So you’ve been doing the same workout for awhile now…
Routines are easy. You go to the gym before or after class, you workout for an hour to an hour and a half, then you go home, shower, eat dinner, do homework, sleep and then do it all over again the next day.
It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
But then you stick to the schedule, and three weeks later that super hard workout you came up with a few weeks ago doesn’t seem so hard anymore. Is it because you’ve just gotten into that much better of shape? Are you bored of the workout and don’t consciously push yourself as hard? According to Women’s Health, it could be both. According to Nick Tumminello, owner of Performance University in Fort Lauderdale and author of Strength Training for Fat Loss, the more you do something, the easier it becomes. In other words, “You burn fewer calories and build less calorie-torching muscle with every workout.”
No, really. Adding 15 minutes to your elliptical workout isn’t going to do anything–go try the stair climber instead!
But how often do should I switch it up? How do I switch it up? Changing your routine can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially when you’re comparing unknown, new workouts to your tried-and-true. Luckily, there are SO MANY options. And all of which are up to YOU! To make these switches a little less intimidating, I’m going to break down the major components of the changes you’ve gotta make.
What? Switch up your workouts!
Where? At the gym, at the pool, at the track, anywhere.
When? Every three-six weeks.
- Try a new class (like Zumba, Barre, Spinning)
- Do a new drill (such as intervals for running or swimming instead of steady state)
- Try a different weight or cardio machine (like the stair-climber instead of the bike)
By remaining static in workouts, two things can happen. One, as mentioned, you can get used to it and not get as much out of it. Secondly, falling into a routine, while habitual, can become monotonous and increase the chances of you skipping leg, arm, or ab day. When…. in reality:
Leg day, arm day, ab day could all be the same day!
Or any day. Ideally, you make those muscle groups work together every time you’re at the gym and switch up the exercises to keep it interesting. If different, new parts of your body are sore after your gym days, you’re getting the most out of your workout. (Of course, being sore is different than feeling tight or having pain, so make sure to know the difference!)
I like to switch it up all the time. If it’s leg lifts, triceps dips, crunches, and running one week, I’ll try squats, pull ups, Russian twists, and swimming the next week. I find that rotating through exercises on a weekly basis is better for me than doing the same routine for weeks on end.
So try something new this week. Go to a Zumba class, hop on the TRX you’re scared of at the gym, or give running a try (the weather is beautiful!). You never know what you’ll get out of breaking from your routine!
Check out these articles too: