Should You Switch Up Your Workouts?
You’ve been rocking the same workout for a while. You’re feeling strong, but you want to know if this is the best strategy for optimal fitness or if there’s something you’re missing. You may have asked, should you switch up your workouts? Before you change up your routine on a whim, here’s what you need to know.
Consistency breeds results
If you work at something regularly for a long time, you will see results. While this may not always be easy to achieve, it’s accurate. The result of consistency is success. If you’ve been getting up early, day after day, to do your workout routine, you most likely see results. Being consistent creates habits, and when you do something regularly, the compounding effect starts to occur. For example, if you exercise for 30-minutes a day every day versus only a couple of times a month, you will see more significant results over time. It’s the consistent day after day workouts that will set you apart from the average gym-goer. The best activity is the one that keeps you going for it, especially on those dark, rainy mornings. So even if you’ve been doing the same exercises all the time, you’ve been consistent, and that is an admirable habit to build – way to go.
Reaching a plateau
Alright, so you’ve got consistency nailed down so much that you’ve reached a plateau. A plateau is when you stop seeing results in gaining muscle, losing inches, cardio abilities, or any improvement to overall performance. It’s very common for your body to adapt, and all it takes is some strategic modifications for you to start seeing results again. If you no longer see the desired changes to your physical or mental health, it’s time to mix it up.
- Increase duration – You might need more time to get your body sweating the same way it used to after a shorter workout. That may mean increasing your cardio by only 5 to 10 minutes.
- Play with intensity – Increase the speed or resistance; try powerful bursts with short breaks.
- Go heavier or lighter – Heavier weights and fewer reps or lighter weights and more reps. Try both and see what works best.
- Change the scenery – Instead of the stair climber, hit the hiking trails, climb steep hills at your local park or conservation area, get on your bike or work out at a different time of day.
- Time to rest – Perhaps you’ve fallen into a rut and aren’t working out as hard as you used to. Rest and recovery are essential for growth. We repeat – rest and recovery are necessary for growth. Take a few days to focus on stretching, foam rolling, and massage. Build a rest phase into your exercise plan.
- Meal plan modification – If you’re eating the same thing day in and day out, your body has most likely adjusted to this, the same way it has with your workouts. Change up your meal plan, eat your largest meal in the middle of the day or try intermittent fasting.
Start with a small change, apply one of these strategies simultaneously, and give a week to 10 days before making any new adjustments. Ideally, you want to pinpoint what works for you and have a better idea of how your body responds to the changes.
Take it to the next level
If you originally wanted better cardiovascular longevity and now you see results, try taking it to the next level by running a 10km-race or participating in your first triathlon. What is a goal you never thought you’d reach? What would feel so good to achieve?
Have your workout goals shifted since you first started? Our focus and desires can change. If you originally wanted to lose a few inches and achieve that, you may want to focus on muscle tone or building strength. Maybe you’ve recently reached a weight-lifting personal best (wahoo!), and now it’s time to focus on flexibility. Have a look to see if it would serve you and your body best to change up the goal.
If you’re getting bored with your workouts, buy a piece of new-to-you workout equipment or learn to master a new move, such as handstands, to help kickstart you into a new phase. Try exercising with a friend a couple of times a week instead of always flying solo. Ask yourself, ‘What is the next level of my fitness goal and what would make the process fun and enjoyable?’.
* Pro-tip – Mindset
You’ve proven that you can set a goal, make a commitment and do what it takes to reach the top. Once you’ve mastered something, it can be a bit intimidating or out of the comfort zone to be a beginner again. If you’re feeling a little too comfortable with your workout routine, it’s time to learn a new skill and challenge yourself again. You’ve got this!
First of all, if you are working out consistently, give yourself a high-five and some major kudos. That takes commitment and dedication. You did it! If you’re getting bored with your workouts or no longer seeing results, it’s time to change it up. Consider what new goal will get you moving, what would be fun and start there.
Have questions about how to switch up your workout routine? Visit us in store, have a chat with one of our experts, and learn about our favourites! We can also be reached on Facebook and Instagram. Now it’s your turn to tell us, how do you keep your exercise routine going? Be sure to tag us! We are #ReflexNation.