Doing the same workout every time you head to the gym is not only boring, but it can also be counterproductive. As your fitness improves, it’s essential that you adjust your workout routine so it continues to challenge you. Without enough of a challenge, your workouts won’t produce the results you are looking for. Fitness experts call this idea the “overload principle” of training.
Using the Overload Principle To Enhance Your Workout
When an exercise is below a minimum level of intensity, it doesn’t challenge the body enough to result in any improvement. The level of intensity you need to get results from your workout depends on your current level of fitness. As your level of fitness improves, you need to change your workout in order to keep seeing results.
It can be as simple as continuing to increase the amount of weight you lift or trying a new type of exercise. Either way, the goal is to challenge your body a little more every time.
These are three signs that it’s past time for you to switch up your workout:
1. You aren’t seeing changes in your body.
As your body adapts to a new routine, weight loss and fitness plateaus are common. Even if you hit the gym regularly, if you don’t adjust the intensity and exercises in your workout, there are times when muscle gain and fat loss may stall. When that happens, it’s time to switch things up. Keep challenging yourself by mixing up your exercises and routine.
2. You’re losing motivation to work out or are bored.
If your workouts are no longer fun or you find yourself getting bored, it’s probably time to add variety. Everyone deals with a lack of motivation every once in a while, but if it’s happening a lot, it’s time to try something new. Swap your indoor cycling class for a jog or bike ride outside, replace your yoga class with Pilates, or add circuit training to your weight routine. You may find a new activity you love and the motivation you’ve been missing.
3. Your workouts are too easy.
If you’ve been consistently completing 10-12 reps of an exercise and can now complete 15 or more with ease, it’s time to add some resistance or weight. The weight should be high enough that the last two or three repetitions of a set are difficult, but not impossible, to complete. As your level of fitness increases, it is important to increase the intensity and difficulty of your workouts to continue seeing results.
Remember, the easiest ways to switch up your workout may also be the most effective. Adding high-intensity intervals or increasing the weight or resistance are two things to try when you’ve stopped seeing the results you want. Variety and consistency are the keys to continually reaching your goals.