Working out is difficult at first: it’s challenging mentally and physically. We don’t feel like getting up to put on our leggings and trainers to go to the gym. This feeling doesn’t last for more than a few weeks. Once we get into the swing of things, we look forward to our workouts: we realize that it’s not actually that hard after all. Our bodies stop feeling sore and we enjoy every exercise we do because we start seeing the results. Eventually, we kind of get bored and want something to challenge us. This is where some imagination and bravery come in. These body-blasting workouts will challenge you, give you that burn and satisfaction that you have been yearning for.
HIIT your legs
Cycling has become popular again thanks to Peloton. If you have a working bike at home, a HIIT workout is going to burn your legs like nothing you’ve ever felt before. HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. This type of training is done by athletes, so if it’s good enough for them it’s going to be good enough for you.
- Start by having a comfortable ride. This should be done for 2-3 minutes, just to get into the swing of things.
- Then, you will need to ride fast but not at full pace, for about 1 minute or 1 minute and 30 seconds.
- Suddenly, pedal at your fastest pace for 30 to 45 seconds.
- After this, return to your comfortable riding pace for about 2-3 minutes.
- Then repeat this 3-5 times.
You should get a 20-30 minute workout that will turn your legs to jelly and leave you panting as if you’ve just run up a mountain.
The jumping or Japanese squats are also known as Tabata squats because they are named after Izumi Tabata. He found out that high-intensity workouts allowed for a longer fat burn, even after the workout had finished.
Tabata squats can be done with just your own body weight or with a barbell. The latter is reserved for those with well-developed leg muscles.
- Start off by doing a normal standing squat.
- Put your hands in front of you, over your chest, or at a 90-degree angle as your squat.
- Then, explode upward, jumping in a controlled manner, so your feet don’t land too far apart.
- Repeat this 20-30 times without rest.
Rest for 1 minute and then repeat it for 3-5 sets. Your legs will be on fire but you will find that as you jump up and land down, your core will need to extend and compress quickly. So it’s a great core workout, just remember to focus on your breathing as well.
Olympic lifts have always been a great way to give yourself a terrific challenge at the gym. One of them is the barbell snatch.
- Using a barbell and an underhand grip, squat down to the barbell and grasp it where you feel most comfortable.
- Then explode upward, using your core, legs, back and shoulders.
- Lift up the barbell to your shoulders and then repair.
- Repeat this 5-8 times
This challenges your shoulders and core, which is great for anyone who wants a great upper body workout. If you want an even tougher lift, you can use this handy guide. It’s called the high pull. It’s virtually the same lift, but it uses an overhand grip. Rather than resting the barbell on your torso, you will have it at waist height and then explode upward with the barbell using your front deltoids.
Ab workouts have been perhaps the most intense for the longest period, because getting a strong core really does take a lot of effort. This is an ab workout that will leave you breathless.
- Heel grabs for 30 seconds.
- Then, no rest, go into 30 seconds of crunches.
- Rest for 10 seconds and then do 30 seconds of bicycle crunches.
- Next, 30 seconds of flutter kicks.
- Rest for 15 seconds.
- Then do 30 seconds of Russian twists.
- Next, do 30 seconds of sit-ups.
- Take 1-2 minute break.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
The key to getting great abs is to force them into long periods of intensity. The core is very strong and you have to push hard to get that six pack you want. Just remember to focus on form and not reps. That’s why we have used time and not reps to measure your workout for each exercise.
If you want to be pushed in the gym, be forced to workout harder than you have before, any of these four will give you that burning sensation you want. Good luck and enjoy!