How to Take your Workout to the Next Level

You’ve been working out for a while now. You haven’t achieved pro-athlete endurance yet, but you’re exercising consistently and you seem to be in pretty good shape, much better shape than when you started out. You’ve reached many of your goals and have hit a sort of plateau. So what do you do now? Step it up.

When you first started on your routine, it may have seemed impossible to go beyond the level of fitness that you’ve achieved. But if you don’t want to slip backwards in your fitness level, and you want to continue burning fat, you may have to do just that. Here are some things to do to step up your routine as below:

1) Set new goals for yourself:
This worked when you were just starting out, didn’t it? Whether your goal was to lose pounds, create muscle definition or get to level where you could run on the treadmill without passing out from the exertion, it was a clear prize to aim for, and chances are it ultimately determined your success. But goals should be dynamic, meaning they should change over time in relation to your achievements and changing needs.

2) Change the frequency, intensity or both of your workout: If you work out twice a week, you can double your calorie-burning by switching to 4 times a week. Even better, if you’re able to take on 6 workouts per week, you can burn triple the amount of calories. If you increase the intensity of each of those workouts, think about how many extra calories you will be burning. It’s a simple solution, and one that’s guaranteed to have results.

3) Get motivated: Let’s say when you first started working out, your main motivator was you wanted to lose 10 pounds. Once that 10 pounds is gone, however, you shouldn’t give up your fitness routine because you will just gain it all back. So you need to find a new motivator. You could find a workout buddy who motivates you, you could set some goals (see #1), you could tape a picture of your ideal body shape to the fridge — whatever works for you, do it. Good motivation can have a very lasting impact on keeping up your fitness routine.

4) Work out more effectively: Longer workouts aren’t always better, and now that you’ve increased the frequency of your workouts, maybe you should try making them shorter and more effective. I’m thinking a high intensity cardio workout combined with some toning in the form of weight lifting, but do what works best for you. Which leads me to:

5) Get educated: The best way to find out what the most effective workout is by doing your research. Consult a fitness expert either by reading on of their books, renting on of their DVDs or talking to them in person.