Every now and then I catch myself stuck in the same routine and my workout starts to get a little boring. I know this is starting to happen when it gets easy to miss my regular workout. Recently, I noticed this had happened when I easily talked myself out of going to the gym for almost 2 weeks straight. Obviously, something needed to change. So here are a few ideas that I use from time to time just to spice up my workout. Give them a try, and I’m sure you’ll find some new excitement to your workout as well.
Change your Grip!
This is a small change compared to most of the others you can do, but one way to spice up your workout from time to time is to change the way you’re gripping the bar when doing barbell or machine exercises. One of my favorite grips is the palm grip. In fact, I’ve read several articles from fitness trainers and other professional athletes that suggest that on exercises like the bench press, you should only be using a palm grip.
So what is a palm grip? Let’s use the bench press as an example for the palm grip. Many of us have been guilty of using a standard grip on this exercise, myself included. A standard grip would be where you wrap your hand around bar as if you were holding a baseball bat. If you want a more effective bench press, try not wrapping your thumb around the bar. You might think that you’ll lose some stability by doing this, but I’ve never had that problem. You might have to bend your wrist a little more to compensate, or lower the weight just a little bit. The main benefit to using a palm grip on this type of exercise is that by putting your thumb in this position, you are reducing the amount of effort that your forearms will put into the exercise. Therefore, you chest and tricep muscles will have to work even harder to do the lift. Try this, and I’m sure you’ll notice a difference the next time you perform a bench press.
You’ve probably heard of super sets, where you do two exercise consecutively without resting in between. Have you ever tried doing three different exercises? This works extremely well with bicep exercises. The benefit to doing a triset with a bicep workout, is it allows you to hit the bicep really hard in three different ways. Here’s an example of a bicep triset: standing barbell curls, hammer curls, reverse barbell curls. You’ll also notice in this sequence that you have to change your grip with each set of the triset. This is the best way to utilize a triset. Here’s an example of a triset with triceps: straight bar cable push downs, rope cable push downs, reverse cable pushdowns. Again, the key here is to change the grip on each exercise. Give these a try, and I’m sure you’ll feel a new pump in whatever body part you utilize them with!
Change you Split!
Have you been following the same split routine for two long? Has your split routine consisted of chest and triceps, back and biceps, or something similar for several months? Try reversing your split or doing a 5 day split instead of a 3 day split. Do chest and biceps, back and triceps just to mix it up a little.
These are just a few basic ideas, but its always a good idea to mix up your routine on a continual basis. That way you can keep your body guessing and growing to adapt to the changes in stress that you place on your muscles.