Myth: I don’t need to change my gym routine to get results
Still doing the same workout you’ve always done? You’re not alone. So many people do the same thing every time they step into the gym. They do the same exercises, rep ranges, rest periods, etc. If you’re new to exercise, you can do this for a while and still see results, but eventually you will need to make some changes to keep improving. You have to stick with a workout for a little while so you can see some progressive overload.
Progressive overload is concept of putting your body, muscles, or cardiovascular system under slightly more stress each time you workout so that you will get better, stronger, faster, or whatever goal you have. The problem is people do the same workout for years without any change whatsoever. If you’re not seeing results, this could be an indication that it’s time to shake up your routine by doing something different.
Change things up anywhere from every 2 to 12 weeks so your workouts don’t start looking like the movie Groundhog Day. Here are some tips to try:
Do your exercises in a different order. It’s good to start your workout with the biggest compound lifts, like deadlifts, squats, presses, or pulls. If you do other isolation type exercises like curls or extensions, try changing the order in which you do them.
Change your rep ranges. Try lifting heavier! If you have always lifted in the 12 to 15 rep range for 3 sets, you may want to opt for 8 to 12 reps by 3 to 4 sets. You could try 5 reps for 5 sets if you are an experienced lifter, have good technique, and have a spotter.
Change up your exercise selection. There a so many exercises for each muscle group. Compound lifts like bench press, squats, rows, and deadlifts are still important and should be the foundation of your strength-training program. There are different variations of so many exercises; different angles, different grips, etc. Instead of a back squat, try a front squat. Variety is a good thing.
Change your program. If you have always done a full body workout, you may want to try a split routine. Popular split routines are upper body/lower body where you workout those different muscles groups on different days. Try opposing muscle group splits, like chest vs. back, biceps vs. triceps, or legs vs. shoulders. One of my favourite splits is push vs. pull – you perform push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, calves) two days a week. Pull muscles (back, biceps, glutes, hams) would be worked out on a different two days that week.
Change your lifting tempo. If you have always lifted and lowered a weight at the same speed, it is time to switch it up. Let’s use biceps curls as an example. Try lifting the weight quickly, pause at the top for one second, lower the weight for four seconds, pause at the bottom for one sec, and repeat. Lowering a weight slowly puts more stress on the muscle.
Say no to those old déjà vu workouts! Use these tips to keep your summer workouts fresh and keep the results coming.
Yours in fitness and wellness,
Check out Ryan’s personal fitness blog for workouts, tips, and advice at www.sparkfitnessnow.com.