I love a routine. I like knowing what I am doing every day. However, sometimes these routines can get us into a little bit of a rut. The key to reaching goals is progressive overload, consistency and adherence. If you aren’t achieving these then I am afraid you are just plateauing.
I see it so often at the gym, people coming in doing the exact same workout, using the exact same weights, lifting for the exact same number of repetitions and sets, week after week. Then they wonder why they are not waking up looking like Tom Hardy or Jessica Alba?
‘A goal without a plan is just a wish.’
You do not need to change what you are doing every session or every week, there is absolutely no need to shock your muscles by doing something different. However there are times when a change is necessary. If any of these points ring a bell then maybe it is time you did something about it!
#1 Progress has stalled
Is your workout helping you get closer to your goals? If not then you need to reevaluate and think about getting a new plan that will. Your goal will depend on you, it could be muscle gain, fat loss, strength, running time, but if you are not getting any closer to achieving it something has to change.
#2 Boredom has set in
If you are going in to the gym doing whatever fitness activity of your choice, but you are bored then I think it is time to find something which excites you. Fitness should be fun. There is no point in doing something if you are not enjoying it. Boredom means you are probably more likely to skip a session, or two, which is a slippery slope to be on. Find something new which you enjoy, the possibilities are endless. Rope a friend in, sign up to a new class, ask somebody to write you up a new workout programme, but don’t get bored!!
Boredom will affect motivation which will affect adherence which will affect results.
#3 Your goals have changed
If your initial goal was fat loss, but now you are happy with your figure and want to start gaining some strength, it is time to change programme. A plan to improve your 10km run speed will not help you reach that 100kg deadlift that you are now after.
#4 Your workout no longer challenges you
Every time you enter the gym you should be aiming to do better than the previous occasion. This could be in terms of lifting more weight, doing more sets, trying harder exercises. In order to make progress, your programme needs to challenge you so that your body has to react and adapt. Don’t go in and do the same 3 sets of 12 reps at the same weight every single week, your body will adapt and progress will stall.
#5 You have been doing the same routine for longer than 3 months
Like I mentioned, you do not need to ‘shock’ your muscles by changing it up every workout or even every week. To see some form of results you need to be on some sort of progressive plan for a certain period of time. But if you have been following the same plan, with the same exercises, weights and reps for longer than 3 months, it is probably time to find a new one.
#6 You are getting injuries and feel beat up all the time
It may be time to take a little bit of time out and give your body time to recover. This doesn’t mean that you need stop doing everything all together, but it may mean that you take a step back for a couple of weeks. Try incorporating some yoga and stretching; change up your rep scheme and exercise choice. Yes your muscles may hurt after a particularly tough gym session, but you shouldnt consistently feel like you have gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.
Your body is the most valuable asset you have, so look after it.
Make sure you are taking time to rest and recover. I do this by scheduling in a deload week every 4-6 weeks.
#7 You don’t have any sort of plan at all
If you don’t have any sort of plan then it is time you got one. How do you think you are going to reach your end goal if you don’t know how to get there. If you are just going into the gym, hopping on whatever machine is available, lifting random weights and reps each time, and generally just feeling defeated and unmotivated once you have left, then it is time you got a little bit of structure.
Ask an instructor at your gym to help, it is what they are paid to do. Or failing that there are so many resources available online. I recommend www.bodybuilding.com if you want to find a routine. Youtube is great if you are unsure of how to perform exercises or just want some inspiration. But get a pen and paper, write something down, and have something to follow next time you enter the gym. You will feel much more accomplished afterwards.
If any of the above apply to you, then set aside a little bit of time to doing some research. Rather than just spinning your wheels and getting nowhere, freshen things up and jump back on that wagon!
If you are in need of any ideas or help then just drop me a comment or a message!
Love Abi xxxx
January Blog a Day 21/31