Ready to up the ante on your workout intensity?

Today’s entry is brought to you by Alison Corcoran, owner of Goldilocks training. Recent studies have shown us runners and triathletes need to add cross-training to our routines. In fact, strength training is critical (particularly in the core) to avoid injury in the multi-sport athlete. If you’re a local to San Francisco, make sure to check out Alison’s outdoor boot camps. She’ll kick your butt (but in a good way!) -capc. 

Have you been on your fitness journey for awhile? (I’m hoping that answer is an enthusiastic “yes!”). Then your “game plan” needs to be modified regularly in order to see continuous results and avoid plateaus. That’s all well and good, but how do we keep pushing our bodies to that next level when our routine has become so familiar?

Well, curious readers, I’m here to share some of my tried-and-true tips that will help you reach and surpass your goals!

1.) Add Resistance.This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but here me out. A recent study showed that exercisers who lifted a heavy weight for just 8 reps burned DOUBLE the calories of those that performed 15 reps with a lighter weight. Pretty convincing stuff, right? When adding weight to your routine, be sure to do so in small increments of about 2-5 lbs to protect your body and prevent injury.

20131231-094011.jpg2.) Be Unstable. (For triathletes, that goes without saying…triathletes are known to be a bit unstable in the head -capc)  Ok, not in your mental health (oh. -capc)– but when it comes to your fitness, adding in an unstable surface does wonders for muscle recruitment. The great thing is, it doesn’t take much – simply performing a lunge on a Bosu ball or planking with your toes on a stability ball will bring a great challenge to your workout. Trust me, your core will thank you.

3.) Explode! Don’t worry, I’m not talking about spontaneous combustion here.
Recent studies have shown that movements such as box jumps and kettlebell swings (my fave!) can help achieve a greater response from your fast-twitch muscles. Super perk? Fast-twitch muscles have a greater potential for growth than slow-twitch. Helloooo sexy new muscle tone!

4.) Make supersets your new bestie. Are you the type that likes to separate your cardio and strength days? Well my friend, it may be time to mix it up! If you’re up for it, try to incorporate a cardio interval in between your strength sets. Even 60 seconds of jump rope before you reach for those weights again will help your body torch calories like never before. You can do it!

20131231-095330.jpg5.) Pick a side. Do you tend to strongly favor one side over the other? I am pretty darn guilty of that with a few choice moves, I admit. There is a solution – albeit not an easy one (but you didn’t really want easy now, did you?): train one side at a time. This will force your body to equalize and balance muscle development. Now, the moves will not be a cakewalk but they are highly effective – for example: single-armed push-ups and pistol squats. I know, I know – but remember, it’s time to up the ante, right??

When embarking on any new fitness regime it’s always a good idea to build up in increments and focus on proper form. These tips will do you no good if you are injured in the process so remember to respect your body! What are your favorite ways to change up your routine and avoid fitness plateaus? Leave me your best tips in the comments!