Sunday, 7 June 2009

Changing Exercises Regularly

Many people who visit the gym have a workout plan they use week in and week out which is great but is also a hindrance to their potential to increase strength and mass.

Changing exercises regularly is one way to enough you dont hit a plateau and continue to see your strength and muscle mass increase month on month. The reason that changing exercises regularly is important can be broken down in to multiple benefits as shown below.

Shock and awe

Your muscles over time will get used to the movements of the exercises you are using in your workouts, this means that the improvments in strength and muscle mass will reduce, or even plateau.

By changing exercises regularly you are shocking your muscles as they do not get time to become comfortable with the movement of one exercise before you are then changing it to another.

This change keeps strength and muscle mass improvments at the optimum level as your muscles continue to work hard to lift different exercises they are not accustomed to lifting on a regular basis.

Different angles of attack

Another great reason for changing exercises regularly is to try all angles of movement through various exercises to build your muscles. It seems simple yet alot of people dont try all exercises for each muscle group to ensure that each muscle gets a complete workout from each angle of attack.

An example is the back, you can use the lat pulldown, seated rows, barbell rows, single arm dumbbell rows, supine rows, single arm pulldowns....each of this has the benefit of using different angles of attack on your back muscles.

Mental Stimulation

Another great reason to keep changing exercises is to keep your mental stimulation of wanting to workout.

It can be quite monotonous to carry out the same exercsies in the same routine lifting the same amount of weight week in and week out. By changing the exercises and the placement of them in your routine it will also keep your mind stimulated as you try new things.


You should try changing one or more of your exercises in all workout routines every 8 to 12 weeks to ensure you get the most out of your training. My personal preference is to keep a base compound lift as my main lift in my training (this never changes) then place other exercises around this, it is these other exercises that I change regularly.

An example of this would be that for chest I always use the standard barbell bench press but change other exercises in the routine every 2 or 3 months to keep the strength gains on my chest on an incline.