How often do you "switch it up" with your training?

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How often do you "switch it up" with your training?

Post by Jozifp103 »

Now I never really bought into the "muscle confusion" fad that was glamorized by the 2000's era workout videos. But I do feel that workouts can get stale and it's important to switch it up every now and then to keep progressing and growing. Why do workouts get stale and progress slows down? That's a topic for another thread which I plan on researching and doing a write-up on soon.

For me, I usually pick ONE workout in each of my daily routines to switch up every 4 weeks or so. For example I will pick ONE workout from my arm routine, ONE workout from my chest routine, ONE workout from my shoulder routine, etc...and switch it up after 4 weeks. Then after another 4 weeks I will pick another workout from each of my daily routines to switch up. So after several 4-week periods my entire routine has been refreshed so my entire routine changes about 4-5 times a year.

However I want to hear from you guys. Roughly how long does it take for a workout to start to get "stale" or less effective? How often do you switch up your exercises? Or your entire routines? What's your strategy with this?

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Re: How often do you "switch it up" with your training?

Post by Mobster »

As and when required. Even the 4 weeks you select makes no actual sense. One reply on a forum we're familiar with had one member stating that newbies needed to change it up every 2 weeks. There is and always will be some variation between individuals. Therefore a bottom line is a simple one - change ONLY as and when the current routine stops working. Arguably for the majority that's every 12 weeks or so. There's a LOT of study in that area to back it up.

It's also worth looking at, as per a reply of mine elsewhere, at what Strength and Conditioning Coaches do with super expensive athletes and teams. The MINIMUM macro cycle is 4-8 weeks That allows for big games, competitions and events and is usually a case of 'easing back' rather than restarting from a base line and working to a mini-peak.

In bodybuilding I've suggested even longer - working with nature. So it's easier to bulk and work for power when it's cold and get ripped and stay lean in the warmer times. Most of my own best work has come from 12-16 week training cycles.

The very idea of 'muscle confusion' came from the need for Bodybuilding magazines coming out monthly and needing to sell more issues. It's probably a term of Joe Weider's creation. Truth is as likely people change for the MENTAL stimulation and NOT physical. If whatever you're currently doing for (for example) your biceps works then KEEP ON DOING IT until it doesn't.

One final point that newbies especially need to make note of is don't keep doping the same reps, sets and poundage and then bitch 'it's not working'. Well D'UH! How many times do we see log with the EXACT same workout as last month. Even if, as I say, the overall workout stays as is while it works you MUST up something.Poundage, volume, time under tension etc. You CANNOT grow etc if the stimulus remains the same. It does NOT mean you need to use new exercises etc. That can and does still mean piss poor results
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