The question, “How often should I change my workout routine?” is one that I get a lot. It is also something that people have lots of confusion about and end up doing one of two things: first, they either do the same routine (exercises, sets, reps, etc.) for months at a time OR you have those that change up their workout every time they go to the gym. Rarely do you see people having the correct timing when it comes to changing their workout routines. That is why I have decided to put together this post.
Before answering our question, let me first address some tell tale signs that it may be time for you to switch up your workout routine. The list below is mainly for those who go in and do the same routine over and over for months at a time. For those who switch their routine up too often, the rest of the article is for you:
Signs you should change your workout routine:
Below are five different signs that you may encounter when trying to figure out when it is time to switch up your workout routine:
- It is getting boring:
The first thing you will notice is that you are bored. You have been doing the same thing over and over and are just itching for a change. Workouts are meant to be fun and exciting. Even when doing a new workout, week 6 or 8 can still be something to look forward too even if your routine hasn’t changed very much. For myself, I find I can stick with a similar routine for around 4-6 weeks at a time before I know it is time to change.
- Results have slowed or come to a stop:
This one is very obvious but one that many overlook. If you had been seeing results from a workout routine and now they have suddenly stopped or slowed, it is a clear sign it is time for a change.
- Your goals have changed:
Workout routines are built around the goals you wish to attain. Although much of what you should be doing is similar, there are still some variables that need to change depending on your goals. For example, maybe you are going through a period of losing fat then once you accomplish that, you want to put on some muscle mass. This will call for a change in your routine.
- You are getting more tired and sore than ever before:
Many times when you stick to the same routine, your body will be the one to signal you that it is ready for something different. If you notice that you are getting more tired and sore from your workouts than before, you either need to take a week off or change up your routine.
- Your workouts are no longer challenging:
If you are no longer challenged by your workouts, you must switch things up or you will stay exactly where you are currently. Workouts that challenge you to get better are the ones that will continue to bring serious results.
Now that we have covered some different signs on whether or not you need to change up your workout routine, lets now take a look at just how often you should change up your workouts. The factor that comes into play here to determine the length you should stick to a program is your fitness level:
How often should beginners change up their workout routine?
Beginners should focus on doing the same workout routine for at least 6-8 weeks. The reason for this is their bodies will take much longer to adapt to the exercises and workouts than someone who is more advanced. The time frame of 6-8 weeks gives enough time for the beginner to master certain routines and exercises they are focusing on and will allow for great of strength gains.
The focus here is to make sure you are doing the right exercises, ones that are proven to bring results. Once you have completed a solid 6-8 week workout routine, your body will now be much more prepared to take different workouts. Beginners that focus on doing the same routine for too long or that change their routine daily or weekly, will find it very hard to ever make progress.
Changing your routine on a weekly basis will not allow your body to gain the proper strength that it needs to eventually perform more advanced workouts. Workout routines that do not change for an extended period of time (over the 8 week mark), your body will adapt and your results will come to a halt. As a beginner, focus first on finding a solid workout routine and stick with it for at least 6-8 weeks before changing it up.
How often should intermediate/advanced workers change up their workout routine?
After getting comfortable in the weight room and feeling that you are now strong enough to take on more challenging exercises, you will find benefit with changing up your workout routines more often. Once you have been lifting for a certain period of time, your body will learn to adapt faster to what you throw at it.
A professional athletes body will adapt to workouts and exercises much faster than a beginners would. With that said, once you feel you have reached the level that is past being a beginner, you can then start changing your workout routines every 3-6 weeks. More advanced workers should change their routines closer to the 3-4 week ranges while intermediate workers can get away with doing a routine for closer to six weeks.
The more your fitness level advances, the more you will have to change up your workouts. Your body will start to adapt very quickly to what is thrown at it, so be sure to check for signs on when you should change up your workouts (see above).
How often should top level workers change up their workout routine?
Top level workers refer to elite athletes and those who are very advanced in the weight room (this is a select group of people). When you are an elite level athlete, changing your routine is a must in order to ensure that you train your body to adapt to anything that gets thrown at it. That being said, these types of workers will find benefit in changing their workout routines every 1-2 weeks.
This means introducing new exercises, movements, and outside factors (balancing items, chains, tires, etc.) into their workouts. By doing this, they are allowing their bodies just enough time to adapt while changing their routines at the perfect time so they are constantly improving.
You must be able to find the right balance of how long your workout routines should last and when they need to be changed. Changing things everyday or doing the same routine for too long, is going to be counterproductive when trying to get fit. Sure you may see some results, but sticking with a routine for the correct period of time then switching to something new is what’s going to bring you results and constantly challenge you.
Take away points:
- Find the right balance of when you should change your workout routine
- Constantly be challenging yourself each day when you get into the gym
- In order to get results, you must first be focusing on having a solid workout routine that involves doing the right exercises
- Take notice of the signs your body gives you to know when it is time for something new
- Have fun, keep intensity high, and always challenge yourself
By just doing the five things above, you will see great success at the gym and in your workout routines. In tomorrows article, I will be covering five different ways you can change up your workout routine to ensure you are always getting better. Be sure to check back tomorrow for that.
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