Paint your workouts with a colorful palette
A guest post by Cooper Elling.
I hardly ever go to the gym, but I manage to stay strong and in great shape.
I actually really enjoy heading to the health club, but I move back and forth across the country a lot and don’t want to pay for a membership in any one location.
I use to have a much more consistent workout routine where I would do this on certain days and that on the other, but ever since my schedule became much more random I’ve realized that I’ve stayed just as strong and I’m in great shape for any activity you through my way.
Key #1: Go Hard
The key ingredient is that I’m a fitness/athletic nut and love the feeling of my lungs breathing for air, my muscles pumping with blood and my heart pounding in my chest.
If you want to be in great shape, you have to want it and eventually love it. There are some days where I’ve had a busy day and the only thing I end up doing is a set of push-ups before I hop in the shower.
When I get down on the floor, I go all out. I push for 50, and then I rest in a “downward dog” yoga position to gain my composure before doing 5 more, then another 5 until I literally cannot do another push-up. Maybe I only did 1 set today, but my body was pushed to its limit is stronger because of it.
Key #2: It’s Random
I mentioned that I feel strong now that I have a lack of routine. There is no set day where I do this or that. You have to be smart; if I get the opportunity to head to the gym and workout my chest hard, I give myself ample rest before doing exercises that will stress those muscles again.
The shock factor is key. I used to do “back and bi’s” on this day and “chest and tri’s” on the next, then a day in between where I would do cardio and then do it all over again. That schedule is okay, but your body will plateau. You’ve got to confuse your muscles if you want to get strong and stay strong.
I’m an active guy and my life revolves around activity. Part of the year I live in the mountains and I ski on powder days, play basketball twice a week and volleyball once a week. In the summer I swim in the lake and mountain bike. In the fall I cut wood for winter.
On days where the snow isn’t falling or I’m not playing outdoors having fun I typically work out at home. Get yourself a pair of bands, a pull-up bar, and a nice chunk of floor. Put on your favorite motivating Pandora station and get after it.
No matter what you’re doing, go hard. Do as many pull-ups as you can, push-ups as you can, curls as you can, crunches, planks, etc. Do not rest for very long, move from one exercise to the next quickly and keep up the pump. Most people lag between exercises for way too long!
When I do get the opportunity it’s a pleasure to have an insane amount of weird machines and every free-weight imaginable at my disposal. I’m a fitness kid in a candy store, bouncing from one exercise to the next because I want to try it all.
I actually end up getting a phenomenal workout because of that and if you consistently head to the gym for your workouts give it a shot. Instead of doing a set of bench and sitting on the end of the bench people watching for 3 minutes before your next set, do something else.
Sometimes people complain about crowded gyms, I never have an issue. Don’t get stuck on the exercise you need to do next, do what’s available. Hit a solid set of bench, then go do a set of pull-ups, then go try out that cool new decline chest press machine and then that weird new row machine.
Have a little fun, mix it up, and I bet your body will be jacked up by the time you leave!
I know everyone doesn’t live the lifestyle I do, but there is a takeaway for everyone. Mix it up, get random and go hard.
Add more physical activity into your life, not just the gym or whatever routine you’ve been doing for the last 3 years. Before you take your morning shower, do as many push-ups as you can. Put a pull-up bar in a convenient location so that when you walk by it you’ll bust out a set.
Incorporate random spurts of exercises into your life and you’ll notice it energizes you, makes you feel better about your day, and makes you a healthier, stronger person.
About the Author
Photo By: Asif Akbar