How to Refurbish Your Workout Routine

Are you bored with your workout or not seeing any results? It's so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to your exercise routine, and the cold hard truth is that no matter how consistent with your workouts you are, if you are not pushing yourself to the point of soreness, if you never find yourself gasping for breath, and if you rarely break a sweat, you need to change something up if you want to see results. Here are a few ways to ramp it up and start seeing results while still avoiding injury.

Set new goals!

Sometimes the only thing that needs re-vamping is our motivation. Have you ever dreamed of running a marathon? Of successfully performing inversions in your yoga class? Of doing the splits? Or of becoming a weightlifter? The key to achieving a dream is allowing yourself to dream, making a plan to achieve that dream, and executing that plan while pushing yourself to capacity. Allow yourself to imagine those dreams as possibilities and the world (or Skoglund) is your oyster. Where do I look for motivation, you ask? If you plan on starting a running program, a simple Google search will do the trick. Research common programs and model yours after it based on your current level of fitness. You could also scroll through popular Instagram fitness pages related to your goal. Thousands of accounts exist to provide daily motivation, so even 5 minutes a day of #fitspiration can completely re-focus and refresh your sense of dedication to your goals.


Increase reps or weight

Repeatedly using the same weight week after week will allow you to maintain your muscle, but will not allow you to make any gains or get any more toned. Remember that you want your workout to challenge you, so try increasing weight by 1-2 pounds each week. You should be pushed during the last few reps of your weight lifting routine, ideally short of breath and sweating. If it feels to simple, it is time to try something heavier, increase your reps, or to go through your repetitions more quickly. 


If you love an extremely effective workout that can be accomplished quickly, high intensity interval training (HIIT) circuits are for you. They incorporate plyometric exercises (jump squats, lunge jumps, burpees, clap pushups) with cardio and strength training all at once. Not only are these bound to make you sweat, thus increasing your cardiovascular endurance, but they are also very effective for toning. The key is to go as hard and fast as you can within the time limit. Taking breaks is not ideal as it gives you a chance for you heart rate to decrease, which is counter productive towards your potential for progress. The point of these workouts is to push your body as hard as you can within a short time period, which stimulates your metabolism to work in overdrive by surprising it with a burst of activity. 


While you are finding ways to amp up your workouts, it becomes extra important to be sure you incorporate rest days into your routine to avoid the risk of overtraining. Try active rest days with yoga, rock climbing, or a walk through the St. Olaf Natural Lands if you get antsy on the off days. The key is to feel energized for each successive workout and to give it your all, otherwise you will simply maintain your current fitness level. The goal is to rattle your body by shifting out of it's comfortable state, even if just for a short time every day. 

Photo Sources: