Workout changes are needed because of the fact that the body can naturally adapt to a routine that you perform all the time. It is so easy to reach a plateau that cannot be broken. Results are hindered and workouts end up feeling completely tedious. With this in mind, alternating workouts is necessary so that the body cannot adapt. You will want to constantly change:
- Workout lengths
- How many days you work out
- The exercises you perform
Even a small modification in your workout routine can help out. The plateau appears because of homeostasis and the explanation is quite complicated. However, it is all about the fact that the body gets used to the stress it is put to.
Variety Is Key
If you want to avoid adaptation, you need to always think about variation. Outline all the goals that you have for one year. Write down your long and short term goals. Assessments have to be done annually, biannually and monthly so that you can track growth and how close you are to reach your goals. Keeping a complete workout log helps out a lot since you can actually realize when you reach a plateau. That is where you absolutely need to vary your workouts.
Changing Reps And Sets
This is basically the easiest way to avoid adaptation. Let’s think about the situation in which you want to build muscle mass. This means that you are most likely performing 3 sets with 8 to 12 repetitions. Variation basically means that you would do 10 sets with 3 repetitions each as soon as a plateau was reached. Contrary to popular belief, this brings in around the same volume, not hurting you much and jumpstarting you towards new goals.
Most athletes remain stuck on a list of exercises that worked for them and that they keep doing. Unfortunately, this does not work on a long run. You need to always perform different exercises, preferably making changes every single week. For instance, if you perform close grip presses this week, do some board presses the following week. Try to change the exercises that you perform at least once per month.
Changing Workout Intensity
This can be a lot more effective than you may think when aiming to prevent the appearance of a plateau in your workouts. Alternate high, medium and low intensity workouts every single week. Also, mix them up so that the body does not actually know when you are going to use a specific intensity and what muscles are worked through that intensity.
The bottom line is that you want to keep your body guessing when you work out. This is what increases the gains that you have in a shorter period of time and helps you to avoid the much dreaded plateaus. Everything that you can modify will work out great as long as you keep your eyes on the goals that you have.