Has the sound of clanking weights and grunting he-men at the gym become a real chore for you to endure? Has that pricey new piece of home exercise equipment become nothing more than a clothes rack in the corner of your spare bedroom? Chances are you’re just experiencing good old-fashioned burnout with your present workout routine. In honor of the close of summer, here are some tips to help you put the mojo back into your military presses and rekindle some of the burn in those bulging biceps!

  • Vary your workout times. Take advantage, if you can, of a more relaxed summer schedule to vary your workout times. Experience the differences in your energy levels as well as the gym ambiance when you work out at different times of the day.
  • Focus on cardio or vice-versa. If you’re burned out on lifting weights, and nothing seems to help, focus on cardiovascular work for awhile (or focus on pumping iron if you’re sick of cardio).
  • Think outside the box. Use a variety of dumbbells, barbells, cables and machines to get your pump. Take a class, employ a personal trainer for some sessions, get a workout partner. Shake things up a little!
  • Split up your routine. If your schedule permits, go to the gym twice per day for shorter more intense periods of training. For example, in the AM before work, do chest. In the PM, hit biceps and make ’em burn!
  • Employ super-sets. Work two opposing muscle groups (like chest and back, biceps and triceps, hamstrings and quadriceps, etc.) alternately. This allows you to pick up your pace because as one muscle group is fatigued, you begin working another that isn’t. It can also get your heart rate in the target zone and make your weight training have aerobic benefits.
  • Perform drop sets. Push yourself a little. Start with a fairly heavy weight, work just about to failure (when you can’t do another rep!), cut the weight back, maybe half, then go to failure once again.
  • Be a copycat. Check out guys who look good and seem to know what they’re doing. Don’t be afraid to jump right in and do what they’re doing on the machine or with weights. Most “built” dudes consider it a compliment if you politely ask them questions about their workouts.
  • Take a real vacation. Sometimes you just need some time off from the gym and working out to let your body rest and your mind refocus. Just don’t become a couch potato or bar-fly! Instead employ “active” periods of rest whereby you stay physically active while you’re taking a break from the gym. Walk on the beach, meditate, try a yoga class, swim, get a massage; you get the picture.

Tom Bonanti is a certified fitness trainer and massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own private facility in Fort Lauderdale. www.pumpninc.com . Contact Tom at trainertomb@aol.com with questions or to inquire about his services.