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Reaching your fitness goals takes a lot of work.
If you’re working towards fitness goals, and you’ve reached a point where you can’t seem to improve, then it’s time to switch it up a little bit. Doing the same thing over and over again, the exact same way, in your workouts will lead to you hitting a plateau towards your goal. You need to mix it up.
Oftentimes, you can mix it up by switching your routine up. Rather than doing the exact same exercises in the exact same order, change which order you do them in. Your muscles and body become used to your routine and so it becomes natural to do the same movements over and over again. This is often referred to as muscle confusion, and by changing your routine up you help to confuse the muscles from knowing what’s coming next.
Muscle confusion is really helpful, but there are other methods that can be even more effective to help you increase your muscular strength as well. First off, increase the number of reps of an exercise that you’re doing. If you’re doing body weight exercises, this means that you add 5 more repetitions to your move. If you’re using weight, add another couple of reps. You’re trying to increase the total amount of weight that you move over the course of a workout.
Increasing reps is a safer way to train than increasing your weight too high on exercises. While increasing weight is also highly recommended, there are times when it may not make sense to do so. For example, if you have a home gym and don’t have more weight to add, or if you lift alone and don’t feel comfortable with going too high on the amount of weight that you’re lifting. Increasing the number of reps that you use will go a long way in helping to improve your overall strength.
Another excellent way to increase your strength and push yourself harder is to add static holds as part of your lifts. This forces you to make sure that you’re isolating the muscles that you’re working out. These holds, or pauses, should be done with lighter weight than you’re regularly lifting until you become used to them - they’re actually quite difficult to perform.
The way that a pause in your lift works is that you literally hold or pause your lift at some point so that you’re not bouncing up and down. For example, in a squat, you’d pause at the bottom for a second, and then start back up. With a bench press, you hold the weight at the bottom before pushing back up. You’re forcing your muscles to push the weight back up, rather than momentum.
You can add these tricks to more than just standard weightlifting. For example, if you’re doing body weight exercises then you can easily mix up the order of the exercises, increase the reps you’re doing, or add static holds into your lifts.
Improve your fitness routine by keeping on top of yourself. Push through your plateau’s by mixing things up a bit.