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Should I repeat the same workout routine or change things up?

Feb 18, 2014

Billy Pratt
FT Avon

"Is your current routine working for you?  Are you progressing with your goals?  If so, then there’s no need to change things up.  If you have hit a plateau, then it definitely is time to change what you are doing.  If you want change, you have to create change.  That is the beauty of periodization: Planned periods of change can help stave off the inevitable plateau."

Sue Teoli
FT New Canaan

"We call it "tricking the body". Change up your routine. If you're hitting the exercise bike or the elliptical, do something different. If you are doing the same exercises over and over again, your body "knows" what to expect. It's called "specificity of training." If you work out at a gym, change your cardio routine by jumping on a stair-climber, a treadmill, or a rowing machine. Try 10 minutes of intense cardio work on a machine and jump on another and repeat. Mix up your routine so it's not a routine."

Josh Bate
FT East Greenwich

"Whether or not you should switch up your routine depends on a couple of different variables, the first being how motivated you are to execute the routine day in and day out with an intense approach. If the routine you are currently using could be compared to the same feeling you would get waiting in line at the DMV, then it's time to switch things up. Exercise and getting results is just as much mental as it is physical. Head strong, body strong. No hard work, no success; know hard work, know success.

"The second variable is whether or not you are still seeing results. Exercise and "if it ain't broke don't fix it" go hand in hand. If the body is still getting stronger, or you're losing fat, or gaining lean muscle, or a combination of goals, then there isn't much need to switch up your routine.

"Will you get better results with another routine? Only one way to find out! There is a classic quote referring to fitness that says, "everything works, nothing works forever." I apply this to my workouts often and it has not failed me yet. Try new things, switch up your exercises, rep schemes, heavier weights and lighter weights.  But don't be afraid to stick with the old faithfuls that get you excited and get you results!"

Gwen Beckcom
FT Mission Hills

"Change things up for sure. Once your body recognizes “routine,” it plateaus in terms of progress.  Your body simply learns what you teach it. If you continually ask it to learn something new, it has to continually “adapt” and learn it.  These benefits go even a step further in keeping you mentally upbeat for a new variation of your “routine” when you hit the gym.  Change it up and get double the benefits and enhance your results."

Bruce Kelly
FT Media

"That depends. If you've been doing the same routine for months on end then yes, you should change things. But people tend to have Program Deficit Disorder. They switch around from program to program so frequently that they have no clue what works nor do they give any program time to create adaptations.

"It is also good to bear in mind that the body adapts much more quickly to loading, and by extension, rep schemes then it does to movements. There are only five to seven  fundamental movement patterns anyway.  So by changing loading, speed, range of motion, rest between sets, and so on you can manipulate programming quite a bit."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge

"It's always good to change up your workouts as long as they're consistently geared towards whatever your goals may be. It keeps your interest fresh and makes it more enjoyable. We feel it is a great idea to have an "active rest" day! During an active rest day you can try something you have never tried before, something fun such as mountain climbing, kickboxing, or a pick-up basketball game."


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