There are a lot of people who believe that the only way to get results is to do the same routine over and over again. They think that if they change their routine, they’ll just end up spinning their wheels and not getting anywhere.
The truth is, though, that changing your workout routine is one of the best things you can do for your fitness goals. When you change your routine, you force your body to adapt to new challenges. This not only helps you to avoid plateaus, but it also helps you to continue making progress.
How Often Should You Change Your Workout Routine?
Almost all fitness experts agree that you should change your routine every 4–6 weeks to avoid plateaus and hit every muscle group. Any exercise is good for your health, fitness, energy levels, and keeping your body agile and mobile.
But, if you’re doing the same routines over and over, your body stops responding and you miss a lot of the positive benefits.
The frequency with which you need to change up your sessions depends on a variety of factors, including your goals, your current fitness level, and how well you recover from workouts.
See also: Foam Rollers Work for Sore Muscles
However, as a general rule of thumb, most people need to switch up their routine every 4-6 weeks to continue seeing results. And if you’re starting to feel like your workouts are becoming stale before that, it’s probably time to mix things up!
Why Change Your Workout Routine?
Whether your are working out for muscle growth, tone up, or just stay in shape, it’s essential to mix things up from time to time. That’s because our bodies are very efficient at adapting to physical activity, which means that we can quickly reach a plateau in our fitness levels if we don’t periodically challenge ourselves.
By changing up our sessions, we can help to prevent our bodies from reaching this point of diminishing returns.
In addition to that, research has shown that varying our exercise routine can also help to reduce boredom and improve adherence to your fitness goals.
How to Change Your Workout Routine?
If you’re like most people, you probably have a go-to routine that you stick to week after week. But while there’s nothing wrong with having a favorite workout, it’s important to mix things up from time to time.
This doesn’t mean that you need to completely overhaul everything every few weeks. Instead, simply make small changes, such as trying new exercises, increasing the intensity, or varying the duration. By mixing things up, you can keep your body guessing—and help yourself achieve better results in the long run.
Ways to Change Up Your Workouts
1. Include high-intensity workouts in your cardiovascular exercise program.
Continuing on with the same cardio routine at the same intensity level month afte month will eventually stop producing effects.
Avoid the plateu by moving into HIIT workouts. If you’re new to HIIT, and do it correctly, you won’t be able to spend but a few minutes in this routine. So, start out increasing the intensity for short burst followed by equal rest times.
The rest doesn’t have to be a complete shut down in some cases, but a slowing so that your breathing and heart rate slow enough to start again.
For instance, if the cardiovascular exercise involves cycling, jogging, walking, or aerobics, increase the intensity for one or two minutes repeatedly during the activity. This is a tried-and-true method to increase metabolism and hasten fat burning.
2. Add Weight Training or Start Increasing the Weight
Even if you’re not into competitive body building, replacing the fat in your body with muscle mass and or tone is good for the way you look, the way you feel, and increasing energy levels. So, if you’re not doing any sort of weight training now, it may be time to add that to your workouts.
If you’re already using weight training, make sure you are slowly adding either weight, reps, or both. You want to make sure that every session is a challenge. In fact, you should be seriously fatiguing your target muscles by the time you hit the last repitition.
3. Try Circut Training
Circut training is going from one exercise to the next quickly, instead of taking your normal break between them. It works with any type of workout, whether it’s cardio, strength training, or bodyweight exercises.
For instance, if you’re doing bodyweight training, you could do a set of pushups, and move immediately into jumping jacks and then squats.
Use circut training the same way with your weight training or cardio. Try moving from an exercise bike to the treadmill before your heart rate slows.
4. Add Resistance Band Training
Resistance bands are a versatile and affordable piece of workout equipment that can be used to tone all major muscle groups. But what makes resistance bands so effective? The secret lies in the way they create resistance.
Unlike free weights, which rely on gravity to provide resistance, resistance bands use elasticity. This means that the resistance is constant throughout the entire range of motion, challenging your muscles from start to finish.
See also: Premium Resistance Bands Set For Fitness
So, don’t think you can’t get a complete workout with resistance bands that build muscle mass effectively.
What’s a good workout schedule?
When it comes to working out, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The best schedule for you will depend on your fitness goals, schedule, and preferences. However, some general guidelines can help you create a schedule that works for you.
If you’re just starting, aim for 3-4 trips to the gym per week. As you become more comfortable with exercise, you can gradually increase the frequency and intensity. For most people, 5-6 days per week is the sweet spot for maintaining good health and fitness.
See also: Building a workout routine
When creating your schedule, be sure to leave room for rest and recovery. Overworking your body can lead to fatigue, injuries, and burnout. Aim to include 1-2 days of rest per week, or more if you’re feeling especially tired.
Finally, don’t be afraid to mix things up! Trying new types of exercise can help keep you motivated and excited about working out. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find a workout and a schedule that you love.
Example of a Common Workout Schedule
Monday: Upper body
There are several good upper body workouts for strength training. One popular option is the bench press, which works the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Another great choice is the overhead press, which targets the deltoids and triceps.
