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2727 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Il 60614

(773) 477 8400

Dial Up the Intensity

Answer this question honestly: How hard do you work out? If you're like many of us, you've found shortcuts to your workout or fallen into routines that may become increasingly ineffective. But you can get more out of your time at the gym by bringing more intensity to your workout.

Elliptical workouts: While you page through magazines or chat on your phone with friends, add adding wrist or ankle weights to your workout to help tone your legs and arms -- while increasing the intensity of your workout. Another idea: amp up your workout by working at a higher incline and resistance, or try one of the many different available terrains to shake up your routine.

Running: If you're running on a treadmill during these cold weather months, it's easy to fall into a groove, or in some cases, a rut. To avoid these ruts, add rolling hills and inclines on your course to add extra intensity. You may have to run at a slower pace, but the added intensity will burn calories, build strength and enhance your endurance. Also, make yourself a new music playlist of your favorite motivating songs. You'll work harder and enjoy yourself more.

Weightlifting: While lifting weights is one of the best ways to build strength, these routines may quickly become tedious. To shake things up, and bring intensity, gradually add more weight or more repetitions. To really amplify your workout, replace tried-and-true exercises with new ideas that you can get by talking with one of our personal trainers.

Yoga: While yoga may be one of the last places you'd want an intense workout, you can adjust some poses to build more strength and endurance. Take those push-ups during sun salutations: Instead of lowering yourself all of the way to the floor, slowly lower yourself and hover an inch or two above the floor. You'll soon find yourself relaxed, peaceful and even stronger. 

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"It's important for us to avoid coasting through our exercise routines if we want to make progress on our fitness," Brent Holten says. "There are little things we can do -- whether we're lifting weights or running on a treadmill -- to dial up the intensity and get the most out of our workouts."