Starting an exercise routine can be a hassle. That said, once we get the ball rolling it usually becomes easy and routine. We often see results pretty quickly, but inevitably plateau.
Like they say, consistency is key but if we are not challenging our body in new ways, it will become used to the exercises and the results will become less impactful and obvious. Once this happens we begin to simply going through the motions and working out becomes boring and ineffective.
So what do is a person to do?..... Implement variation.
Say a typical workout routine is as follows
Monday: Chest and triceps
Tuesday: Back and biceps
Wednesday: Legs and core
As a new lifter, this 5 day split will provide great results. But continuing to use this same routine for weeks/months/years will eventually cease to provide “new” results.
We need to keep our muscle fibers guessing. We have to make the body NEED to change to keep up with variation in exercise.
So, switch it up every month by trying new 5 day splits.
Thursday: Shoulders and arms
Switching back and forth every month between the two routines will definitely help. But, to dive deeper we can also switch exercises within the routine
For example: Let’s say chest day looks like this:
Bench Press, as heavy as possible until you get to one rep.
Incline Press, as heavy as possible until you get to one rep.
Decline Press, as heavy as possible until you get to one rep.
Then, tons of tricep extensions.
Dumbbell Press - find a weight that you can get 8 reps on, drop it a couple pounds and get 4 sets of 10 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Press, find a weight that you can can get 8 reps on, drop it a couple pounds and get 4 sets of 10 reps.
Dips, 4 sets of 12 reps.
Single arm tricep extensions, find a comfortable 15 rep weight, add 5 pounds and do 4 sets of 12 reps.
This can be done for every routine. Other variations to consider include:
Changing which exercise you do first in a routine next week.
Changing what equiptment you use to perform exercises.
In summary, just constantly do something different and work as hard as possible. If you want to get fancy, bring along a notebook and write down each routine (what you did, number of reps and using what equipment). By implementing variations to your routine all days of the week (and not just chest day) I PROMISE you will see more positive change in your body!
And that’s, fitness by design