Have you noticed that you don’t enjoy and even dread going to the gym lately? It could be due to lack of motivation, or maybe your workout regimen is too predictable and is getting boring.
Have you thought about cross training, or adding some variety to your workouts to make them more exciting?
Don’t you want to add some new exercises to work some new muscles more?
How To Change Your Workouts And Add Variety To Them:
The changes do not need to be drastic – sometimes subtle changes to the workout are more effective.
Change The Exercises
Switch a particular exercise with another one which employs the same muscle or group of muscles. This will help allow the revitalization of the muscle tissues due to the fact that they are being worked from altered neural pathways. By varying the exercises of certain muscle groups you can help keep them in an adaptive state as well. Do not focus on isolated exercises for particular muscles.
Change The Number Of Repetitions
By varying the reps of your exercises you can boost the various muscle as well as bones and joint workouts. You can add lighter sets to your program or add a number of reps of certain exercises to keep the workout engaging and to add variety to the workout for your different body parts.
The recommended ranges of repetitions for various results are: 1 to 3 reps for power, 4-6 reps for stamina and strength and 20-25 reps for building muscle endurance. It is not recommended that you concentrate on sets of 1-3 reps for more than 7 days. Rather, make sure that you work more on building your strength, stamina and muscle endurance rather than concentrating on working on muscle strength and power. This will help prevent the harmful tissue damage which can occur and which needs more recovery time.
Change The Rates Of Muscle Contractions
With slower contractile speed you boost the strength and size of the muscles while with faster contractions you work on increasing their power. The contractile rates should be accustomed to your specific needs and to the sport you practice for enhanced performance.
This means choosing between heavy intensity training and low-intensity resistance workouts. For maximum enhancement of the fitness and sports performance, power and strength training is essential.
By varying the intensity of the contractions of the muscles, you will make your workout more motivating and will increase its efficiency.
When Should You Change Your Workouts?
Even though humans are programmed to like routines and stick to them, it is good to know that by leveling out the learning curve and by sticking to the same training regimen, overall progress may stall and your motivation may decrease.
Also, with routine comes boredom, which many of us tend to experience after following the same workout program day after day. In order to get out of the plateau when no progress seems to be made, you probably need to make some changes and add some variety to your workouts.
Here are some tell-tale signs that it is time for changes to your exercises, their intensity, reps and muscle contraction rates:
#1 When you experience a plateau, and your body stops changing and improving despite all the hours spent in the gym
If you feel and notice that your body is not progressing, making some changes in the types of exercises, the mode as well as the number of training days and time spent in the gym. This will cause the body to start progressing once again by having been put through unexpected and new forms of exercise or new intensity rates.
#2 Whenever you notice that your trip to the gym has become a dreaded experience
This probably means that you are getting bored. Sure, boredom is a mental state but it has a direct effect on the energy levels of the body due to the lack of overall enthusiasm and a true engagement to the workout program. If you are experiencing this feeling, try changing the exercises, try out a new exercise form or activity, or even get a new pair of sneakers. Make some changes, so that you are still as enthusiastic and as engaged in the workout as you were when you first began training.
#3 When you feel absolutely drained physically after a workout
The feeling you want to have after a good workout is being exerted, energized and rested. This kind of feeling too may mean that you need to add variety to your workouts.
#4 Whenever you find yourself checking the clock over and over again
If you are constantly checking the time instead of actually focusing and enjoying your workout, it is most certainly a good time to make some changes in your training program.
#5 When you no longer find your workout challenging
Both physically and mentally, then it is probably getting too easy for your body, and you need to add something new to your workout regimen to set a new and bigger challenge to your body. This can mean adding new exercises, new intensity rates or reps, or adding new fitness tools and workout types.
Workouts can become routine and can lead to plateaus in the progress which are very frustrating for anybody putting an effort in regular training. When you reach such a state and your body stops progressing, it is time to add a new challenge for it. This can be done by various methods, such as switching exercises with alternative ones, changing the number of reps and the intensity of muscle contractions. You can also add new fitness tools, and even consider engaging in a completely different type of sport or another type of workout.
For the best results, experienced trainers recommend that a custom workout program that is changed every six weeks. Of course, changes must be done safely and be subtle, in order to avoid injuring yourself and overtraining.
By adding variety to your fitness routine, you will find that not only your progress is better, but that you feel more enthusiastic and motivated to go on and continue training and working towards your goals.
About the author: Robert Brown writes about running, quality footwear and other sports-related topics for Runabees – a website dedicated to running and quality footwear. When he is not running or writing, he is relaxing at home with his family and friends.