Workouts get easier as we start to progress and get closer to our fitness goals. Once our workout becomes easy, that's when we need to challenge and push ourselves to get more out of our workout than ever before. These 7 tips help keep your workout challenging, without making it too hard.
1) Monitor your heart rate
During cardio exercises or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, your heart rate should be ranging between 65% of your maximum heart rate (MHR) and gradually increase to 95% of your MHR. To find your Maximum Heart Rate, subtract your age from 220. Use a heart rate monitor to make sure your heart rate falls within your target heart rate range. Another option is to try the Talk Test. If you’re able to sing a tune you’re at a lower intensity. If you can have a conversation with breathing heavily you are around your moderate intensity level. If you are breathing heavily and having trouble holding a conversation, you are around your higher intensity level.
2) Increasing the weight group or adding more repetitions
Noticing that you aren’t becoming sore or tired after your workouts, it may be time to increase your weight group or add more repetitions to your workouts. More weight will help in building strength, and more repetitions will boost endurance.
3) Balancing your fitness routine
Adding new fitness classes or new exercises to your workout plan is a great way to challenge your body and to keep it fun! Also, trying something new and different with friends! Keep it fun and simple with Yoga, Pilates, TRX, Zumba, or Aerobic classes.
4) Changing the times of the day your exercising
If you workout in the afternoon or evening, try a morning workout routine. If you workout in the mornings, switch it to an afternoon workout routine. There is never a “bad” time to exercise.
5) Exercising every other day
Your body needs time to repair its muscles after a full body workout. Resting your muscles 48 hours before exercising again will help improve and muscular development and recovery.
6) Alternating different muscle groups
During strength training programs, it’s important to allow a day of rest between workouts to let the muscle rest and recover. Alternating upper body and lower body exercise will help with the recovery of your muscles.
7) Change the intensity (HIIT)
We can change the intensity of our workouts in various ways. One option is to keep your sets and repetitions the same but decrease the rest period between sets. This will make your workout feel more challenging and speed up your workout. Another option is to increase the length of time of your workout for strength and cardio. The most intense option is increasing the speed of the exercise while increasing the sets can push yourself further than before and challenge yourself. For example, 20 seconds of an exercise, 10 sets. That comes to 4 minutes of FUN!