Challenge Yourself to Change: How to Mix it Up For Results
Ever hear that quote that in order to change yourself, you need to challenge yourself?
It’s extremely accurate if you think about it. The majority of us tend to fear change or have difficulties adjusting to change, so in itself, changing something is a challenge.
The Body and Change
The human body is the same way. It does not like change. This is the reason why we need to frequently switch up our workouts–to keep the body guessing. In fact, it’s the same reason why some people may become frustrated that they’re not seeing results–your body has probably become acclimated to whatever workout program you’ve been doing.
There’s no better time than the beginning of a new year to decide that you are going to challenge yourself. You’ve made your SMART goal (or goals) for the upcoming year and now you’re going to take it one step further and challenge yourself to meet (or exceed) them.
So, you might be wondering…
How Do I Challenge My Body?
Quite honestly, there are many ways to challenge your body and they aren’t as difficult as you might think. Challenging your body does not require accomplishing a huge feat and can be something small, just as long as it is changing what you’ve currently been doing.
Change your fitness routine
If you’ve been doing the same exact workout for as long as you can remember, then you need to switch it up. Just as you get bored doing the same thing all the time, so does your body. Actually, your muscles will get used to doing the same motions over and over and, eventually, that workout routine is no longer effective in achieving your goals. So, to be blunt: you’re wasting your time, in a sense.
Switching things up at the gym will also spark some new motivation, because you don’t know what’s coming next. Have no idea where to even start with a fitness routine? Here’s a post for you. If you will be writing your own plan, I would recommend a time span of 4, 8, or 12 weeks, as switching it up too often may not lead to the results you want.
2. Play around with weight
If you read my last post, then you know that a lot of times we forget how comfortable we’ve become with weight. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I changed the weight I’m lifting?” If it’s been weeks, change it.
Now, you don’t need to change it all that much, just go up a step or two. For example, if you’re using 10-pound dumbbells to bicep curl, it’s time to grab the 15’s. Again, it’s a slight change, but it will definitely challenge your muscles!
3. Try Active Rest
Many people are trying to lose weight at this point in the year, due to extra calories from the holidays. If this is you, you can challenge yourself by doing active rest. This means, instead of taking a break in between sets, you do 30 seconds to 1 minute of a cardio activity (kettlebell swings, jump rope, etc). You’ll definitely notice your body being challenged!
4. Track your Macros
To take things one step further, you can always challenge yourself by your nutrition. For most people, staying on track with eating is the biggest struggle with trying to obtain their goals. So, if you feel like your work-outs are challenging enough, but you’re still not getting the results you’re hoping for–check your diet.
If you are unfamiliar with macros, you can check out this post.
5. Join a Challenge
Lastly, if you want to feel like you’re being challenged, what makes more sense than to join an actual challenge?! Fitness challenges are a great way to meet new people who share your same goals. Furthermore, you’re working towards a tangible reward and some of them even come with a fitness and nutrition plan that you can follow if you are completely lost! Here are some of my favorites:
- The Lean Body Challenge
This is a completely free transformation challenge that provides you with a nutrition plan and a fitness plan. It is put on by Jamie Eason and Lee Labrada, both professional bodybuilders, who have written the program. I have participated in this challenge for the past couple years and am very excited, because this year, they have written a new program! It starts next week, so sign up now!
2. The 250k Challenge
Also beginning next week, this challenge is hosted by bodybuilding.com and the grand prize is $100,000 for the person who has had the largest transformation. It also includes weekly prizes and motivation from fellow challengers through their Facebook group. This one is a little more flexible as you can use your own fitness plan. Find out more info and sign up here.
These two apps work similarly, as you can join a challenge for the stated fee. Your fee to join is basically you placing a bet on yourself that you will complete the task at hand. For example, on DietBet, the goal is typically to lose 4% of your weight within 4 weeks. If you make that goal, the pot gets distributed among all members who completed their goal. These are running all the time and can be a fun way to earn some extra cash while staying motivated towards your goals.
What’s your favorite way to switch it up? Have you done any fitness challenges before?