New year, new me. 2020 is here and most people have a different resolution
for this new year. Perhaps one of the most popular ones every year is to
exercise more, to be more active. It is a good resolution, but can be hard to
achieve. Some lose motivation, some didn't get the expected results, etc. I'm
not saying I have a 100% working method of making it easier for you to stay
active this year, but I have some alternative methods to exercise in the gym
that might help you stay motivated.
Some people believe going to the gym involves doing some cardio,
stretching, strengthening exercises, endurance exercises, and they are not
wrong. The way in which these exercises are done might change from one
person to the other and I'm not only talking about the order or the weights
used. The "standard" way of doing a program is usually to do X amount of
repetitions (reps) for X amount of sets and to take X amount of seconds (or
minutes) between sets. Ex: Biceps curl, 10 lbs dumbbells, 12 reps, 1 min of
break between sets for 3 sets. Once your are done, you put your weights
back where you took them and move on to the next exercise. It is a good
method of training, most people get some good results when they train that
way, but there is some people out there who get bored after doing the same
program, with the same amounts of sets/reps/rest periods. That's when you
can change the way you train, with the circuit or supersets method.
Circuit is the first variation. Circuits are all about having a good time/exercise
ratio. There is different types of circuits. The most common are group
exercise classes, or boot camp, but it can also be done alone. A circuit is
doing 1 set (or X amount of time) for each exercise before taking a break.
Usually, the program has some different exercise that target different
muscle. This is done to ensure that you don't train your biceps for 4-5
exercise in a row without pause for example. Group training classes use this
type of training by setting up a number of stations that is equal or lower to
the amount of participants. Everyone pick a station and do the exercise from
that station. After a set amount of time, everyone jump to the next station till
you've done all stations. Then everyone take a break at the same time and
you start the second set, etc. Please note this is one example of a circuit
training, it is not the only method of doing it. But how can I do this alone if
it's usually done in a group? You can do this the same way as the previous
method, but with no one else and instead of time, you can use reps as your
queue to change station. As you guessed, the different variations are
limitless. Circuit training is a good way of training and being efficient, but it is
a bad idea to do it in a public gym at this time of the year. Why you may ask?
Well, January is the busiest time of the year for most gym and to do a circuit
alone in a gym, you need to "claim" a lot of equipment for yourself. It is
usually seen as a rude behavior especially when the gym is full. If the gym in
empty though or you workout at your personal gym, go ahead, though. It
might change a "semi-boring" workout into a new, challenging workout.
The second, and last, variation is the supersets. Supersets are more friendly
in a busy gym compared to the circuit. What are supersets? For short it's
doing 2 exercises simultaneously, commonly opposite muscle group.
Remember that "standard" example I mentioned earlier with the biceps curl?
Well with a superset, you would do 1 set of biceps curl, but instead of resting
after, you would do 1 set of triceps exercise and then take a break. Like the
circuit, this is a more efficient time/exercise ratio workout compared to the
standard workout. With this variation you won't claim as many
machine/equipment for yourself at the gym, but you can still be a bit more
time efficient with your workout. You can also superset with a friend. He (or
she) does one exercise, you do the other one. When you are done, switch
places, do the exercise then rest, repeat till your workout is done.
To recap, I'm not saying one way of working out it better than the others. My
goal was to give you some different variation so that if you end up losing
motivation, you have other ways to work out and make it exciting again.
After all working out is a hobby that is mostly done alone, so find what works
best for you and have fun while doing it.