For many of us, starting a new exercise routine can be fun and motivational. We put time aside for our workout and we look forward to it. It’s new and exciting. We may start to experience results quickly and this encourages us to continue with our program. But inevitably there comes a point when we start missing a few sessions, our progress falters and our interest wanes. For the large part this problem can often be solved simply by changing up our exercise routine.
The human body adapts very quickly to consistent exercise conditions, so unless we regularly alter our routine, our progress will start to stagnate. Whilst there remains some debate as to how often we should be varying our exercise program, there is no doubt that we need to make changes from time to time in order to progress. So how do you know that your workout is getting stale? There are clear signs to look for when deciding whether it’s time to change your exercise regime:-
You’re Losing Motivation
If you find that the prospect of performing your workout is leaving you less than excited, then it may be time to make some changes. Losing motivation is the most common reason why most of us fail to stick to our exercise routine. It’s therefore vital that we make our workouts as varied as possible. This can only be achieved by varying our exercise program consistently. If you constantly run on the treadmill, why not try adding some intervals to change things around. Even better would be to try another form of cardiovascular exercise altogether like the rowing machine or cross trainer. You could even try a fitness class or take the occasional swim. By varying your workout routine every 4-6 weeks, you will be far more likely to stay interested and motivated. This will help you to stay consistent and focussed upon your training goals.
You’re Not Seeing Results
Whether you’re training for weight loss or to run a marathon, the body adapts very quickly to the specific exercises that you perform (and even the order in which you perform those exercises). Whilst you may see results in the initial stages, within 3-6 weeks your results will often level off as you hit a training plateau. This is an indication that you need to vary your exercise routine in order to start challenging your body again. This doesn’t mean that you need to completely overhaul your existing regime, especially if you enjoy the exercises you’re doing. But you can make simple changes such as changing the resistance, altering the rest times, adding circuits or changing the order you perform exercises in. One way of picking up new exercise ideas is to work with a partner or even take advice from a personal trainer.
Exercise is Becoming Too Easy.
If you perform the same routine week in, week out, you will quickly find that the workout becomes rather easy. This is good news in one respect as it clearly demonstrates that you’re getting fitter and stronger. The problem is that an easy workout will result in very little benefit to you. Whilst you should not expect your exercise routine to be pain and torture, it should challenge you. Getting to the end of your workout and feeling like you could easily go again is a clear sign that your routine needs to be changed and the intensity increased.
You are Constantly Sore or Picking Up Injuries.
Some people may actually be working out too much and at too high an intensity. Overtraining can leave your body constantly sore, tired and even potentially injured. If this sounds like your workout then you need to change the routine and the frequency of your sessions to enable you to train more productively with sufficient rest time.
Some fitness experts claim that we should be changing our fitness routine on a daily basis so that no two workouts are ever the same. This can be easily achieved just by changing the order of exercises and adding a new exercise on each workout. Other experts say its best to stick to the same program but change every 2-4 weeks. Whilst there is scientific debate about how often to change your program, there is certainly strong evidence demonstrating that we could all benefit from refreshing our routine far more regularly.