It is important to remember that varying your routine is a crucial element in continuing to make progress. Many people find a routine they like and never switch it up. They will go months or years on the same routine and wonder why they don’t see improvements. Our muscles adapt and failure to change the routine every 4-6 weeks will result in what most people term a plateau. This does not have to happen. If you “shock” your body by making changes in your workout every couple of month, you will start to see more consistent improvements.
For those that are weight lifting, there are many different exercises that target the same muscle groups. Here are some examples:
- Chest: bench press, chest press machine, pushups, pec deck machine
- Back: one-armed row, seated row machine, back extensions, lat pulldowns
- Shoulders: overhead press, lateral raise, front raise
- Biceps: bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls
- Triceps: tricep extensions, dips, kickbacks
- Quadriceps: Squats, lunges, leg extension and leg press machines
- Hamstrings: deadlifts, lunges, leg curl machine
- Abs: crunches, reverse crunches, oblique twists, pelvic tilts
The same is true for cardio. If you use a Treadmill, switch up the speed, change the incline and do a little interval training. If you typically use only one type of cardio machine, try to mixing it up. One day use the treadmill, another elliptical and another go for a bike ride or use a stationary bike.
Please always remember to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.