Don’t get hung up on barbells and be sure to incorporate dumbbell exercises. Dumbbells can be extremely effective for isolating different upper body muscle groups to increase mass faster.
You can try push-ups, which works all of the above muscles as well as the core. If you’re looking for something a little different, you could also try pull-ups or chin-ups, which work the back and biceps. Whatever you choose, make sure to focus on good form.
Tuesday: Lower body
There are a variety of lower body workouts that can be beneficial for strength training. One is the squat. Squats target the muscles in the thighs, buttocks, and calves, making them ideal for building lower body strength.
Another effective lower body workout is the lunge. Lunge exercises work the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, and can also help to improve balance and coordination. If you’re looking for something more challenging, variations of the squat and lunge such as jump squats and walking lunges can be added to increase the intensity.
Deadlifts and kettlebell swings are also excellent choices for lower body strength training. When performed properly, each of these can help to build muscle, improve posture, and increase power and explosiveness.
Tuesdays and Thursdays may be the day you want to add in Abs. Try Pilates, situps, crunches, planks, or any other core exercises.
Cardio exercises are an important part of any fitness routine, and there are many ways to get a good cardio workout at home using your own equipment. One option is to use a treadmill, which can be adjusted to simulate walking or running outdoors.
Another popular choice is the elliptical machine, which provides great low-impact cardio. For something a little different, try a rowing machine, which can give your arms and legs a thorough going over.
Finally, if you’re looking for some rather intense cardio, consider using a stationary bike. These are just a few of the many options available for getting a good cardio workout at home.
Thursday: Upper body
On Thursdays try going back to your Monday routine, and add HIIT to the mix. The thing about HIIT is that it can be extremely effective in a very short time frame. I like HIIT towards the end of the week simply because I’m still trying to wake up from the weekend on Mondays.
Rather than making your entire Monday routine with the possiblities I have listed for Monday, you may want to do part of that and do the other part on Thursday. For example, you might want to hold off on the bodyweight exercises until Thursday and add planks or pushups to the routine.
Friday: Lower body
On Friday, I like to just change up some of what I do on Tuesdays, and I like to do some or all of what I do using the HIIT protocol.
HIIT is a type of interval training that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and brief periods of rest. This type of exercise is usually thought of as only some form of cardio, but that’s wrong.
Additionally, HIIT workouts can be customized to any fitness level, making them accessible to beginners. The key to successful a HIIT session is to push yourself hard during the active intervals and to fully recover during the rest periods. When done correctly, HIIT can be incredibly effective.
Saturday and Sunday: Rest
The thing is that you need two days’ rest every week. Some people alternate the days, others work out 5 straight days and rest 2 consecutive days.
That’s going to depend on your fitness level, and time constraints. Just be sure to rest for two of every 7 days for the best results.
Why Rest Days are an Important Part of Any Workout Routine
You need to allow your body time to recover from the stress of lifting weights or doing cardio. To see results you need to give your body time to adapt to the stress you’re putting on it.
When you stress muscles, you’re causing microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. These tears are what causes your muscles to grow back stronger, but they can’t do that if you’re constantly breaking them down with no rest days.
So while rest days may seem like they’re just an opportunity to take it easy, they’re an essential part of any effective workout routine.
How do you know if exercise is working?
It can be difficult to know if your exercise routine is really working. After all, results are not always immediately apparent, and it can be easy to get discouraged when you don’t see any changes.
If you’re expecting to see noticable muscle overnight, forget it. It’s going to take weeks or months to see your muscles growing with your own eyes.
If you’re just starting with a workout routine, you know exercising is working if you’re feeling better. You have more energy, you feel happier, your skin looks better, you sleep better at night, and you just feel better.
You may also notice that your clothes begin to feel a bit looser, even if the scale doesn’t budge. You may start to feel stronger and more capable as you build muscle and improve your cardiovascular health. So, even though changes may not be immediately apparent, pay attention to these subtle indicators that your exercise routine is working.
And don’t forget, when you first start exercising, it’s normal to feel a little bit sore the next day. But after a week or two, that soreness should go away and you should feel more energetic.
If you don’t, it’s time to switch up your routine. Maybe you need to add some cardio, or try a different type of strength training.
How frequently do you alter your fitness regimen? This isn’t a big deal if you’re just starting to exercise. Since resistance training is a whole new experience for the body, benefits come swiftly. However, once the novice stage has passed, the majority of people begin to notice that results are not coming in as quickly. This is a result of your body becoming accustomed to your exercise regimen.
You can’t help but notice people at the gym that seem to have no interest in what they’re doing, much less getting in a good workout. It makes you wonder if they’ve just become so bored that they’ve lost interest. And that could be because they stopped seeing any result from all the work.
When you constantly repeat the same workout routines over and over, it’s possible you’re just wasting your time. Of course that works for the short term, but stops working after awhile.
That’s why it’s crucial to change your workout routine every 4-6 weeks. It doesn’t really matter how many days of the week, or what kind of exercising you’re doing, how often you change your routine is vital to continued results.