This one is for the gym rat. The individual that wakes up in the morning and drags themselves through a killer workout routine for two hours a day, 6 days a week. This person has gotten to a point where they crave working out. Bringing yourself to the gym is no longer a problem because you want to be there. Your body and mind have connected through physical activity. You encounter failure every single day and still go back to experience it again. Even taking a break day feels like too much. This person has tried every routine, protein powder, HIIT workout, recovery meal, and vitamin to encourage healing, growth, and energy. Working out consistently takes a new level of dedication that many people don’t have.
Utilizing the Internet
Sometimes, incorporating a new workout into your routine will change how your body feels. It will push a muscle group that isn’t typically pushed. Your recovery will improve, or your mind will be stimulated in a way it hasn’t been before. That is the benefit of diversifying your workout. Change up the pace a little and see if it works for you. Here are a couple places you can start.
There are gym rats all over, and many of them have made a lovely comfortable home on the internet. People post all types of things on the internet, and while it has its faults, it has beneficial information as well. If you seek diversity in a workout, this is a handy place to start.
Determine the Goal
Any workout requires a goal. Is the goal to get bigger, recover, cut, leaner, and create more functional muscle? While each person has their own agenda, diversifying a new workout can help this process along. The most essential thing you can do is implement new exercises. If you body build, you are probably already doing this. Find a different version of a squat and implement that into your routine. Change your traditional bench press to a bench press hold ending with explosive momentum. There are countless options to change the routine within a workout if you search for it. Sometimes hiring a coach or buying a program will help you switch up your routine in a way that you have never done before. Find someone on Instagram whose workouts look like they could push you and try some of it out. Ensure these people are certified trainers to get the best support and knowledge.
Many gym rats stick to weightlifting alone and finish their workout with some form of cardio. While walking on a treadmill at a 4-6 incline can be very effective, it is also quite dull. Incorporating new types of cardio is one of the best ways to diversify your workout. Some of these activities can be done in a gym, such as air bike, cycling, rowing, or swimming. Others can be implemented outside of the gym, such as kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, skateboarding, roller skating, climbing, etc. These are great ways to improve things that you might not have access to in a gym. For instance, try rock climbing if your grip strength isn’t as strong as you would like it to be for deadlifting or pull-ups. There are ways to improve grip strength in a gym, but rock climbing will require technique, flexibility, mobility, and strength in addition to improving your grip strength. A very different form of exercise than a traditional workout.
As a Result of Injury
When people are injured during a workout, their natural tendency is to stop doing whatever exercise they were doing that caused them pain. It is also common to stop working out altogether due to an injury. Not working out is likely the worst way to recover an injured muscle. When our bodies don’t partake in exercise, they tense up. Even if you just stretch, your body will c faster than doing nothing. As a result, the muscle holds onto that pain for a more extended period of time. Instead, changing exercises after an injury is a great way to recover the muscle while still keeping it engaged. Let’s say you had bad form on a deadlift resulting in back pain. Some might stop deadlifting altogether because it is “bad for them” and “dangerous.” While it might be advisable to stop deadlifting until the pain is more manageable and you have a proper coach, that doesn’t mean stopping back exercises will resolve the issue. Loosening up a muscle group differently is better than not engaging it at all. For this example, swimming might be an excellent way to stretch out those back muscles while allowing the area that is a painful time to heal. Going back and deadlifting is a great idea just drop the weight significantly until you have the motion 100% down.
Remember to Stretch
Many gym rats skip the stretching and go right for the loaded rack. Not always the best idea for those trying to get a full range of motion on different exercises. If you don’t want to spend time stretching before or after a workout, look into a yoga or Pilates class. A little is better than nothing at all. Not only does this form of exercise use muscle in a very different way, but it might also help with some tighter spots you notice when lifting weights. Taking time to stretch out those muscles will help in more than one area of your life.
The main goal here is to keep your mind stimulated at the gym while encouraging muscle growth, mobility, flexibility, and change of pace during a workout. We all are guilty of falling into habits often witnessed during a workout. Use your resources to search for new exercises at the gym. Changing a workout through minor differences will keep you engaged and motivated. Incorporating new cardio is another excellent way to shake up that routine. If you are unfamiliar with an activity but have always wanted to try it, this is your chance. Grab your favorite workout buddy and drag them along to keep you motivated and excited for physical activity. Don’t give up when there is pain.