12 Ways to Alter Exercises for More Workout Variety

12 ways to alter exercises
photo: some rights reserved by Carlos Varela

This is a guest post from Jon Goodman, author of Ignite the Fire. He shares 12 awesome ways you can change practically any exercise (beyond just changing how many sets and reps you perform). Refer to these if you want to change up your workout routine or simply want to experiment with some new methods.

Conventional thinking is that the only way to alter an exercise is by changing the weight, sets, or reps. The reality is that training is a lot more fun and varied once you understand the basic principles outlined in this article.

Below are 12 ways to vary any exercise. Some variations make the movement harder, some easier. Others change the purpose of the exercise all-together.

Read More

Build a Better Body by Minimalism

better bodyThe Bare Essentials for Extraordinary Results

Introducing the newest, complete, done-for-you guide.

Better Body by Minimalism is a complete guide that provides the bare essentials (of strength training, nutrition, and other important components shown below) so you can achieve extraordinary results.

But first, let’s get this out of the way – the price.

How much is it?

Whatever YOU want it to be – the price is up to you.

Now that I have your attention and price is no longer a factor, let’s go over what Better Body by Minimalism is, everything that’s included, and how it will take you through, step-by-step, to achieve extraordinary results with the bare essentials.

Why Minimalism and What Will It Do for YOU?

Want to build the body you want AND maintain those results long-term? Want to do so without wasting time or dealing with unnecessary stress from a complicated routine or strict diet?

Want to experience how simple (and enjoyable) building the body you want really is?

Then Better Body by Minimalism is for you.

Here are just a few of the wonderful benefits you’ll discover with the better body by minimalism approach:

Read More

The Bare Essentials Produce Extraordinary Results

the bare essentials for extraordinary results
photo: some rights reserved by ShareHows.com

When trying to reach your fitness and body-transforming goals, what’s the quickest way to fail? (I know that’s a heck of a question, but bear with me because there’s a good point).

The answer: do too much all at once. Sadly, this is the approach most people take.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself (I know I have) when you tried to do everything right. Because you were incredibly determined to reach your goals you drastically changed your eating habits (maybe even went on a strict diet that had a list of foods-to-eat, foods-to-avoid, you counted calories, weighed your food, ate at certain times and not at others, etc), strength trained several days per week, and did a lot of cardio too.

You wanted to do everything perfectly so you tried to obey all the rules of when, what, and how much to eat. You searched for the best strength training program. You included a lot of cardio. You were doing it all.

But, inevitably, after some time, this time-consuming and complicated regimen proved to be too much. You couldn’t follow such a strict diet long-term, nor could you maintain such a grueling workout schedule that left you exhausted.

Try to do too much all at once, and you likely won’t maintain that routine for long.

“What’s the point?” you’re likely wondering. Trying to “do it all” is a recipe for failure. But doing only the few things that truly matter is the recipe for success, both short- and long-term.

The few things that truly matter = the bare essentials.

Read More

The Women’s Beginner Strength Training Guide

Women's Beginner Strength Training GuideStrength training is awesome.

It’s an activity that provides numerous, amazing benefits. And they only increase the longer you strength train.

But for women who are new to strength training it can be confusing, or maybe even intimidating. Don’t worry! This women’s beginner strength training guide will get you on the fast track so you can start strength training correctly, and safely, and begin reaping the wonderful results you deserve.

Below you’ll find seven important strength training notes and a sample strength training program along with exercise demonstrations. Please don’t skip any sections!

Women’s Beginner Strength Training Notes

Before you start the beginner strength training workouts you need to know a few important things first. Do NOT skip this section!

1. Use Exercises That Have a Low Learning Curve, but Provide the Greatest Benefits

Any new activity has an inevitable learning curve, but I like to make it as small as possible. That’s why you should (and will in the following workouts) use exercises that you can learn quickly. This way you can start working hard and correctly from the first day, and this means you’ll get stronger, build momentum, and increase your confidence from the beginning.

Read More

The Lift Like a Girl Podcast is Here!

Lift Like a Girl PodcastYou asked for it (and even helped pick out the intro song!) and now it’s here.

The Lift Like a Girl Podcast is ready for your listening pleasure and is available across multiple channels for your convenience.

Before you head off to download the current episodes, let’s go over exactly what the Lift Like a Girl Podcast is and, most importantly, what it will do for you.

The Lift Like a Girl Podcast is a weekly one hour show that will provide useful, entertaining, no nonsense information so you can achieve your health and fitness goals AND become the most awesome version of yourself. While we’ll certainly cover topics such as working out and nutrition, we’ll discuss a whole lot more. I want you to laugh several times during each episode and walk away with practical tips that will allow you to reach your goals and live a more awesome life.

As you’ve seen numerous times on this site before, Lifting Like a Girl is a lifestyle that uses health and fitness as a tool, not only to build a body you love, but to enhance the rest of your life as well (i.e. The New Definition of Fitness).

