Workout Format Variation

Are you tired of repeating the same old workouts? Or just feeling unmotivated to exercise in general? If this sounds like you, it might be time to rejuvenate your workout routine. Varying your workout can help avoid plateaus and mental fatigue, increase motivation, and get you pumped to workout again. Keep reading to learn about exciting ways to keep your workouts fresh and interesting!

Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM): EMOM is a type of high intensity interval training where you have one minute to complete a certain number of reps. After completing the reps, you can use any remaining time left before the minute is over to rest. For example, if you complete your goal of 10 pushups in 30-seconds, you have the remaining 30-seconds to rest before your next EMOM exercise. This makes for a great “burner” at the end of your workouts. A workout “burner” is a quick circuit used to burn out a muscle and maximize your last effort.


As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP): AMRAP workouts repeat a set number of reps for a few exercises until the allotted time is finished. An example of an AMRAP workout is: 1) 10 pushups 2) 10 squats 3) 5 lunges right leg 4) 5 lunges left leg 5) 10 burpees within a 10-minute period. You would complete each exercise and keep repeating the circuit until the 10-minute period ends. Unlike EMOM’s, AMRAP’s do not include rest time, as they are continuous, nonstop workouts that typically require max or near-max effort. Additionally, AMRAP’s are a great way to track your progress. If you completed 3 full sets the first time but get through 5 sets the next time in the same time period, you know that you have improved.


Ladders: Ladders are a great way to vary strength workouts because you gradually increase and then decrease reps. An example of a ladder is doing 2 repetitions the first round and continuing to add 2 repetitions until you get to the top of the ladder which is 10. Then to go back down the ladder, you subtract 2 repetitions until you get back down to 2. So it would go 2 reps, 4 reps, 6 reps, 8 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps, 2 reps. If needed, some individuals take a quick rest at the top of the ladder before coming back down. This is great to incorporate weight variability because you can use heavier weights for the shorter repetitions to build strength, and lighter weights for the longer repetitions to build endurance.

Standard Pyramids: Similar to Ladders, Standard Pyramids also help work on muscular endurance and strength. Use a lighter weight for the first set as a warm-up and then increase your weight while decreasing your reps as you “climb the pyramid”. For example, if you start with a 10-pound bicep curl at 12 reps, next could be a 12-pound bicep curl at 10 reps, and the last round could be a 15-pound bicep curl at 8 reps. Once again you are building both strength and endurance by utilizing weight variability.


Reverse Pyramids or Drop Set: Reverse Pyramids, also known as Drop Sets, can increase muscle hypertrophy by promoting muscle growth. This workout is the opposite of a Standard Pyramid workout. Start by doing less reps of heavier weight and then increase your repetitions and decrease your weight. An example program would start with 8 reps of 20-pound bicep curls, then 10 reps at 15-pounds, and finish with 12 reps of 12-pounds.

Whether you plan to integrate some of these fitness styles into your existing routine, or are looking to revamp your entire workout, they can be beneficial. Sometimes a change of pace or some fresh ideas are needed to keep us motivated. Enjoy the flexibility of incorporating any of these workout styles and thanks for reading!

*Disclaimer: all the weights in this blog are not suggestions but just examples. You should pick weights that feel challenging to YOU.*


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