Knowing When to Switch Up Your Workout Plan
There’s value in showing up consistently and sticking to the workout plan you’ve started. But there are also benefits to jumping ship and starting fresh. How do you know which option to choose?
If you’ve been hitting the gym consistently for a fair amount of time, you’ve most likely stared at yourself in the mirror at some point and asked, “Is it time to switch up my routine?”
Sometimes the workouts are boring. Sometimes it’s a lack of results. Sometimes it’s another workout plan that tempts you to break away from your current regimen. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to change it up in the gym–but are they the right ones?
In this article, we’ll explore when to change course, why you should consider it, and what you should do if you find yourself thinking about shifting gears in the weight room. By the time we’re done here, you’ll have the clarity you need to get excited about your workouts again.
TIMING: WHEN TO CONSIDER CHANGING GEARS
One of the biggest reasons that you might think about changing up your routine in the weight room is because you’re not getting the results that you expected. You’ve put a lot of energy into executing the workouts as they were prescribed, but your muscles aren’t growing and your waistline hasn’t budged.
But before you pull the plug, think about how many weeks you’ve been at it. Each gym session is important to your body’s transformation, but so is the progression of the program. In many cases, it’s going to take a few weeks for the layout of the workout regimen to trigger the change that you’re hoping for. If you’re looking to jump ship after a week or two, you’re probably making a mistake.
You have to be patient with how your body changes throughout the process. Your fitness is something that should be marinated, not microwaved. Give it at least a month before you decide to change it up. If you’ve honestly committed to a month of hard work, and you’re not seeing anything in terms of results, then you can move on with a clear conscience.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHANGE YOUR WORKOUT IN THE FIRST PLACE?
To answer this question, consider the concept of muscle growth itself. Your muscles grow when they are forced to adapt to strenuous action that they haven’t experienced before. In order to get your muscles to grow, you must introduce new challenges for them to overcome.
If you show up to the gym and do bicep curls with the same weight for 3 sets of 8-10 reps every time you work on your arms, you’re not going to experience any growth and change in that muscle. This concept can be applied to all muscle groups, of course. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you challenge your muscles in new ways if you want to experience noticeable change.
So, we’ve covered when to switch it up and why it’s important. Now let’s dig into what to do if you’ve been at it for a while and realize it’s time to challenge your muscles in a new way.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Now for the fun part. Once you’ve given your best to a workout program that’s gone stale and see the opportunity to switch things up, you get to explore an abundance of new options that are available to you. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t find yourself in the same situation in a month’s time. We want to make sure you find something that you can stick with and get serious results from:
• Avoid Something Similar
If you’ve been doing a certain type of workout, and have found it to be boring, don’t repeat the same mistake. Find something that is vastly different from the workout program that got stale and dive in head first knowing that it is the opposite of what made you bored in the first place. If you were working through a program with a lot of set work, try something that emphasizes circuit training. If you’ve been doing Crossfit, try a 5×5 lifting regimen. Think outside of the box that you feel trapped in.
• Do Your Research
The internet is an endless resource of information. Hop online and research what type of workout programs might work best for you. If you’re struggling to find the time to workout, try a program that only has you lifting 3 days a week. If you’re looking to grow muscle instead of losing weight, find a routine that caters to your goals.
• Hire a Personal Trainer
Take the guesswork out of your workout plan. Hire someone who knows what they’re doing and trust that they will give you a great workout in the time that you spend with them. You won’t have to wonder if you’re doing a certain lift right or if you should be doing something differently. It’s their job to guide you. All you have to do is show up and give your best.
There is definitely a time and a place for changing the way you operate while in the weight room. The important part is that when that time comes, you choose a path that will serve your fitness journey the best. Sometimes all it takes is a change of routine; sometimes it requires a trainers’ help to shake your funk. Whatever the case may be, do what you need to do to feel excited about the time that you spend at the gym.
Be patient in the process. Assess the situation after you’ve committed at least a month to your current program. Adjust course accordingly.