Exercising is without a doubt a necessity and should be part of anyone’s routine for health purposes primarily. But exercising and working out as anything else should also be fun, goal-oriented, stimulating, and harbors progression and improvement. This is why is crucial to assess your current routine every once in a while, and check if it’s working for you. Altering your workout routine will depend on many factors and takes many shapes and forms. Let deep dive into this topic together.
While you may be seeing results and enjoying your previous routine, you may come to a point where you see a stagnancy in your results and may even lose interest in whatever you are doing. The problem is a lot of us once they sense that they are losing connection with the program we have been following they just quit instead of taking steps to change. The good news is that changing your workout plan not only could be the answer but can also lead to getting better results. Questions you may want to ensure you change your routine to something that fits you:
- Why am I not getting the results I want?
- Is the program schedule right for me?
- Is the intensity stimulating me?
- Am I bored of the current program?
- Do I want to learn something new?
- Do I have new goals?
Changing your workout plan could mean changing the type of exercises, the timing, the duration, the place. Also, the reason for changing a workout routine may vary from person to person. The first step to establishing the best new program is to understand why you want to do it.
Below are some reasons why you should consider changing your workout routine:
- Your body reached a plateau:
When you work out, you are either training your heart when doing cardiovascular activities like running or training your muscles for strength and hypertrophy. Either way, you need to start somewhere based on your level ad follow a program that will lead you to progress in either area you choose. Eventually as with anything else your body whether heart or muscles is quick to adapt and you will not see any changes. You will require more intensity or weights, respectively to further see progress. The pros about this are that this doesn’t mean your old routine failed, in fact, it means that it was successful but it’s time for a change!
- You are bored of the old routine:
Nothing is a motivation killer as being bored of exercising day in day out. Don’t get me wrong, motivation doesn’t have to be there 24/7 but it should be there most of the time. There are so many types of workouts plans and activities that could add enjoyment to your life. If running alone is no longer fun for you and you’re skipping most of your runs then perhaps it’s time to enroll in a group program that will motivate you or hire a personal trainer that will customize workouts that you enjoy.
- Your work got busy and your time is limited.
Sometimes you still want to improve and get better even when your time becomes limited due to a change in job or a demanding project. There are ways to maintain your fitness and strength in shorter times. This could be through HIIT or adding supersets in your strength.
- Your goals changed
You suddenly decide that you want to learn a new skill or you have a competition you would like to participate in in the near future. In order to reach any goal, a structured program is a necessity. Time to forgo your indoor cycling sessions and instead enroll in a specific program tailored for this new goal and skill. This may also mean that you want to hire a personal trainer who can help you reach your more focused goals.
- Your budget changed
The budget should not be a reason to stop fitness and exercising. There are so many programs out there that accommodate little equipment or even fun home workouts. Instead of paying for a gym membership you can simply follow a home program or grab a friend and enroll in a group personal training session.
- You are suffering from a health condition or injury
Sometimes things don’t go the way want and life is unpredictable. Exercising is never something that you should give up because the benefits are always far more than the risks. The key here is to adopt a program that fits your needs and helps you get a better, stronger mind and body.
- You are pregnant
As a woman being pregnant again doesn’t mean abandoning exercise and fitness. Instead working out add amazing benefits to the journey such as preventing gestational diabetes, balancing hormones, and keeping the baby and mother healthy and happy. To ensure safety, hire a pre/postnatal personal trainer that can help you stay fit and active throughout.
- You are no longer losing weight:
This happens a lot after a few months and here are some of the reasons why. You are just doing hours of cardiovascular activity and scared of strength training or you are not on point with your nutrition. While nutrition is not the topic here, I can assure you that adding a strength routine will help you lose weight by losing fat and gaining muscle. Remember muscle while it may weigh more, is smaller than fat and burns more calories at rest.
How often should you change your workout routine?
While changing your workout routine may be very beneficial, changing your workout routine too often has its cons. Everything requires patience and time to see the intended results. You also need to give your body and mind a chance to enjoy and get used to a specific routine. As a rule of thumb at least 4 weeks must be given for a program to assess its benefit. Furthermore, sometimes it’s recommended to wait as long as 12 weeks to consider changing a workout plan especially when it’s a performance specific program. So don’t be too quick in changing unless you have a very valid reason. Give it time to see the results.
The being said when it comes to performance variety and adjusting the program are key for improvement. IF you don’t adjust your program then as mentioned above the body will plateau.
Examples of how can you alter your program :
- Adding supersets: This will make you do more exercises in less time without resting focusing on different muscles. This is great especially if you are someone who suddenly becomes short n time or wants to add some accessories to your routine.
- Increasing your target weights and reps: you have achieved your goal of 60 kg for a shoulder press. It’s now time to up your game. A lot of programs work based on a percentage of your 1 rep max (60 in this case). Therefore, it’s important to take that into account in your program.
- Adding mobility to your routine: This is especially true when the range of motion has become an obstacle to lifting heavier weight. Invest in a mobility program or get the help of a PT.
- Incorporating tempo in your sets: Tempo means more time under tension. This not only engages different muscles but also improves endurance under specific weights.
Cardio based performance:
- Add interval training using a heart rate monitor.
- Take on a new sport cycling or swimming or running
- Enroll in martial arts, boxing, kickboxing
Weight loss-based results:
- Increase the intensity of your cardiovascular activity
- Grab a buddy
- Hire a personal trainer
- Add strength and weightlifting to your routine
Altering your workout routine to fit your current state is part of a healthy process to improve and persist in working out and exercising. It’s important not to be scared to take a step and ask for help to make that change happen the right way. There are many programs out there that are not well evaluated and may not fit your level, needs and goals. Make sure to search for well trusted trainers and programs that can give you the value you need. Trainers that are qualified and have experience are what you need.