No matter how heavily you commit to a fitness lifestyle, you’re bound to suffer a setback. Maybe you lack confidence with the way your body looks, or you struggle to make gains. Perhaps the diet you’re following isn’t working with your fitness program. These aren’t signs that you should give up. Here’s three ways you can overcome your fitness setbacks.
Use Variations in Your Fitness Routine
One of the major reasons that fitness programs stall out is due to lack of variation. Because your body gets used to a routine, it becomes less effective over time. Throwing some variations into your workout can confuse your body and promote growth to get you over the hump. For example, use dumbbells for bench press instead of a barbell. It engages the muscles differently, and you can throw in things like alternating press or slow negatives to switch up your routine. This creates different variables for your muscles, and makes your workouts more interesting. Here’s a great list of bench press variations for your next chest day.
Experiment with Burn-Outs, Giant Sets & Circuits
Burn-outs, giant-sets, and super-sets can be valuable assets in your routine. Let’s establish some context on what these phrases mean:
Burnout-Set – A set done to exhaustion after a regular set with roughly 50% of the weight used initially. An example would be following up a set of fifty pound bicep curls with a burn-out of twenty-five pounds.
Giant Set – Combination of three or more exercises with less than sixty seconds rest. These can be for the same muscle group or multiple groups.
Super-Set – Combination of two exercises with similar motions to work one muscle or group of muscle. For example, going from a bench press into a shoulder press.
These methods can improve muscular endurance, promote muscle growth, and challenge your body. However, not all fitness programs will utilize these. Be sure to research them further to see if they’re right for your program.
Change the Order
One of the simplest changes to make to a routine is in the order. Fatigue has an adverse effect on your exercises as the workout goes on. Therefore, switching up your order gives you more energy to approach the exercise that you usually finish with. This also introduces muscle confusion to the equation, which can further help you break barriers.
Maybe you combine chest and shoulders into one day, and typically finish with shoulder. Try starting with shoulders instead, and see if you can recognize the difference.
Maybe your problem with fitness doesn’t stem from the diet or exercise itself but is injury-related, or something personal. Remember that setbacks are hurdles, not barriers. All things fitness take time, so stay focused and pursue your goals.