No Change, No Gains: Why Changing Your Workout Is So Important
By: Morgan Davies |
London Ontario CPR training instructors said it best, “The same old workout routine won’t bring you gains.” There’s a reason fitness trainers and gurus are constantly switching up and evolving their workout plans and programs, and it’s not just about satisfying customers. Avoiding a workout plateau is crucial in order to continue to see results, get stronger, and stay physically challenged. While it’s so easy to fall into a loop of doing your favorite moves and fitness classes, it’s actually healthy for you to expand your horizons every couple of weeks.
When should you switch up your workout?
The health and fitness outlet Men’s Journal has a crew of expert fitness trainers who advise that you switch up your workout every 6 weeks if you’re new to fitness, and every 8 weeks if you’re a gym veteran. This allows your body enough time to adapt and change based on your fitness routine, which means you’ll have to start changing things soon after or you’ll stop progressing.
That doesn’t mean you should do the same workout every day for the first 6-8 weeks. Remember to rotate exercises as you go so you don’t adapt too fast and plateau even sooner!
Change is hard; where do I start?
Think small! Changing your routine doesn’t mean you have to jump from being a devoted yogi to doing intense CrossFit. If you tend to focus on Pilates, cardio, dance, and yoga, try changing up your moves. Push yourself to do more complicated positions, dance routines, and stretch combos. If you’re trying strength training or CrossFit, try doing more reps, sets, or using more weight per workout. You can also add in advanced versions of your favorite exercises, like stepping up your plain burpees to kettlebell lift burpees or using machines in a different way. Go farther and harder but think simple.
It also wouldn’t hurt to try something new for a change. Just because Barre may not be as intense as a HIIT workout doesn’t mean you won’t get something out of it. It might even be kinder to your body to try something a little slower and flexibility-focused. Or if you’re already a pro on the mat, try turning things up by going to specialized classes. Strength yoga and Pilates classes add the extra challenge of weights, and express classes can get your heart rate up in no time.
There are tons of options! If you’re really lost and can’t decide, consider using a trainer. Experts at fitness and health, trainers can help you create a customized workout plan to fit your wants and needs and they’ll be sure to mix things up so that you don’t get bored or stop progressing. Depending on your gym, you might even be able to work with one for free.
Are there any other reasons I should change my routine?
Plenty of reasons, number one being that it will help you avoid getting bored or unmotivated by your routine. Whether you’re trying to get stronger, lose weight, or improve your endurance, you have to keep moving forward. Evolving your workout helps with your progress, but it also keeps you amped up to meet your goals. When you push yourself and try new things, you’re changing your own expectations and limits.
Think of it as a chance to face your fears and conquer workouts you never thought you could accomplish before.