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  • How Often Should I Change My Workout Routine?


    By Travis Steffen on Monday, July 27, 2009in Muscle & Bodybuilding, Tips  

    aaimagesIn order to realize optimal benefits from your bodybuilding or muscle building program, a change in your workout routines is periodically required.

    Muscle growth, or hypertrophy, relies on the principle of Progressive Overload. This is the process of progressively placing greater than normal demands on the musculature. Simply put, in order to increase muscle growth and strength, you must consistently lift more and make the muscles exert more effort than what they have adapted to.

    I’m sure you’ve seen people at the gym that have been doing the same exercises on the same machines with the same weight, sets and reps. They don’t change a thing for ages and consequently neither does their physique. If you want to get the most out of your time spent in the gym, you’ve got to pay close attention to your body’s response. If your progress has come to a halt and you feel as if you’re just going through the motions, you may be long overdue for a change.

    There are a number of ways to create progressive overload in your workout program. You don’t necessarily need a new routine every 4 to 6 or 6 to 8 weeks as long as you make a few changes to your existing program.

    Increase Sets

    If you’re currently doing 3 sets of each exercise, try 4. Simple enough.

    Increase Weight

    If you’ve been using the same weight on a particular exercise for a while, increase it slightly. Start by bumping the weight up by 5 or 10 percent and go from there.

    Increase Reps

    Instead of 8 reps, aim for 10 or even 12. Don’t stop just because you get to that particular number, stop because you’ve achieved failure. Obviously if you can do more than 12 reps, the weight needs to be increased.

    Change Frequency

    If you’re currently training each body part once per week, you may want to switch to a full body or a push/pull program a few times per week instead. Essentially you’ll be doing the same number of sets but you’ll be working the muscle groups more often. Likewise, if you normally train using a full body or push/pull program, try switching to working one specific body part per workout.

    Increase Exercises

    If your program consists of 4 different bicep exercises at 4 sets per exercise for example, try switching to 5 exercises or even 6 for 3 sets.

    Increase Intensity

    Pay close attention to how hard you’re working. You’ll get what you put into each workout so crank the tunes, find a great partner and work a little harder.

    Change Rest Time

    Decreasing rest time offers a huge metabolic advantage and ramps up the intensity big time. Try adding supersets for a shorter, yet super effective workout.

    The human body is an exceptional machine and capable of adapting to almost anything we throw at it. This is great for survival but not so much for gaining muscle and looking great on the beach.You’ve heard that variety is the spice of life? Well, it’s also the key to a shredded physique!

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
    Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!

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