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Are your workouts getting boring and unchallenging? Have you stopped seeing results? Or is your body hurting, and not in the good way?
If your answer to any of the above questions is yes, then maybe it is time to switch things up in the gym. To help you identify the symptoms that are causing your exasperation towards the gym, we have compiled a list of four of the most common signs that tell you it’s time for a change. Plus, we tell you how to overcome them.
Like anything in life, repetition leads to boredom. Even tasks that you enjoy, if done enough, can become monotonous and boring. There is nothing worse than when an activity becomes more of a chore than something you look forward to. This is often when your discipline goes out the window and you will find any excuse to skip a training session.
Depending on your current workout, there are numerous ways you can change your routien. If you used to love running on the treadmill, but now despise it, then why not try switching running for cycling, swimming or an aerobics class.
If you would prefer sticking with running, then why not take it outdoors?
Hit the streets, the local park or the beach if you are lucky enough to live close enough. Alternatively, you can perform HIIT cardio with a 30 second sprint followed by a 1 minute walk. You may be surprised at how fast 20 minutes will flash by.
If you are performing a weight training routine, then why not change up exercises, exercise order, add in training techniques like super-sets, drop-sets and rest pause sets. With the added intensity, you won’t have time to get bored. You probably won’t even have enough time to recover properly.
Another great way to keep it fresh is to add new music to your iPod or start training with a partner. With this new form of entertainment, your mind will be kept active and stimulated, leaving your brain no time to get bored.
While it is natural to get stiff after your workout and feel ‘sore’, there is a difference between this and being physically exhausted and in pain. Exercise should leave you with more energy and not have your body feeling rundown. If you are getting perpetually sore in a different way to stiffness, there is a chance that you are overtraining. If this is you, then it is time to take a few days off to rest and recover.
In your off time, re-evaluate your training plan. If you are training 6-7 times a week, cut it down to 5. If you are weight training for over an hour, cut it back to between 45-60 minutes.
Remember, training smartly will provide better results as it is in the time when you rest, that your body recovers and grows. Plus, it is more sustainable in the long-term and fitness is about being consistent.
If you are constantly pushing to your limits, it should be difficult to get to the point where you find that your workouts are no longer challenging. However, if you are no longer getting as stiff as you did when you first started the routine, that means that your body has adapted to the stimuli and that it is time to change your routine.
Starting a new routine which challenges your muscles, will lead to further growth potential and by varying your cardio training, you will be challenging your cardiovascular system to adapt to a new stimuli.
Think about this way, you may be able to run 5 kilometres without really breaking a sweat, but jump into the pool and you’ll be exhausted after 5 laps. This constant change will help your body to become truly fit in all areas of fitness.
Changes can be small or drastic; it all depends on your physical capabilities and goals. For weight training, add in some of the training techniques mentioned in point number 1 and for cardio, it is advised to change it up on a regular basis. Change your routine when you aren’t seeing any further results.
There is nothing more disheartening than when you stop seeing results. I mean, why are you putting yourself through this torturous training if you aren’t getting anything out of it? For most of us, getting results is the primary reason for us setting foot into the iron jungle.
Changing up your routine every 4-6 weeks will help re-ignite both fat loss and muscle gain and will help you bust through that dreaded plateau.
To promote muscle gain, make sure the program you choose will help to progressively overload your muscles. After all, this is one of the main factors needed to promote muscle growth.
By adding variety and constantly upping your cardio intensity, you will keep your body guessing, keep your heart rate rising and best of all, keep the results coming!