Hello, Ines. I’ve been training with compound movements for a long time, but lately I don’t seem to find a motivation to work out. I feel as if there aren’t many compound movements and it seems like everything I do is out of habit. I don’t feel the challenge anymore. What could I do in order to get back the feeling of challenge and in order to find the motivation to train?
As with everything in life, even in the gym, we sometimes allow ourselves to just float with the current. We do everything out of habit, without being present in the moment and without acting according to our momentum condition. The fact that your workouts are not a challenge anymore, means that you are not using an adequate weight, that challenges both your mind and your body and that makes you focus on the movement itself.
If you are in the gym and you could allow yourself to think about other things, besides the movement you are performing right now, this means that you are not using the proper weight or that you are just slacking on the movement.
Compound movements are not boring. They have a bunch of variations. When we start from bodyweight movements, which have so much variations and more complicated variations.
If you feel like you don’t know a variety of compound movements, you can check out this websites, and you will find variations that will make your workouts more challenging:
Here are some other methods that you could use, to make your workouts more fun:
-If you usually train with low reps, but with big weights, try to increase the number of reps from 3-4 to 8-10 and decrease the weight.
-If you usually have longer rest times between sets, try to decrease the time you rest.
-If you usually use a standard TUT, try to perform the movement extremely slow, both in the positive and the negative part of the movement. Do not forget to use lighter weights, because this is definitely challenging.
-Try instead of doing the traditional pull ups and push-ups, to substitute them with just the negative version. The feeling on the next morning is unbelievable. 😉
-Another method, that you could use are for example pause reps- squat down and in the lowest point, hold for 3-5 seconds, than explode back up. You can do this with all kinds of movements.
-Pick two movements- one for the upper body and one for the lower body. For example squats and pull ups.
Set the timer, and for the next ten minutes, on the minute, perform 5-10 squats ( depending on how advanced you are and the weight you picked).
If, let’s say you chose to perform 7 squats on the minute, set the timer and start squatting. When you complete 7 squats, they will probably take you between 15-30seconds. The rest of the minute is time to rest. Then on the next minute repeat it. Do it for 10 minutes.
Then give yourself a couple minutes of rest and repeat it with the upper body movement.
Finish your workout with some kind of stabilizing, core movements.
If you usually perform mainly bilateral movements, try incorporating more unilateral movements. I.e. instead of doing a traditional squat, do some pistols; instead of doing a traditional deadlift, do single leg deadlifts.
If you usually perform the movements mainly with barbell, try doing them with a dumbbell or a kettlebell. Instead of a military press with the barbell- do it with dumbbells. Instead of side press with a dumbbell, do it with a kettlebell.
This way you are changing the type of the load, even though the exercise is the same, the feeling is different and you activate even more stabilizing muscles.
-If you usually follow the method of 5×5, try doing 3 sets of 5 reps with a heavier weight, then take a lighter weight and finish with 2 sets of 5 reps.
Well, you have a bunch of options. Just use your imagination and think out of the box and break the habit.
Ines, I want to get my abs leaner as fast as possible. If I exercise every day, am I gonna have results?
Getting your belly leaner or to be more precise in order to lower your body fat percentage, comes down to eating better, not exercising more. Some time ago I wrote this post: Train for performance, eat for weight loss.
My idea is that the main goal of a workout is to become stronger, more athletic, to remove a muscle imbalance, to reshape your body. But the main purpose of a workout shouldn’t be to waste more energy, so you can have a permission to eat more.
What should lead you is to eat according to how active you are, and not be active, just so you can eat more.
Since I realized this, my life has been easier. I do not punish myself in the gym, so I can eat more. I train according to my goals, that I’ve set for my physical conditioning; according to what I want to improve when it comes to physical capacity.
Then I go back home and I eat as much as I need, in order to recover. Some days I might be not on top of my performance, then I won’t go back and eat everything in sight. On the other days, I might feel great and push myself harder in the gym, then I will need more food in order to recover properly.
But realize that the main goal of working out is to become stronger and fitter. And not to lose fat. You will achieve this through proper eating- clean, real food in adequate quantities.
When it comes to daily exercising, I think that you could do some core work every day. Stabilization is always welcomed. It will contribute for a better posture, for stronger torso and it will keep your lower back safer.
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And some pictures from yesterday 🙂