If you live at the gym, but your results are lackluster, that same-old routine might be to blame. Tom Holland, Exercise Physiologist, Bowflex Fitness Advisor and author of Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets—Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag shares his advice on ways to take your workout up a notch–or several! Try his five ideas below to maximize your workout, make the most of each minute and achieve your goals.
1. DO 1 MINUTE INTERVALS
When it comes to cardio workouts, regardless if it’s running, the elliptical, swimming, cycling or even walking, interval training will kick up the session. “Doing 4-10 hard 60 second intervals with 60 seconds of rest in the middle will really add significant benefits,” says Holland.
2. GO UNILATERAL
Doing only bilateral exercises (think: barbell curls and squats) allows the stronger or dominant side of the body to do consistently more work; this can diminish results. Instead, Holland recommends exercises like single-leg ball squats and single-arm dumbbell biceps curls. “These allow us to work on our weak links, prevent “cheating” and really target the muscles we are trying to focus on.”
3. TAKE IT VERTICAL
Adding jumping, also known as plyometrics, to traditional moves such as squats and lunges, ups the the number of calories burned. “This also increases the intensity and difficulty of the traditional moves,” reports Holland.
4. SLOW DOWN
According to Holland, most people perform their exercises too quickly and with poor form utilizing momentum and decreasing their gains as a result. “By slowing down each movement, focusing on the eccentric or “lowering” phase of each exercise (try 1-2 seconds on the “up” and 4-5 seconds on the “down”) you will increase the muscular time-under-tension and dramatically increase the effectiveness and your results.”
5. COMBO MOVES
Pair exercises together, such as doing a biceps curl and a lunge; squat with a shoulder press or push-up with alternating dumbbell rows. “This will work more muscles with each movement, maximizing your workout time and challenging your body in a functional yet super-effective way,” summarizes Holland.
Try making any or all of these tweaks to your routine and watch your workouts soar to the next level, kicking up the calories burned while increasing strength and sculpting a killer body.