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Why, when and how to change-up your workout routine.


As humans we are creatures of habit; we fall into our daily routines in various aspects of life and typically revert to what we know and are comfortable with, right? This is a good thing in many cases, as long as those habits are positive and help you reach your goals. When it comes to your workouts, following the same routine for too long can limit your ability to make progress and ultimately reach your health and fitness goals. We can think of a few examples of people, and we're sure you can too, who you see going to the gym at the same time everyday, using the same equipment, and doing the same routines for months and even years. We're not knocking those individuals, as being active is awesome no matter what it entails. 

If you want to push yourself, make progress, see change or move beyond a plateau or rut you are stuck in, you have to change it up. Your body does adapt to your routine, and there are people out there who believe you need to "shock your body" every "x" amount of weeks but it really doesn't need to be that calculated.

 Here are 5 simple ways to changing it up:

  • Change your number of reps reps amount of weight: this can be done with pyramid sets, super-sets, drop sets, pause reps, high reps/low weight or low reps/high weight.
  • Change up your cardio: use a different cardio machine, change your environment outdoors or add HIIT (or high intensity interval training) to your routine.
  • Focus on form and make every rep count: Make that mind-muscle connection - contract and release, use full range motion, slow down the reps, control the movement with proper form and always engage the core.
  • Variations of the same exercise: use different equipment (dumbbells instead of cable, machine instead of barbell), do unilateral exercises (meaning one arm or leg at a time) or try different grip or angle.
  • Try a new type of workout: whether it's crossfit, weight-lifting, power lifting, cycling, bootcamp or circuit training…mix in some new workouts here and there.

These tips aren't meant to be fully implemented all at once or all of the time. You have to remember the importance of nutrition to accompany and support your efforts in the gym.  If you're switching up your routine in the gym and still aren't seeing change, then the next step would be reevaluating your nutrition plan.   

Sleep Deprivation
"Prepare Yourself, Recruit" with Bert Copeland

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