If you want to see good results at the gym, it’s vital to switch up your workout routine often. This will stop your muscles from getting used to the same movements, and will ensure that you develop well-rounded strength. But what do you do if you have just one routine? Why, switch it up, of course! You can build your own workout routine using the following advice:
What is the goal of your new routine? Is it to build explosive strength, increase your raw power, or train for endurance? Whatever the reason, plan a routine that specifically delivers that desired outcome. For example, if your goal is to train for endurance, you would perform a lot of high-rep, low weight sets, whereas those training for power perform fewer sets of low-rep, high weight exercises. It’s all about tailoring your workout program to the specific goal!
Mix It Up
If your new workout routine is too similar to your old one, you’re going to get bored quickly. It’s important to mix things up and add variety to the routine. Consider changing the exercises you perform, altering the number of reps, or even switching up the workout altogether! The more variety you have in your workout routines, the less likely you are to get bored and give up.
Break it Down
Your routine should include a different focus each day. You can have one day cardio and one day strength training, one day upper body and one day lower body, one day push exercises and one day pull exercises, or one day per muscle group. Either way, make sure that it’s divided into individual days, as that will prevent overtraining. You need to give your muscles at least 48 hours of rest between exercise in order to repair and recover from the training. You should never schedule high intensity workouts on back to back days, and give yourself at least one full day of rest each week!
It’s not efficient to use dozens of different weights and machines for a single workout. After all, what will you do when the machines or weights are occupied? You don’t want to have to wait between sets, as that will cause you to cool down. Instead, try to use as few weights and machines as possible, and make your workout as streamlined as possible. Stick with one piece of equipment at a time, use it until you’re done, then move on. The less equipment you use, the less likely it is that someone else will be using it when you need it.
Take a Rest
Your workout plan should include a 30 to 45-second rest between each set. (Note: If you’re powerlifting, you may want to increase that rest to 90 to 120 seconds.) This rest period will give your body time to recover from the exercise, and will help you hit the next set hard. But make sure it’s ONLY the rest time you have allotted for yourself, and no more. Bring a stopwatch or use your phone to count the rest period, and move on as soon as the time is done.
Compound, then Isolation
Compound movements are multi-joint exercises, and they tend to work more than one muscle group. These use up the most energy, so they’re the ones to get out of the way first. Once you’ve completed all of your compound exercise, only then should you move on to the isolation (single muscle) exercises. This will ensure efficient use of energy, and will give your secondary muscles a good workout!