With the Sun hanging in the sky a little longer, it naturally gives you more energy to do some spring cleaning inside and outside the house.
Just opening up all the windows in your house after the long winter months will awaken your senses with fresh new energy.
So it’s time to spring ahead with your workouts as well and clean up some of the bad training habits that you may have picked up during the winter.
1. Watch Your Watch
With summer just around the corner you are probably more concerned with getting light and lean than big and bulky so sitting around for 3-4 minutes chatting with the guys about last nights game in between sets isn’t going to do anything to awaken those abs. Rest no more than 2 minutes in between heavy squats or deadlifts and only 30-60 seconds for other lifts. Supersetting opposite muscles like chest and back or bicep and triceps without any rest is also a great way to build muscle AND burn fat.
2. Movements Not Muscles
Spending 20 minutes working a muscle the size of a baseball isn’t the best use of your time unless you have Mr. Olympia trophies on your mantle. But that’s just what most guys do to get arms like Arnold. Think movements, not muscles when you workout. To work your body and your biceps try combining exercises into one motion like a lunge, curl and press or a chin-up with a leg raise.
3. Complex Cardio
Despite what the name might say, burning fat isn’t so complex when you use this form of cardio. Complexes are forms of high intensity cardio that continues to put those magazine reading sessions on the treadmill to shame when it comes to blow torching bodyfat. It only takes 5 minutes to add a complex to the end of your weight workout to convince you that this is the answer to maximum results in minimum time. Use just the empty barbell to perform a series of exercise circuits without rest such as a squat, clean, press, lunge and row. Pick yourself up off the floor and repeat 3-4 times.
4. Muscle Massage
Imagine how hard it must be on your car’s engine starting it over and over during those cold winter mornings. Well that’s just how you have been treating your body all winter. WHether it’s being rushed and skipping your workout warmup or jumping out of bed to shovel out your driveway so you can get to work, your muscles need time to wake up. Dynamic bodyweight movements are great to get the blood flowing but a little muscle massage will go a long way to break up those tight spots that build up over time with improper lifting and bad posture. Use a foam roller and tennis ball to roll out those tight trigger points like your mother rolled out dough. Doing this loosens up the tissue in and around your muscles to keep you strong and pain-free.
5. Goodbye Gym
Save a month’s worth of membership and take advantage of the extra daylight while getting some free vitamin D by bringing your workouts outside. Even if you love the atmosphere of training in a dark and dingy gym, the opportunities are endless for outdoor workouts. Take a set of dumbbells to the park or do a playground workout while the kids have their fun. Sprints, sports and strongman lifts are also better outdoors. There is just something primal about lifting heavy stuff off the ground under the mid day sun.
It’s unfortunate that some guys will spend more time washing their car this spring than taking care of their body.
Use these 5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Workout so you can take care of your body and the people who depend on it.
Sean Barker is a busy dad who finds time for family, fitness and fun. He likes pumping iron as well as producing it, as a heavy equipment
operator in the iron ore mines. He is ALSO a nationally certified personal trainer who writes for Fit Parent and Inside Fitness magazines and is the author of The Dad Fitness System at www.DadFitness.com. Sean also has a Dad Fitness Blog with tips, thoughts, and humor on being a fit dad at DadFitnessBlog.com.