How often should I change workouts?

  • Hello, I'm about to start a new challenge and I'm getting a little confused with scheduling my workouts. How often should I change the exercises I'm doing? Should I stick with the same exercises for the whole 12 weeks and just increase weight? Or should I be switching it up every couple of weeks. I could really use some advice from a champion who knows what works. Thanks very much!!

    P.S. would anyone be willing to email me their workout journal so I can see the whole journey and get some perspective on the workout planning. 

    Chris

  • What worked for me was to switch it up every 4 weeks. That way you are "throwing a curveball" as well as working slightly different muscles within the larger group.

    When I did my challenge, for my back I did 4 weeks of single-arm rows with overheads for my last 12. Then for Weeks 5-8, I switched and did cable rows with pulldowns for my last 12. Same with cardio... I did treadmill for my first 4 weeks, then elliptical, then treadmill again (I've since fallen in love with running and am training for a half marathon in March).

    In addition to working different muscle groups, you also get to experience what different type of exercises feel like, see what you like/dislike about them, and prevent your body from getting stuck in a rut or hitting a plateau as easily.

  • I agree with mwseahorse. I also changed up my weight workouts after 4 weeks.  I kept my cardio the same only because I, too, am a fan of running and didn't want to do anything else.  I just continued to increase my pace on the treadmill to challenge my body and hit the correct intesity levels.

  • Most journals recommend changes a lot.  They call it "muscle confusion" . The idea is the same as BFL recommends.  You tax your body in  a new way and it has to adapt.  I work out in a gym where there are many options.  I haven't seen too much on this but I'd change what you do and the order in which you do it .   Just track it so you can get some perspective on how it works.