Happy Thursday! These weeks are flying by and I can’t say I’m complaining, because we are officially one week away from the last day of school!
I’ve shifted my focus away from cardio and more to strength lately in order to improve my overall fitness before marathon training starts and running takes the front seat.
Last week I was thinking about what keeps me motivated with these types of workouts after completing a regular workout where I felt especially strong. That got me thinking about the little things I’ve been doing in my workouts lately that I believe have made a huge difference in my fitness level.
I’ve been focusing on allowing less time for rest in between each exercise.
I find my laziness kicking into gear, especially in those early morning workouts, and allowing way too much time for breaks between (or sometimes even during!) each set. Lately I’ve been focusing on cutting this out and continuing on without breaks. I’ve found that I get my heart rate up higher and challenge my body much more when I do this! I’ve also found that I am more mentally focused without all the breaks.
This was a hard one for me to finally get on board with, but I’ve found that my muscles recover much better and I get more out of each exercise when I put the time in and complete them correctly.
I’ve also found that repeating challenging exercises consistently has helped me see progress.
For so many years I have struggled with certain exercises (planks especially) that feel like no matter how many times I do them, they never get easier. This year I started doing a one minute plank every single day, and have finally seen them get easier. This then allows me to add more time or reps to the move each week.
When I do spin bike or elliptical workouts, I’ve found myself settling into a zone where I still work up a sweat, but never truly get my heart rate up. The past two weeks I’ve been focusing on keeping that heart rate in the correct zones for the whole workout, which has forced me to work much harder, but also feel more successful when I am done.
Rather than trying to fit all the moves in at once, I’ve been dedicating a day each week to focus on each of these main groups. I’ve found that when I do this my body is able to recover better with the longer recovery time, and accomplish more within each workout.
This year I’ve been completing squats, crunches, bridges, and a plank after every single workout. I think these simple moves have been a big factor in not getting injured on runs and helping strengthen my overall fitness.
All of these things can be done either during the workout or for a few minutes after, and have made quite a big difference overall for me. These are some of my favorites that I’ve discovered lately, but I know there are so many more out there!
I’d love to hear if anyone has any other tips that have led to success for them as well!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!