Sometimes your body is an amazing, mysterious mechanism. Sometimes it can be a real asshole. You know that weights routine you have been doing for months…maybe years? Your body has that shit figured out and has now become so efficient at the same predictable workout, the benefits you would have gained when you first started have long plateaued.
Whether you want to continue making strength gains, change the shape of your body, or you’re just bored as fuck with the same routine – here are 5 ways to shake-up your weights routine when you don’t know anything:
Try a different hand grip
A simple change of hand grip on the exercises you are already familiar with can change the muscles you are targeting or include more target muscles. For example – if the lat pull-down machine is a perennial fav try changing the width of your hand-grip. If you normally grab the bar wider than your shoulder width, try narrowing your grip to just a shoulder width. And if you really feel like going mental, go shoulder width reverse grip (i.e. fingernails facing you).
Try a different speed
The same exercise can feel significantly more awful (yet change the dynamic completely) if you change the speed at which you are doing the move. For example, try going at half the speed you would normally.
Try different set and repetition combos
If you’re a classic 3 sets of 10 repetitions kinda guy/gal, you can shift your workout to the next level by shaking up the way you break up those 30 repetitions. Have a play, what about these combos:
- 2 sets of 15
- 6 sets of 5
Ok so they are pretty obvious, what about:
A set of 12 repetitions, followed by a set of 8 repetitions, 6 repetitions, then 4 repetitions. Increase the weight slightly for each set.
Put together 2 of your exercises
For example, if your weights routine includes bench press and bicep curls, play match-maker and moosh them together. Instead of doing your 3 sets of 10 bench press then moving on to your 3 sets of 10 bicep curls, try doing one set of bench press then immediately follow with one set of bicep curls. Have a rest. And repeat the mooshing of exercises 2 more times.
Change the order of your routine
Religious about the order you perform your exercises? Well I call anarchy, throw caution to the wind and do your exercise routine in a completely different order; your muscles will lose their mind so to speak (but this is a good thing). Think about it: if you usually do a back exercise as your very first exercise, your muscles are fresh and feeling sweet. But going crazy and putting that same back exercise as the very last exercise of your routine – your back will already feel fatigued from the other exercises, thus challenging your back muscles. Remember your body is a cheeky fuck and becomes freakishy efficient when presented with the same routines. A simple change of order is enough to throw your body off kilter in a good way.
See? 5 ways to change up your weights routine without having to know anything. BTW awesome job on being comfortable doing weights on the gym floor. It can be an intimidating space of weight stacks, machines, cables and douche-bags. Go you!