Hate to break it: But your workout might not be helping you as much as it could. Truth here is, you cannot go through the same exercise program over and over again and expect to see a change in results – it’s important to change your training routine periodically to give your body the progressive stimulus it needs to recover, grow and strengthen.
Thankfully, there are common signs that show its time for a workout change. If you ignore them, you could get bored, plateau, get poor results and even quit altogether. But if you pay attention to the signs, you’ll overcome previous boundaries and make continual improvements toward your goals.
1. You’re losing interest in your workouts
Let’s be realistic: If you’re doing the same routine, same exercises, same load, in the same order – its only a matter of time until your mind and your body will get bored. And since losing interest in working out is one of the main reasons people quit their exercise regime, you need to address what’s losing your interest, fast.
If someone is bored with their workout, it can be because they have no incentive or goal they want bad enough in the first place. A suggestion could be attach yourself to a performance based goal where improving your lower body endurance will complement your preferred sport, if hiking, being an example. This will can give you purpose in your training and make working out less boring.
2. You’re not seeing the results you want
If you’re not seeing the fat loss or muscle gains you’re wanting, you’ve probably reached a plateau and its time change things up.
As the saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding”.
There’s a process that happens with your body when you start a new training plan (its called the “General Adaption Syndrome”). First, the new workout routine is a shock to your body, which forces it to develop and grow, at the same time getting stronger and burning more calories as a result. Over time, however, your body gets accustomed to training within its comfort zones, and you’ll need more stimulus for both muscle gain and fat loss.
To avoid going in circles, change your workout program every 8-12 weeks. That’s enough time to get the most from and develop through your program without worrying about staying the same or getting bored.
3. You’re losing strength
Nothing’s worst than hitting the gym for a period of time and actually seeing hardly any difference in strength. If you’re logging your training and there’s no increase in volume, meaning: repetitions, weight or sets, good chance is you’re likely doing too much and not allowing enough time to recover. Guys are often quick to ask me about the latest supplement they should take to get to their goals – save yourself some £££ and take a look at your exercise program, nutrition and get some decent sleep.
4. You’re doing what you “want”, not you “need” to be doing
If you write your own exercise program, chances are you’re doing the exercises you like and will avoid the ones you don’t like. Yet it’s the exercises that you don’t like doing that will probably get you best overall results over time. Leg exercises, back exercises, functional movements and short cardio blasts are usually top of that list.
Make sure your workout program includes at least two of the following:
- Squat variations
- Pull movements or row variations
- Lunge variations
- A deadlift
- An upper body press or push variation
If you work on these essential exercises, you’ll be well on your way to real, total-body results.