When Should You Change up Your Workout Routine?
I feel like a human lab rat when it comes to workout routines.
I’ve belonged to a commercial gym for the past 29 years. During that time, I’ve tested out a variety of radically different workout programs.
More often than not, they don’t work as well as my go-to programs.
…but we all need variety.
I’m currently about 1/2 way through trying out an approach where I lift weights just one time per week.
My strength is up, but I’m looking a bit “skinny fat”.
I planned on sticking with this new program through the end of December and give it a full 8 weeks…
…but I’ve changed my mind.
“My mind has changed, my body’s frame, but god I like it. My heart’s aflame my body’s strained, but god I like it.” – TV On The Radio
The current workout I’m following isn’t a fit for me.
It’s outlined here (opens in a new window).
It neglects an important psychological benefit of training hard a few times per week. I simply feel more positive with frequent training.
I became a little lazy and apathetic with 1 workout per week.
I have had a hard time motivating myself this past month.
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My body craves an intense challenge more than once per week.
Yesterday, I tried to do a pretty moderate cardio workout on the stepmill after lifting weights.
I had an extremely tough time completing 20 minutes.
In just 4 weeks, I’ve become out-of-shape aerobically.
When my aerobic conditioning is good, I feel more alive.
Richard Branson lists keeping fit as his #1 secret to productivity.
It gives him energy to accomplish more during the day.
Branson’s exercise of choice is kitesurfing.
I do think the one workout per week could work for someone with a physically active job…or someone who plays a sport a few times per week, etc.
If you sit at a desk like me, you are probably going to need more.
So when should you quit a workout program?
It’s a simple answer:
When the results you are experiencing are significantly slower than a program you have used in the past.
It’s just logical…
…if you know there is a better option, use that one instead.
Quitting isn’t always a bad thing.
An End Has a Start is a song title that captures this perfectly…
“I won’t disappoint you, as you fall apart. Some things should be simple…Even an end has a start.” – Editors
If your workout program isn’t a good fit for you?
The older I get, the more I understand the importance of time.
Life is too short to be skinny fat!
Note to self: Probably a bad slogan for a motivational poster.
Don’t start a workout program that is obviously a bad fit for you.
I enjoy going to the gym, so limiting this was a bad idea from the start. I also sit at my desk during the day. If I don’t get in a few intense workout sessions I quickly become out-of-shape.
Some people like the less-exercise-and-less-calories approach to getting lean.
I do better with more calories and more exercise.
I definitely know that now!
Life is too short to miss champagne brunches (better slogan).
I realize most of this stuff is obvious, but this is just a reminder.
- If you hate the gym, don’t begin a program that requires you to spend a lot of time in a commercial gym.
- If you like free weights, it’s probably best that you avoid programs that focus 100% on bodyweight exercises.
- If you love to run and get good results from it, there is no need to use a circuit training program to get lean.
It’s fine to test new approaches, but only stick to these tests if they show promise after 3-4 weeks.
Every program that has worked well for me, showed promise within a few weeks.
It doesn’t matter if they worked wonders for anyone else.
The only programs you should stick with are ones that work for YOU.
I tend to stick with losing strategies for too long.
I don’t want you to make that same mistake.
One last thing…
This is my last post of the year so I’ll end with a legendary song.
I think this qualifies as “legendary”.
The best live performance of one of the best Rock songs of all-time.
Enjoy your holidays and see you in 2016!
As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.
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