Many people think of their workout routine as just that; a routine. They go to the gym and do the exact same exercises every workout; they jog the same route everyday; they do 30 minutes on the same cardio machine four times a week, etc. Consistency in training is great, but there are three compelling reasons to mix things up in your regimen:
1. Better results: The body is all about adapting to whatever you throw at it. So if you’re always doing the same routine, the body will develop a sort of “immunity” to the workout and your progress will plateau. Mixing up your routine will keep your body guessing. This means greater results, either in terms of muscle gain, weight loss or improved conditioning. For example, if you lift weights, look for creative ways to vary each workout. This could mean using a revolving door of different barbell, dumbbell or machine movements, changing around the order that you perform the exercises, or even employing some specialized intensity techniques on occasion to “shock” the muscles into growing.
2. Less injury: Doing the exact same movements every time can make you susceptible to various repetitive movement disorders and fatigue. We see this a lot with runners who constantly hammer their bodies the same way over long stretches of time. By integrating an additional training modality as seldom as once a week, your body gets a well-needed break in the action, while you still get the training benefit. Example: If you’re a jogger, try swapping out one or two of your jogging days each week for a stationary bike or treadmill workout.
3. Staying fresh: One reason why people lose interest in working out is because they get bored with their routine. Mixing things up will stimulate your mind and keep things fresh so you won’t get burnt out. In addition to simply changing your routine around, a few other ideas to consider would be:
A) If you always train indoors, come up with some kind of outdoor workout.
B) If you always do cardio in front of the tube, try listening to music instead.
C) If you always train alone, try bringing in a training partner for some or all of your workouts.
Cool? Now go train!