Before jumping at the latest fitness craze, pause for a bit and think about it. Knowing when to change your fitness program may be the next step in your fitness journey or it could be the reason why all your efforts could go down the drain. So, this isn’t a decision you should be making while you’re half asleep or when you’re stuck in a tedious workout session.
If you are still starting out and you’ve successfully pulled yourself out of the couch and into the gym, it may not yet be an opportune time for you to have thoughts of switching your training program. To the person new to the whole fitness journey, it takes longer for them before changing their program because of the anatomy of how the exercise affects the body. It needs to undergo a phase of adaptation where the muscles and the hormones get used to the work out you’ve been doing. The muscle fibers have to adjust and your body has to better coordinate itself to the movements. This process takes a minimum of six weeks before you can start seeing the benefits of your hard work. With the minimum stated above, anywhere near that period of time should steer clear of thoughts of changing programs because the full effects of the current workout haven’t fully materialized yet.
For those who are more accustomed to the changes in training, it takes just six to eight weeks before the body stops adapting and starts nearing a strength plateau which every body builder tries to avoid. Before this happens, they usually start considering doing something new in their fitness program that would help save the situation and would bring them closer to their goal.
There are a variety of reasons why you would want to change your fitness program. First, there is the concept of plateau. There comes a time when all your hard work seems to go to waste. When all your hours in the gym just end up making you feel heavier and weaker rather than the opposite. This is the first reason for changing fitness programs. And when plateau occurs, the most logical solution is choosing another working program that would produce more results than what you’re getting now. People choose to change training programs because the one they are currently doing has stopped producing the optimal results that could be obtained from that workout. Also, not changing your workout means your body could have already adapted to the exercise. For this reason, you need to apply changes in the workout to continue working the muscles. With exercise, you can’t stick with the same workout or you’d be stuck with the same shape and form for the same amount of time.
Another reason why you would want to change your program is because you have changed your goals. If your previous goal was directed more on working your lower body, then once you’ve achieved it, you should move on the next goal you’re aiming for. You can’t use the same program for the lower body to get stronger muscles in the biceps.
Getting bored with your current program will also make you want to make changes. Motivation is key in everything fitness related. Once you’ve lost the inspiration to continue your workout, sooner or later you won’t be coming to the gym thus wasting away all the days you slaved away. Change your program into something that makes you want to go to the gym every day. But make sure you change after your body has had the time to adapt. If you get stuck in the middle of finishing a program, then there shouldn’t be thoughts of changing rather sucking up the pain and waiting for the gains after the pains.
Changes in schedule, gym, finances, etc could also take their toll on your training. There are a lot of factors that are out of your control that could make or break your fitness training. If the machinery broke, then you’d be forced to stop doing that exercise or if you get a different work schedule then you’d have to adjust to a training program that works for all the changes.
You’ve been presented with the possible reasons for changing your training schedule, now what if these situations happen, here’s how you’re supposed to go about with the change. First off, you need to start slow. If you’re going to change your fitness program, it isn’t recommended to jump into the most difficult one especially if you’ve only started working on the basics. You won’t gain anything if you go into something that is out of your capabilities. So if you start a new class, make sure it is a degree harder but still within your limits.
It can also be challenging to do the transition by yourself. How sure are you even that you’re switching to the right program? That’s why managers of gyms or health centers exist so you can address these concerns to the said people. They’re there to support and guide you whenever you make decisions in your fitness journey and surely changing your training is a big deal in the world of fitness.
If you change your training, make sure you also change the amount of work you do. You have to change the stress that you’re putting on your body or else it would adapt easily and reach a plateau. It could be a change in intensity or a heavier weight. Whatever it is, a change would help challenge your muscles and practice your form.
Finding an exercise buddy can also help with the transition. Studies show that doing exercises with another person could help increase a person’s motivation to continue their workout programs. A buddy would push you to really reach the limit of your capabilities. When choosing a buddy, make sure you don’t get intimidated and start being insecure and competitive around him/her for that would simply destroy the whole journey.
The changes in your fitness program that you’re going to make don’t have to be overly drastic. Sometimes the change you need might just be a slight change in incline or foot position and the like. Usually, the routine and overall setup is already kept but minimal adjustments are made when needed. Most exercises have an opposite you can switch to if your body has adapted to the exercise. Take standing barbell curls, you could do the seated version once you’re starting to master it. Whenever you change exercises, make sure to choose a similar one that also works the same muscle group as the one you’re changing.
If you’re working with pre-made programs, changing the sequence up a bit could also be all the change you need without the hassle of altering every single detail of the training. There are so many changes that could be done. You just have to look for the one that suits your needs the most.