Five new ways to mix it up
1. Cut Rest Time
“Bringing down stoppage time between sets by fifteen seconds will diminish the amount of stored energy your body can supply to muscles with oxygen and nutrients,” says Rafael Torres, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified trainer. If you usually rest for sixty seconds, try forty-five. Shortening recovery will challenge muscles to push through fatigue.
2. Switch Schedules
“Your body becomes complacent when it exercises at the same time every day,” Torres says. Try changing your workout time twice a week. You may find that you’re more energized throughout the day after a morning workout or that your muscles feel more powerful in the evening.
3. Reverse Your Routine
When you always bench press first, your chest muscles get used to the motion. Next time, finish with the exercise – you’ll have to work a little harder to lift the same weight after a full session.
4. Change Positions
If you do triceps pushdowns with the rope, use the triangle instead, and take two steps back. Minor adjustments in hand position will work a different part of the muscle.
5. Visualize Form
No more going through the motions. Focus on every single move. A Torres favorite: “On the leg press, without changing stance or form, imagine pushing with your toes, then heels, then butt every rep.” For pull-ups, start by looking at the ground like you’re hanging from a cliff and end by looking up and lifting yourself to the sky. This will help ensure that you’re going through a complete range of motion instead of stopping short.