To accomplish this through the Podcast I’ll have wonderful guests on the show from strength coaches, nutrition experts, lifestyle coaches, and a whole lot more. As you’ll see, this show will likely evolve over time and, hopefully, become more awesome along the way. And I’m anxious to hear any feedback or requests you have; after all, this show is for YOU.

Read More

You’re Not Your Diet. You’re Not Your Body Fat Percentage.

You're Not Your Diet
photo: some rights reserved by Gloria Garcia

Do your health and fitness habits define you, or do they make your life better?

There was a time I obsessed over what I would eat, and when. I’d literally revolve everything around my workout schedule. I’d turn down dinner invitations and other activities if they interfered with my trip to the gym or wouldn’t easily fit whatever diet I was following at the time.

Put bluntly: my diet and workout schedule dictated what I would, and would not, do in my life.

My incessant need to put my fitness habits above all else eventually caught up to me and led to disordered eat habits, uncontrollable binge eating, exhaustion from long and grueling workouts, obsessing over a number on the scale, and constant dissatisfaction with my body.

At that point, I was my health and fitness regimen.

But, thankfully, many years ago I experienced a huge transition. I decided that my health and fitness routine would no longer define me, and it wouldn’t control my life. I would no longer be how I ate or my workout schedule. It was time for health and fitness to be a tool that would allow me live a more awesome, fulfilling life.

You’re Not Your Diet

If you’ve seen the movie Fight Club you’re familiar with Tyler Durden’s famous speech: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your f***ing khakis.”

Well, I am not my health and fitness habits, and neither are you.

To put this in a Tyler Durden sort-of-way:

Read More

Triple-Exercise Total Body Workouts

Triple Exercise WorkoutThere’s no shortage of different ways to organize a strength training routine.

But time and time again I go back to one of my favorite templates with many of my clients, and even my personal workouts.

I revert back to this template because it’s simple, yet allows for a lot of variety – it can be used with success whether you want to get stronger, lose fat, build muscle, or just reap the many incredible benefits strength training provides.

What is it? The triple-exercise total body workout template.

Let’s look at the bare-bones template first, and then you’ll see several variations and some sample workouts.

Triple-Exercise Workout Template

  • Lower body exercise
  • Upper body push
  • Upper body pull

That’s the triple-exercise total body template. Pretty, isn’t it?

Read More

This is Personal – That Time I Hit Bottom

Do Not Fear Failure
photo: some rights reserved by Tomasz Stasiuk

You’re likely familiar with the expression “spill your guts”.

This is what that looks like.

I’m finally ready to share something incredibly personal with you – one of my greatest failures – for reasons explained later in this article. Are you ready? I am.

You’ve heard of celebrity sham marriages that ended in a matter of days, or even hours. Heck, there are also people who go to Vegas for a fun-filled weekend and get hitched in a drunken stupor because . . . Vegas. (“Do I? Of course I do! Now pass me that whottle of Biskey.”)

Where is this going? you’re likely wondering. Now (drum role please) while I don’t have the record for shortest-marriage-ever, I was probably pretty close.

Eighteen months.

That’s how long my first marriage lasted. And, no, it wasn’t a spur of the moment Vegas-style, alcohol fueled ceremony either. I was 20 when I got married and a ripe 21 (yes, that’s sarcasm) when it ended.

I’m by no means proud of my 18 month marriage that can be summed up as an epic fail. Heck, that’s why I’m just now mentioning it, almost eight years later. But I’m not ashamed of it either. That experience provided me with some valuable, life-changing lessons, and that is why I’m sharing this with you.

Read More

Fast & Furious Bodyweight Ladder Workout

Fast & Furious Bodyweight Ladder WorkoutYes, I know the title is somewhat stupid (okay, really stupid) for a workout, but it’s catchy. It’s also appropriate because . . .

Sometimes you just want a quick, tough workout.

Sometimes you need a workout you can perform at home when you can’t make it to the gym.

And sometimes, when you have a home gym and it’s a frosty and frigid 20 degrees in the garage and you don’t feel like putting on 37 layers of clothes and doing an extra long warm-up just to work out, you need a back-up workout that can be done in the comfort of your living room.

The latter applied to me the other day when it was in the teens outside and I wasn’t in the mood to bundle up and face the cold in my garage home-gym. Instead of skipping my workout all together and sipping a hot cup of peppermint tea, I decided to do a bodyweight workout in the comforting warmth of my living room. This is a perk of bodyweight-only workouts; you can do them absolutely anywhere.

Moving on . . . I wanted a “fast and furious” workout – something that would force me to work hard but I could complete quickly. What I came up with was a 25 minute(ish) bodyweight workout that included four exercises done in a 10-1 ladder fashion. You’ve seen how to use ladders for building strength on Lift Like a Girl before, but the 10-1 ladder in this workout results in much higher reps per exercise and isn’t focused on building maximum strength.

Let’s look at the workout and explain how to perform the 10-1 ladder.

Read More

Never Miss A Thing!

Sign up to get email updates for new articles and insider-only information.