Workout and Lifestyle Switches

Whether working out or just living your everyday life things can always be kept fresh by simply switching things up. This has a two-fold effect as it makes things firstly more interesting for us, and secondly it shocks and stimulates the body in different ways.

Recently I was inspired by a video I saw on YouTube from Craig Ballantyne which emphasizes switching things up for new workouts. This got me thinking of how many different ways there are to add slight changes but change the whole dynamic of what you are doing.

Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.

SWITCHing your workout:

Do Abs First – Unconventional I know, especially as common knowledge says we should always train the core after the main workout as the stabilizers need to stay strong. While this is true to some extent the advantage of training abs first is that you can work them much harder as they are fresh – this in the long-term leads to better core strength and stability. Plus in my experience it has never taken significant strength away from my main workout. Try the following circuit twice at the start of your workout:

– 60 Second Plank

– 12 Ab Wheel Roll-outs

Take 60 seconds rest between sets and change the time of the plank hold according to your current level of fitness. You will find that the intensity at which you can train your abs improves significantly. I was recently reading the new Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove book which actually recommends starting workouts with some abdominal stability work before going into the weight lifting part of the workout – give it a try to see how it changes your workout.

Add More Volume – Once in a while this is a great way to SWITCH things up, especially if you are used to full body workouts. I have written in the past about why I stopped volume training, but I still see the value in the occasional hit of Volume for a muscle group – It can trigger new growth and shock the muscles into adaptation for better long-term performance. Some days I like to throw in 100 push ups or 100 body-weight squats, nothing works quite like volume to stimulate a muscle group…..

Simple Training – We are all used to doing complicated training regimes and it seems the more complicated things are the better the results? well not always, by simplifying your training routine and bringing it down to the bare bones great results can be had. Have you ever thought of going to the gym and just doing:

– Clean and Press 5 Sets of 10 Reps

– 100 Kettlebell Swings for time

– 7 Sets of 100m Sprints

– Superset Dips and Chinups

The options are limitless but sometimes just sticking to one or two movements can have great results. Plus its a simple and effective way to get in a workout.

Lifestyle SWITCHes

Try A New Food – Most of us go on autopilot when shopping for food, the human mind thrives on familiarity. This is not to say we shouldn’t try new things – Try cooking a new Vegetable, or some kind of grain like Wild Rice or Quinoa. Why not have Sweet Potato mash for breakfast instead of Oatmeal or Cereal.

One Day Meat Free – Only meat eaters need apply but its worth a try. If you think back to our ancestors they would have had to go days or sometimes much longer without access to meat, In modern society we usually eat some kind of meat at least once a day. This got me thinking and I have recently started throwing a meat free day into my week and it has been surprisingly hard as I am so used to making meals that include some kind of Poultry or Red Meat. It has been a good move making me focus on quality when it comes to meat and broadening my horizons when cooking.

Start the Day – with something new, Instead of getting up and going straight on the internet and getting a stream of e-mail how about grabbing a hot drink and just reading the newspaper or watching the news. It may be hard at first but it starts the day in a much more calm way, allowing your thought stream to slowly switch on rather than being bombarded with several inputs (e-mail, web browsing, radio etc….).

It’s always good to switch things up and I am sure there are many readers who can share ways to give things a new edge, so please comment….

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