It's exciting when you finally get into a regular exercise regimen, but do too much of the same routine everyday and you may find yourself in a fitness slump. It's important to have variation, but if you're doing the same stuff daily, you may be exhibiting same signs you need to switch up your workout routine. This doesn't mean you have to give up your regular yoga classes altogether, but you want to start incorporating other types of workouts to make sure you're reaping all the benefits of exercising.
"Having a little variety in one’s workout schedule helps boost performance and results by allowing the body to recuperate from the previous day’s work, while recruiting different muscle fibers," says fitness instructor Trish DaCosta over email. "This is a great way to fast-track results while preventing injury and boredom."
The more variety you have in workout routines, the less likely you are to overexert a certain muscle, and the more likely you are to use muscles in different parts of your body. If you feel like you may have hit a plateau or just aren't feeling your workouts anymore, here are 11 signs that it's time to switch up your fitness routine, according to fitness experts.
1. You're Bored
"If you dread going to your workout or group fitness class, it’s time to switch things up," says DaCosta. "A good exercise routine will stimulate you mentally and physically. If either one is missing it’s time to increase the intensity, progress the exercises, or try something new."
2. You're Not Showing Improvement
"Unless your goal is maintenance, you should see continued progress with your exercise routine," says DaCosta. "This comes in a variety of ways: more muscle definition, decreased body fat, more energy, stronger lifts, faster recovery times, weight loss, faster pace, etc."
3. You're Low On Energy
"Exercise should give you more energy, not less of it," says DaCosta. "If you’re feeling drained or exhausted after a workout on a consistent basis or are perpetually sore, this is sign you’re overtraining."
4. You Don't Feel Challenged
"If you're barely sweating by the end of your workout, this might be a sign that your workout isn't hard enough," says fitness blogger Lauren Smith over email. "Merely going through the motions of a workout versus pushing yourself to maximum potential is not doing yourself any favors. To switch things up and kick your workout into high-intensity training, try adding more reps or heavier weights."
5. You're Focusing On Only One Thing
It's okay to love running, but if that's all you're doing, it might be time to branch out. "Every 8-12 weeks, it's important to explore a new element of fitness," says trainer Mike Clancy over email. "Are you a cardio fanatic? Try focusing on strength training for a season."
6. You Don't Feel Motivated
Lack of motivation can come from boredom, fatigue, or even laziness. "If you’re doing the same routines over and over, you know what to expect and so does your body," says personal trainer Reggie Chambers over email. "There isn’t a challenge anymore, so you become lazy."
7. You Notice Imbalances
Your body should feel balanced in strength and endurance. "If your shoulders are rounded in, for example, that means you're working your upper back muscles a lot, but forgetting about your chest muscles," says Jessica Thiefels, owner and founder of HonestBodyFitness over email. "In this particular case, you could build pushups, chest presses, and chest flies into your routine to introduce more balance."
8. The Same Muscles Are Always Sore
"If you're working the same muscles, time and time again, without giving them a break, you need to switch it up," says Thiefels. Research shows that during rest periods, muscles have time to reconstruct in stronger formations and increase in size, according to multiple studies.
9. Or You're Never Sore
The key word here is never. "It's normal to not always be sore after a workout, but if you are never sore, you may want to look into finding a different workout that will challenge you more," says Smith. "Soreness is a beneficial sign that your muscles are working and growing."
10. You Have Nagging Injuries
"A reoccurring injury or too many injuries is often a sign we’re doing too much of an exercise program or our routine isn’t well-balanced enough," says DaCosta. "Our bodies need ample time to recover from our workouts, especially if they are high-intensity in nature."
11. You Don't See Results
"If you're working out multiple times a week and nothing is happening, it's time to make a change," says Smith. "When starting a new workout, you work and engage new muscles. After a while, those muscles adjust to that workout and you becoming too comfortable." This would be the time to start adding in new workouts or make your current routine more challenging.
It's important not to forget that any workout is better than none, but if you're looking to maximize your results, you'll want to switch up your workout routine every so often.
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