Whether you’re working out regularly or just getting started into a fitness routine, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Going to the gym and doing the same exercises each week can start to feel repetitive if you don’t try to keep your workout varied. And if you haven’t yet built up a regular workout routine or schedule, it can be easy to slack off on your fitness goals.
Even the most seasoned gym-goer can get burned out doing the same workout routine repeatedly, and some people may need to switch things up more often than others. Adding variety in your workout may be the key that helps you reach your fitness goals and stay motivated at the gym.
What is Variety in Exercise?
Simply put, variety in your workout means changing your routine regularly to keep challenging your muscles and avoid physical and mental fatigue. When you don’t vary your workout, you’re likely to hit a plateau, which means that your results in the gym have peaked and you might start to see a decrease in effectiveness of your workouts.
Plateaus can be overcome by adding weight, reps, or sets to your strength training workouts. You can also change up the type of exercise by alternating high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with your strength training, or by trying a dance fitness or other group fitness class.
Variety in your workout can not only help continuously challenge your muscles, but also keep your mind focused and refreshed. If you’re doing the same routine day-in and day-out, your mind is likely to wander instead of focusing on activating the muscle groups for a particular exercise, which can result in subpar results. With a repetitive workout routine, you may also find that you’re not giving it all your effort.
Consistency in Your Workout Routine
While variety in your workout is important, it’s also great to have consistency. This may sound contradictory, but they can exist together in your fitness journey. Consistency plus variety combined help you get results and improve your overall fitness.
Workout schedules can help reinforce consistency by providing you a plan for your gym time, making it harder to skip a workout.
Consistency is also important when it comes to strength training. When starting out, it’s important to focus less on the weight level and more on getting proper form before progressing to a higher weight. Without consistency in strength training, moving up to the next level of weights or reps might take longer and you may even risk injury if you haven’t established a good baseline strength.
Is It Good to Have Workout Variety?
You already know that consistency is necessary to build a workout routine and progressively move toward achieving your fitness goals; however, you simply can’t rely on the same workout to continue delivering great results over time. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the SAID Principle in physiology refers to the concept that the activities or training individuals participate in “will induce highly specific adaptations related to the specific demands we consistently encounter.”
In more understandable terms, the SAID Principle explains why doing the same exercise over and over again gets easier. Your body adapts to a specific exercise or movement, and that exercise becomes less of a challenge. For example, if you lift weights regularly but do little to no cardio, a jog around the block or a cardio-focused group fitness class would likely be a significant challenge.
Variety in your workout routine can help your body adapt to many different demands, from high-intensity cardio to weightlifting. Just like you wouldn’t solely focus on one area of the body to improve, you shouldn’t focus all of your workout efforts on one activity or exercise.
How You Can Add Variety in Your Workout
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine doing the same exercises again and again. You become accustomed to certain machines at the gym, and you know which weights to grab for which exercises. Those exercises get easier as your body is simply adapting to the challenge, and eventually you’ll reach a plateau with your results. That’s why it’s important to keep challenging yourself by adding variety in your workout.
A great first step to add variety is to focus on small improvements. On a weekly basis, try to add slightly heavier weight to your routine or in certain exercises. If you do cardio, add a few more minutes, increase the resistance, or increase the speed. Or you could continue to challenge yourself by adding a set of push-ups, planks, squats, or burpees to your existing routine.
You can also add variety to your workout by switching up the equipment you use. If you’re accustomed to dumbbells, substitute those for resistance bands. If you typically use weight machines, try dumbbells. Cardio lover? Try some sled pushes or battle ropes in the EōS Yard to keep things challenging.
Another great way to add variety and stay motivated is to find a workout buddy. Having someone to share challenges and successes with can keep you focused on your fitness goals and add some fun to your workout routine. It’s easier to slack off or give up altogether if you’re going at it alone. Enlist a friend with like-minded fitness goals or explore the fitness community at EōS to add some variety into your exercise routine.
With many amenities and group fitness classes available to Members, EōS Fitness is a fantastic place to add variety in your workout. There is truly something for everyone, no matter your fitness level or exercise preference. Try it out with a Complimentary 7-Day Pass.