Your health and fitness coach has worked with you to develop your uniquely perfect workout. It hits all of the marks you’re looking for: toning, strength, posture, and extra bum-boosting. You’ve been following it for a couple of weeks and feeling fabulous.
Until that one morning when. You. Just…CAN’T. You have a plethora of reasons why—or maybe you have none. The point is just the thought of your usual workout makes your head, heart, and gut say “Uh uh. Not going to happen today.”
So change it. Even if I’m the health and fitness coach who worked my heart out creating it for you, change it up.
You can do something completely different, like go for a hike or take a cardio kickboxing class (are those still a thing?). Or you can make some adjustments to your existing workout that can help it feel very different indeed.
7 ways you can adjust your workout
Change your speed
If you usually go at a moderate tempo, try to go fast or super-slow. Both challenge your mind and muscles in different ways.
An important thing to keep in mind when changing your tempo is to maintain good form—no injuries, please!
Change your rest time
Most people take a slight break in between exercises, as they transition from one to the next. If you’re feeling energetic, try moving straight from one exercise to the next with no rests in between—this is guaranteed to get your heart rate up.
Conversely, if you’re feeling low energy, lie down and rest for up to a minute between moves. You might notice that this refreshes you enough that you can do more reps than usual.
Change your reps
Short for repetitions, give yourself permission to do less—or more—than usual. I remind my clients all the time: There isn’t a magic number when it comes to reps.
Change your load
Load refers to the amount of resistance you’re working against (physical, not mental!). Obviously 15-pound weights present a heavier load than 10-pound ones. But another way you can change this—without weights—is by changing your position, such as being on your knees (lighter load) versus your toes (heavier load) when doing push-ups.
Change your position
Besides changing your position for the reason described above, you can also change it to work different muscles (for example, have a narrower or wider foot position when doing squats). Another way to change your position is to do an exercise while standing if you usually sit or from a kneeling position instead of lying down (obviously not all exercises can be changed in this way).
Change the order
I tend to set up workouts so that the most energetic multi-muscle moves come first when you’re still fresh. But that doesn’t mean you have to do them in the listed order all of the time.
Change what part of the workout you do
Most workouts have a warm-up, the “workout,” and the cool-down/stretching parts. If you’re not feeling up for the whole shebang, you can focus on just one part instead. Just make sure you start slowly with your workout or stretching if you’re skipping the warm-up, so your muscles have time to adapt.