Results Performance Training

Need Harder exercise variations?

Need Harder exercise variations?

Need Harder exercise variations?

Challenging Exercise Variations? Here are 4 tips…

Have you been training for a long time and need harder exercise variations? Or maybe you have to exercise from home or a hotel gym that lacks heavier weight? Here are a few ways to challenge yourself so you can make faster progress. 

Heavier weights

This is the most obvious way to make an exercise harder. If you can add weight without compromising technique, reducing range of motion, or increasing the risk or injury, then do it. 

Make sure you have a progression plan that slowly adds weights over time. Don’t believe the light weights and high reps for toning lie. You need to get stronger and stop eating junk to tone up. 

Essential Reading: You MUST Modify Exercises for Your Body Type!

Slower Tempos

Slow down!!! Most people would benefit from slowing down their reps. Slow down to focus on feeling the muscles work and stop using momentum. Next time you do a set of squats, do every set at a different pace. I can guarantee you are going to hate that slow tempo


During isometric exercises, the muscles don’t change length and the affected joint does not move. Think about exercises like planks where you are just holding the position. Next time you squat, just hold it. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun 🙂 Keeping tension on the muscles the entire time is a way to change things up.  

Increased range of motion (or less?)

What happens when those squats start getting a little harder on rep 8 out of 12? Some of you will start to squat high instead of getting low! This is making it easier. To get the most out of an exercise use the full range of motion. 

Another reason we do a lot of  mobility and flexibility work is because it  helps you get stronger. When we loosen those hips up, you start getting lower on those squats. Get lower on those squats and you start recruiting more muscles. This is good for those glutes so many of you want to build! 

How about less range of motion with increased weight to make an exercise harder? It’s actually a technique that can make an exercise harder if used correctly.

Getting your nervous system used to the new weight before going back to the full range of motion exercise. But with the population I work with now, it’s so rare that I use this. 

If you are looking for a personal trainer to help you design a program specific to your needs and current fitness level, text us a 757 589 7028 with free consultation.

We can set up a time to meet at our studio in Williamsburg, VA (1303 Jamestown Road). If you are not local, then ask about our online personal training options.