3 Tweaks That Spice Up Your Workouts

I’ve been training people since 2011 and have come to learn that there are two types of trainees:

  1. Those that over value the things that account for merely 1% of the results
  2. Those that under estimate that things that account for 99% of the results

Things like supplements, booty bands, and novelty are over hyped and over valued in the fitness industry. Meanwhile, nutrition quality, sleep, progressive overload, and mobility work will take your fitness to new heights every single time – they’re just not as cool to show off.

Why show up consistently with the mundane effective stuff when you can get fitness-wasted on that “spicy” new workout your favorite fitness influencer is doing, anyway?


This is how people grow frustrated with themselves and their progress. Getting caught up on making workouts cool and spicy instead of strategic and consistent is a recipe for zero gains.

There are plenty of ways to get spicy with your workouts without having it detract from the overall goal of the program or purpose of the exercise.

3 Proven methods that spice up your workouts

Add Deficits

I can’t get enough of using deficits. My clients in BarbellSTRONG Coaching see it come up often for a number of very good reasons. Mainly:

  • More muscle fiber recruitment
  • Major muscle building capacity
  • More time under tension
  • Can clean up technique or improve your position in a lift

I’ve written about deficit training extensively HERE and HERE, and let’s just say, it’s the tits. It’s also a lot more effective than having to come up with a brand new variation of an exercise just because you’re bored. Remember, every exercise in your program should have a purpose. Deficits hit a lot of key ‘needs’ of an effective strength training programming without pulling you away from the overall goal.


Add a Deadstop

Most of us train with the mindset of “move the damn weight by any means necessary.” This isn’t wrong, per say. Heavy weights don’t lift themselves, after all. But this mindset can make training statle.

Enter deadstop training. This is a small and highly effective tweak that will test and develop your true strength in a lift. Deadstop reps eliminate the stretch reflex so you can’t use stored energy to move the weight. Think of a touch-and-go deadlift that “bounces” off the floor versus a strict deadlift that “stops” at the floor every rep. Without the stretch reflex your body has to move the weight all on its own and gets no assistance on the hardest part of the lift.

Use it in your compound movements – Squat, deadlift, bench press, strict press – and tell me these aren’t the hardest, spiciest things you’ve done lately. I’ll wait…

There are plenty of ways to get spicy with your workouts without having it detract from the overall goal of the program or purpose of the exercise.

Apply Multi-planer Movement

It’s crazy to me how often trainees neglect strength development in multiple planes of motion. Heck, I’ve been guilty of this, too.

Moving in multi-planes is a sure fire way to keep your body well-balanced, healthy, and functional for every day life. Unfortunately, a lot of trainees fall into the trap of moving in one plane of motion while neglecting others. Read my article Training Beyond the Sagittal Plane.

Adding in exercises with side to side motion (frontal plane) or rotation (transverse plane) are simple tweaks that will improve your training results. Want to get creative? You can try some of these:

  • Single arm press with rotation
  • Med ball tosses
  • Skips, lateral hops
  • Lateral bear crawls or sled pulls
  • Rotational lunges
  • Side sit-ups

It ain’t rocket science

Getting results from your strength training program requires getting smart about the right things and then doing them over and over again with small tweaks.

Don’t let boredom get the best of you. Small tweaks in that 99% range of where things matter will get you out of frustration and back to making progress.

Try it. I think you’ll love it.


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