Break The Workout Monotany With Some Creative Exercises

The human body was built for routines. We are at our best when we are following a routine that our body has already adapted to. This is true for just about every aspect of human life from eating and sleeping to the way we work and play. There is one big exception however, and that is building muscle.

Our bodies build muscle in response to being pushed beyond their limit. When we workout, we tend to follow routines. It’s human nature and it just feels like the right thing to do, and if you are trying to maintain your current level of fitness then it is the right thing to do. In your routine, you may be pushing your body to new limits, but your body is built to adapt to routines and will quickly get used to the exercises you are doing. You will get to a point where you will stop improving.

If you want to keep improving and building stronger muscles, you have to break out of the routine and shake things up from time to time. If you are familiar with P90X then you have heard this principle referred to as muscle confusion. If you keep your muscles guessing, they can’t get used to what you are asking them to do and they will have to continue to grow in an effort to adapt.

A good way to keep your muscles guessing is to throw in something different from time to time. There are lots of ways to do this, but one good way is to be a little creative with your workouts. Try something different instead of doing the same old thing all of the time.

Let’s look at an example. Say you do regular dumbbell curls on the days that you workout your arms. The purpose of dumbbell curls is to workout your biceps, so all we need to do is find something else you can do that will give your biceps a good pump.

Alternative Bicep Workout

When I was in high school, my workout buddies and I used to come up with little exercise challenges to prove how manly we were. One of the things we used to do would work great as an alternative bicep workout. To do it you will need a preacher bar, eight of the same size weights (size of weights depends on your strength), and at least one workout partner (preferably two).

Put the eight weight plates on the preacher bar (four on each side). Do eight reps of preacher curls with all the weights on the bar. You can do this either standing or sitting at a preacher bench. When you get to the top of the eighth rep, pause in that position while your workout partner(s) remove one plate from either side of the bar. Make sure both plates are removed at the same time so the bar doesn’t tip to one side (this is why it is best to have 2 workout partners for this). The plates should be removed quickly and the next set of eight reps should be started immediately. Continue removing plates from the bar in this manner until your last set is completed using only the bar for a total of 5 sets. If you are feeling particularly studly, you can keep going and have your workout partner(s) add the weights back one at a time for a total of 9 sets.

This is just one example of something you can do to break out of your routine. With pretty much any exercise you currently do, there are alternative exercises you can try that will work the same muscle groups but also give your body something new to adapt to. Just make sure you don’t go to long without changing things up or you will start hitting plateaus.

I’d love to hear about any alternative exercises that you have tried. Tell me about them in a comment and we can all give it a try.

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