Friday, 10 October 2014

Be More Flexible

It can be hard to break a habit, particularly when it comes to your gym routines. The amount of times I see the same faces, doing the same sessions week in, week out in a gym. Or people waiting religiously for a piece of gym equipment as they "need" to use it next.

Y'all need to be more flexible. Make the most of hurdles and see your glass as half full - not half empty! What do I mean? Here's what I mean:

Someone is using equipment you need:
Try to come up with an alternative exercise. If there isn't the heavy weight you want then try to add an element of stability or work a single limb with exercises such as pistol squats rather than regular back squats. Add an element of conditioning or a new challenge for you and your body. Do things at a higher intensity or for a much greater number of repetitions.

You don't have time to exercise:
Increase your intensity and work in a circuit format. See if you can do all of the usual exercises at a much greater intensity with less rest time. Or, create a new workout routine which focuses on the same areas but gets your heart rate much higher.

The gym is too busy:
Come up with a workout using minimal equipment. Things such as kettlbells or a barbell complex are a good idea. Equipment like a TRX or Powerbags are also very versatile pieces of equipment. If you want some more ideas for workouts using minimal equipment see here: Ideas

You're stuck at home because of "X":
Try using your own bodyweight. There's plenty you can do aside from just press ups. In fact, here's 21 ideas for you: 21 Bodyweight Ideas

You have an injury:
Don't avoid the gym all together. instead spent longer focusing on other body parts, especially the weaker parts. Even if you had a broken bone there will always be some exercises available to you. If you have a repeating injury, spend time focusing on "pre-hab" - improving your weaker areas ahead of any injuries to minimise risk of them repeating. You might even double up on a session in a week. For instance if you had a damaged elbow, you might do 2 leg sessions that week to help recovery.

You're tired of the gym:
If the gym is physically and mentally taking its toll on you consider a de-loading week. There's only so much your central nervous system can take, not to mention smaller joints such as your elbows which can take a pounding over the weeks. You might be pleasantly surprised that this de-loading week can significantly improve your strength and progress in the weeks to follow. I'll write more about de-loading next month and link it here...

You don't like certain sessions:
The likelihood is you do the sessions you enjoy most first (chest Monday), and the sessions you dislike are done at the tail end of the week... if at all. Why not switch this up? Take all of the exercises that you don't like and get them done ASAP in the week. That way they're done and not hanging over your head and likely to be ignored at a later date. For instance with me, I usually train my legs on a Monday as I find it mentally taxing. I will also try and include exercises on a Tuesday session such as cleans and bench press into a really quick session as I don't enjoy them at all. Then I know the rest of the week is mine to enjoy.

What I'm trying to say is: be positive and take the opportunity when hurdles arise, to do something different. Train with someone new, try a new exercise or workout, train outside etc etc - You never know, you might like it!

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