One way to keep workout routines from becoming stale is to mix up how you do timing and sets, i.e. work vs. rest intervals.
1 rep, rest, 2 reps, rest, 3 reps, etc… until going any higher would cause you to hit muscle failure. Once you’ve reached that point, come back down without repeating the highest number.
Rest intervals match the previous work interval. For example, if 1 rep takes 5 seconds, rest 5 seconds before going up to 2 reps. If 2 reps takes 10 seconds, rest 10 seconds before going to 3, etc..
Each exercise is done for 7.5 minutes. If you reach the bottom of your ladder (1 rep) and the set time (7.5 minutes) hasn’t expired, simply start another ladder. You may not reach the bottom of your ladder, and that’s okay too.
If you reach muscle failure at any point during the ladder, you went too high. It’s ok to end up in the low rep range, possibly repeating single reps towards the end, in order to avoid hitting failure.
For exercises with alternating sides, do reps on both sides before resting.
6 - 12 reps per set
3 sets per exercise
3-minute intervals for each set
Work starts every 3 minutes and you rest the remainder of the interval. The 1st set begins at 0:00, 2nd set at 3:00, 3rd set at 6:00, then the first set of the second exercise begins at 9:00.
One of the three sets for each exercise should take you to failure in the 6 - 12 rep range. If this is not the case, find a variation with appropriate difficulty.
For alternating sides, do all reps on the weak side then switch to dominant side, unless it is specified to alternate each rep.
Each set is a pair of exercises. 1 - 5 reps for the first exercise and 6 - 12 reps for the second exercise.
2 sets per exercise pair
4-minute intervals for each set
The first exercise in each pair should not be done to failure.
The first exercise should be done with slow negative movements (2 - 3 seconds), controlled concentric movements (1 second) with a 1-second pause at the beginning and end of each movement. The second exercise should be done as quickly as possible without compromising good form.
For single limb exercises, alternate sides after each rep.
Have a list of exercises with a set number of reps for each exercise. Repeat as many cycles of the list as possible in 20 minutes, with no rest between. If you have to take short breaks because of muscle failure, it’s okay, but try to keep rest to a minimum.
For example, 20 pushups, 25 sit-ups, 12 squats, and repeat without resting for 20 minutes.
20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes.
Find an exercise pace that you are able to maintain throughout all 8 sets, but only with great difficulty. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any 20-second work period with a significant drop-off in reps performed. This is high-intensity.