If you find yourself dreading going to the gym or you're stuck in low gear, it may be time to breathe some new life -- and new moves -- into your fitness routine.
: If you have been inactive for a length of time, or if you've had any recent surgery or physical problems, consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Step 1: Reverse it After your warm up, kick it into reverse and do your routine backwards. This minor change will have you putting fresh energy into the exercises you used to be too tired to finish.
Step 2: Do supersets Alternate sets of opposing muscle groups, such as back and chest, back-to-back instead of resting between sets. These so-called supersets will get you pumped up fast.
Step 3: Perfect your form Correct sloppy posture and visualize your body in perfect form as you do your reps. While doing crunches, for instance, imagine you are a balancing a coffee cup on your abs and cradling a grapefruit under your chin, doing so will keep you focused on the intended lower ab muscles, rather than on your hip flexors.
TIP: Close your eyes to tune in mentally with the specific muscles you are working on, and to challenge your body to balance on its own.
Step 4: Get unbalanced Perform your exercises on uneven terrain or work one side of the body at a time to gain balance control and work the core muscles of the body.
Step 5: Avoid stagnation Vary your workout slightly weekly or monthly to target different muscle groups. Avoid plateauing by adding weight in small but steady increments to your basic strengthening exercises like the bench press.
Step 6: Change the scenery Change the scenery by moving your workout outdoors, trying out different weight and cardio machines, or simply changing the playlist on your headphones. Sometimes a few simple changes can make a routine that seems old and boring exciting again.
FACT: Weightlifting was one of the sports featured in the first modern world Olympics, which were held in Greece in 1896.