The Right Time for Change
By Tim Arndt, Resistance Training Specialist
You hear a lot about the need to change up your workout routine these days. The thinking is that if you do so, you won't hit a plateau and you'll experience continuous progress. But is this really true? There's no doubt that it's a good idea to change your workout every now and then, but it doesn't have to happen every time you workout. How often you change up your routine should be individualized and based on your level of progress. Some people will adapt to their workouts much faster than others, so there is no magic number of workouts or time that you should abide by. Instead, listen to your body and go by your own timeline. I've known some people who will do the same exact routine for up to a year before they need to change things up. Others make changes as often as every month. One is not better than the other. It's just what each individual needed. If you're getting bored of your routine or start to see a lack of progress, then this is when you might want to change things up. However, this does not guarantee you'll avoid hitting a plateau altogether. Sometimes plateaus just cannot be avoided. The important thing is to keep on trucking and eventually you'll overcome it.
Also, keep in mind that the changes don't have to be a complete overhaul of your workout's structure either. Simple things such as increasing your weights and lowering your reps, adding some drop sets, increasing/decreasing rest time, or even taking an extra day off can be all you need.
And lastly, no matter what you do and how hard/often you workout, your progress will eventually stop! It's impossible to continually progress throughout your whole life. However, this is a good thing, because it means you have reached your genetic potential - which is the best anyone can do. How fast you get to this point will largely depend on your genetics. Some people will reach this point rather quickly, whereas others can take many years. Once you've reached this point. The most important thing to realize is that maintenance IS progress.