Updating or changing your programs regularly is a key aspect to achieving your training goals.
People who stick to the same routine for months and sometimes years on end, will rarely get the results they are after.
The basic premise is this. When you do a new workout consisting of different exercises and movement patterns, the body is forced to recruit different motor units. The bodyâ€™s response to the workout is to adapt and be stronger than before. Every time you do the same workout, the motor unit response can diminish somewhat, until eventually your body figures out what’s going on. The body will then become more and more efficient, thus using less energy to get through the workout.
Considering that we workout to burn more energy, the last thing we want is for the body to become efficient in its energy expenditure. The goal is to burn more energy in less time.
How often you need to change depends on your experience. If you are a relative beginner, then a program can deliver results for up to 4-6 workouts. If you’re a high level athlete, you may need to change programs weekly. As a general rule of thumb, I would never stick to the same program for longer than 3 weeks.
The good news is that you don’t need to massively overhaul your programs to elicit change for the body. Here are some small changes you can make to deliver big results:
* Instead of doing back squats, switch to a front or split squat.
* Change the hand position of the exercise. Most times we use a pronated grip (palms facing away from body) so switch to a neutral or underhand grip.
* Change your rest times. If you’re used to having 90 seconds rest between exercises, then decrease it to 60 seconds to improve your lactate threshold, or increase it to 2 minutes to improve your strength levels.
* Change the speed at which you move. Adding a pause at the hardest part of the movement can help improve motor unit activation, e.g on your squats, hold for a 1 second pause at the bottom.
* Use FatGripz on dumbbell and barbell exercises (www.fatgripz.com).
* Do exercises in supersets or circuits to improve your CV fitness whilst also improving your strength.
In order to maximise results and avoid becoming one of those regular gym goers, you must keep your programmes fresh.