Why should I vary my workout
If you regularly find yourself doing the same
workout on the same cardio machine, or performing same aerobics class, or
running the same two mile route, or using the same 5 weight machines, odds are
you need to mix things up or try something new. Why? Because our bodies adjust
to exercise programs rather quickly, and depending on the intensity of the
exercise, it can happen in as little as three months.
When our bodies adjust to a particular program
or routine, we often experience what is known as training plateaus. Training
plateaus can lead to mental and physical exercise fatigue and frustration. The
frustration will build because these plateaus can block your progress when
trying to lose fat, gain muscle, run faster, or just become healthier.
Like your mind, your body acclimates quickly to
new challenges and becomes very efficient at performing activities. Muscle,
nerves, and their support systems all adapt to physical stress through many
What does this mean to me? Well on the upside it means your
body gets better at doing the exercises you have been routinely performing. On
the downside, you will need to workout longer or harder to continue to improve,
which may not be realistic or safe.
How often should I vary my workouts? In most
cases, it is recommended that you vary your exercise routine every 8 to 12
weeks. Your workout variation can prevent training plateaus and help you avoid
physical and mental fatigue. What are some of the benefits of varying my
Physically, your body will be challenged and
required to adapt to the new routine, benefiting your overall physical health.
Mentally, varying workouts can help you avoid workout boredom by continually
giving you something new to look forward to.
Fortunately, aside from varying
your current workout, there are many different kinds of things you can do both
in and out of a fitness center. If you feel you have hit that proverbial
exercise wall, it is time for a physical and mental challenge you can achieve
through a workout change!
Troy Saunders for your insightful
contributions to this practical fitness tip!