Ever find yourself in the same old rut when it comes to your workouts? Did the routine that you chose to do months ago get you great results in the beginning but now you have started to plateau?
Doing the same workout over and over is not only boring—it also slows down your results by not giving your muscles a chance to recover.
When you do the same workout over and over, your body eventually adapts to the routine. When this happens, progress comes to a screeching halt.
And you get frustrated.
Your motivation to become healthy falls by the wayside, and you stop exercising. You figure all that hard work is just a waste of time.
It’s time to stop being comfortable.
It’s time to stop doing what all those people in the gyms are doing. They probably watched some trainer training his or her client and figured that was the best way to help them accomplish their own goals.
But since they didn’t know what else to do, they followed that routine for weeks, months or possibly even YEARS! (you may laugh at that, but when I worked in a gym, I saw the same people doing the same routines all the time).
Or there were the people that either got an orientation or paid for a few sessions with me, got a routine designed for them and thought they were good. I remember seeing them a year later clutching that same piece of paper that I had given them during our few sessions together.
Did I explain to them that they needed to change their routines periodically? Yes. Did they listen to me? No. Were they losing weight like they wanted to? I’ll let you answer that question.
What are some ways to change up your routines? Here are some general ideas to change up your routines:
- Change the number of repetitions per set, or the number of sets of each exercise
- Change the amount of resistance used
- Change the rest period between sets, exercises or training sessions
- Change the order of the exercises, or the types of exercises
- Change the speed at which you complete each exercise
When I train my personal training clients, we never do the same routine back to back. All of my clients do a different routine every single time. I may go back to these routines, but I never do them week in and week out.
Your body wants to be challenged. Your body wants to be stimulated and not have to do the same grind every single time.
And the flip side to this is high intensity training. If you are going all out in your workouts all the time, then your body is going to get burnt out. This will eventually lead to overtraining. One you have broken your body down to the point where it doesn’t recuperate, you actually start to REGRESS.
What a horrible word.
This is why you hear so much about the benefits of cross training. People who cross train are the ones who get to their goals quicker. They are the ones who actually don’t plateau in their quest to accomplish their health and fitness goals.
Alternate your exercise routine. For example take a Pilates class on Monday and then lift weights on Wednesday. Perhaps on Friday you can do some interval training. Then the following week, you can add two days of lifting weights and some interval training.
The possibilities are endless!
The technical term for changing up your routines is periodization. You can find many ways to periodize your routines all over the internet.
So stop the madness. Stop thinking there is a one size fits all mentality when it comes to reaching your health and fitness goals.
And for goodness sake, stop doing your same routine! You will get to your goals much quicker if you change it up ALL THE TIME!
Let me know if you have any questions about your exercise routines in the comments section below.