the end.  I wanted to give you some ideas on how to challenge yourselves.

Wow that's terribly cheesy. 

1.  Follow a challenge calendar.
This might seem a bit obvious for this post, but I really like the idea: take a simple exercise and the increase time/ reps of the exercise over the course of a month to build a particular area of strength.

This month, starting with 20 push ups, I added 5 push ups every morning until I got to a number I was really proud of.  Not only did this improve my strength, but I also found out that I wasn't really doing push ups correctly.

2.  Low reps and heavy sets.
This is something new that I'm trying to do.  For example, I could do 50 bicep curls with a light weight, taking a lot of time and not making much difference, or I could do 8 with a challenging, heavy weight then rest and try to do 8 more (or I might go down to 5 :).  Then I'll move on to a lighter weight and do as many of those as I can.  I'm sure there's a word for this in the bodybuilding world, but I don't know it.

I suppose the word would be, "hard."

At the end of the workout I try to pick up those heavy weights one more time and do another set.  I don't conserve my energy- I give each rep that I do all that I have!


3.  Do a time challenge.
Similar to before, but sometimes I set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and do one really hard exercise: jump tucks, jump lunges, burpees, etc.  This is, straight up, a challenge.  These kill.  I find that the time flies by if I turn on my timer and clear my mind, finding the rhythm in the exercise (one, up, two, out, three, down, four, in, one...)!  They're challenging, but there's something amazingly calming about doing the same movement over and over again.

4.  Try something new.
This one is the hardest for me.  I hate trying new things.  I judge things by their cover.  I'll get frustrated at what's too easy or too difficult... but I usually find that I like any type of exercise.  I like running, weight lifting, stair stepping, rope skipping, turbo kicking, pilate-ing, everything!

5.  Sign up for a class or an event.
This is great motivation as well!  Doing this means you're committed to the sport, exercise, or challenge that you've put your mind to.  I'm looking forward to signing up for 5k's with my brother this Spring and starting hot yoga!

What's your favorite way to challenge yourself?

Have a great weekend!


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