You’ve been doing the same workout forever
Changes in fitness occur when demands are placed upon our various bodily systems – our muscular system and cardiovascular system, for example – and those systems are required to adapt. When you start a new exercise, or train a muscle in a way it hasn’t been trained before, it is likely being stimulated to adapt to the new demand. However, this doesn’t remain the same forever. After a while, your body becomes accustomed to the exercise and will progress far more slowly or sometimes not at all. This means if you want to progress in that area, you need to find a new stimulating exercise or alter it in some meaningful way. Typically, 6-8 weeks is a good amount of time to stay on one exercise regime and avoid this problem.
You’re bored of your training
If going to the gym is a chore, or you’re not enjoying the workouts you typically do, it’s definitely time for some variety. There’s no rule that says you have to train in one particular way. The great thing about fitness is there are many ways to train and get results. Even if you only try a new routine for a short time then revert to your old system, it can really freshen things up. If you normally train alone, consider trying out a class or two as well; this is a great way to get exposed to new styles of training and exercise in a welcoming environment.
You’re carrying wear and tear
Got an injury, or does something feel not quite right when you train? You should always listen to your body, so this might be the perfect time to change your training. If your workouts typically revolve around one heavily repeated exercise (e.g. pounding the treadmill, lots of bench press) you may be exposed to overuse injuries. If this is the case, persisting with your current routine is likely to do more harm than good. Many injuries are the result of being worn down over time, rather than occurring acutely and suddenly. Lay off the movement patterns that are aggravating, and instead focus on some different training.
Your goals have changed
If you’ve reached your goal weight or some other similar target, well done. You’ve no doubt been disciplined and hard-working to get here. However, this now frees you up to aim for a new horizon. Different goals require different training strategies; you won’t gain mass muscle from high-intensity cardio routines, for example. Your best bet here is to speak to an experienced personal trainer for advice and feedback on your training, and to have a new program designed to match your new goals.
For additional advice about varying your trianing, feel free to come in and chat to one of our helpful staff at Mind & Body.