Variations – Little Changes Make a BIG Difference

In the spirit of New Year’s and the accompanying “resolutions”, I thought I’d help you along by introducing a few changes for your workouts.  These are great because you can do the exact same exercises and still be changing things around.  It’s almost like you’re getting away with something! 

Before I go into them, be forewarned that these changes – like most changes – will feel a bit uncomfortable.  No worries - they’re supposed to!  Just take these slow and give your body time to adjust.  Here are a few:

  • Change Your Grip.  Move your hands wider or narrower when doing Bench Presses, Military Presses, Pull Ups and/or Pull-Downs.  An inch either way will make a huge difference!  By adjusting your stance, this will work with your squats and leg presses too!

  • Change the Time that you wait between sets.  A reduction in time will necessarily reduce the weights that you normally are able to do while an increase in the rest period will enable you to lift more.  It’s pretty straightforward but be careful with this one.

  • Change the Order in which you perform your exercises.  For example, if you normally lead off with the Bench Press, save it for last.  Change up the other exercises too.  Note that you can still do the same exercises, sets and reps.

  • Lose the Shoes.  Yes, lose the shoes!  Try squatting and deadlifting barefoot.  This will require you to upgrade your flexibility quotient but will pay big dividends.  Lifting barefoot will tax your ancillary muscles and stress your thighs and back a bit differently than if you were wearing shoes.

  • Pre-Exhaustion.  An Oldie but a goodie!  Traditional body-building tells us to lift heavy first and to finish up with the "smaller" exercises like flyes, push-ups or dumbbell work.  Well, its time to turn tradition on its head and to do things, well, less traditionally.  With this one, you'll do you "small" exercises, such as Chest Flyes, for a few sets then follow-up with the Bench Press.

These are a great way to jump-start your workout and to get the New Year off to an exceptional start!