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How often do you "switch it up" with your training?

jozifp103

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Now I never really bought into the "muscle confusion" fad that was glamorized by the 2000's era workout videos. But I do feel that workouts can get stale and it's important to switch it up every now and then to keep progressing and growing. Why do workouts get stale and progress slows down? That's a topic for another thread which I plan on researching and doing a write-up on soon.


For me, I usually pick ONE workout in each of my daily routines to switch up every 4 weeks or so. For example I will pick ONE workout from my arm routine, ONE workout from my chest routine, ONE workout from my shoulder routine, etc...and switch it up after 4 weeks. Then after another 4 weeks I will pick another workout from each of my daily routines to switch up. So after several 4-week periods my entire routine has been refreshed so my entire routine changes about 4-5 times a year.


However I want to hear from you guys. Roughly how long does it take for a workout to start to get "stale" or less effective? How often do you switch up your exercises? Or your entire routines? What's your strategy with this?
 

Rot-Iron66

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Not often. Creature of habit. To me its more about switching up/down the intensity once in a while.
Like sort of a deload 1 week every 6 weeks or so. Recharges the batteries, getting in some higher reps, heal up a bit, etc.
I always throw in some different exercises/movements here and there, I just never program-hop. After 43 years of doing this, I know what works for me and what I like...
 

Capthowdy87

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I train what I like and how I feel tbh . I don’t do exercises or machines I don’t like bc you won’t stick to it . For me I wana enjoy the gym . So I do what I like . I feel like you will have a much better mind muscle connection this way as well. As far as switching it up for example I
Hit chest twice a week. Both days are different movements . Day 1 is db bench. Day 2 willl be barbell bench .
 

Bft84

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I change it depending on recovery and time but the focus and movements stay the same. It’s always lower volume, higher frequency, progressive overload.
Routines don’t just become ineffective. There’s no need to change it unless necessary. I literally did DC 2 way split for 3 years.
 
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Vision

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It depends on what I'm doing.. If I'm increasing my meal portions, I will most certainly change things up, even if its as simple as trading hammer DB curls for lower cable rope curls, Or chest DB's for Smith with build ups, working sets and triple drops..
My aggressiveness changes, clearly, with the goal and how I "feel", If I'm firing on all cylinders that's when I love to do my change ups, but its not much really. Its always still basics one way or an other..

If anything the major thing that I change up is my "mind set" and focus on making the weight feel heavy with true full range, paying attention to holds/pauses, counting down on negative's, tempo, using the weight, rather than "moving" the weight and so on.. My mentality is the biggest change up in my routine 90% of the time..
 

BodybuilderZepp

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I only change my workout if I plateau. And I dont really change the workout, I’ll change the style of lifting. For example if my goal was to bench 275 for 10 and 1 week I did 275 for 6 then the next week 275 for 7, I’m progressing so I wont change it. Even 1 rep increase is something. But if I did 275 for 6 during 1 week then the next week I did 275 for 6 again, the next week I would change it up. Depending where I failed or what I thought my weakness was I would lift accordingly. If I got stuck in the hole, I would do pause sets. If I felt I wasnt in control of the weight I’d do slow negatives. If my energy was running out I’d do a superset or dropset. I’ll focus on my weak point for a few weeks, then I’d go back to my original goal of getting 275 for 10.
 

Androgenocide

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I haven't changed my split in a few years (Chest-Bis, Back, Shoulders-Tris, Legs) because I really like it. I'm always on the lookout for new exercise variations even though I rarely find something I really like. I never drop the real "bread and butter" lifts that I really like. The closest I come to switching things up is doing "bodybuilding" blocks and "strength" blocks. So if I'm doing a BB block I'll do seated DB shoulder presses for 8-12 reps but if I'm focusing on strength then I'll do standing Barbell OHP for sets of 4-6. I never get bored and always feel like I'm making either strength or size gains.
 

joseph2288

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I don't switch up my training at all unless I find a regiment I like better.
 

kegger44

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I think Ronnie Coleman would switch his routine up every 6 months from back to forward. But that dude didn't start using gearz till like 1996 supposedly. With top notch genetics, lifting heavy as fuck, and late gear usage he was the perfect specimen. More importantly i hear guys running 3 different cycles 1 every 5 months or so. For the every man that might be more of a benefit. Obviously people will argue the benefits of running EQ too short. But hey. Whatever works for you boss.
 

jozifp103

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It depends on what I'm doing.. If I'm increasing my meal portions, I will most certainly change things up, even if its as simple as trading hammer DB curls for lower cable rope curls, Or chest DB's for Smith with build ups, working sets and triple drops..
My aggressiveness changes, clearly, with the goal and how I "feel", If I'm firing on all cylinders that's when I love to do my change ups, but its not much really. Its always still basics one way or an other..

If anything the major thing that I change up is my "mind set" and focus on making the weight feel heavy with true full range, paying attention to holds/pauses, counting down on negative's, tempo, using the weight, rather than "moving" the weight and so on.. My mentality is the biggest change up in my routine 90% of the time..
I like that last part there. Changing my mind set, and the way I "use" the weights.

I think Ronnie Coleman would switch his routine up every 6 months from back to forward. But that dude didn't start using gearz till like 1996 supposedly. With top notch genetics, lifting heavy as fuck, and late gear usage he was the perfect specimen. More importantly i hear guys running 3 different cycles 1 every 5 months or so. For the every man that might be more of a benefit. Obviously people will argue the benefits of running EQ too short. But hey. Whatever works for you boss.
​Ronnie was doing gear long before 1996. Yes he was a genetic freak but he was juiced the fuck up long before then lol.
 

Vision

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I like that last part there. Changing my mind set, and the way I "use" the weights.


​Ronnie was doing gear long before 1996. Yes he was a genetic freak but he was juiced the fuck up long before then lol.
If people try to do what Ronnie did, they will get what Ronnie got... Before and after.. Not worth any of it..
 

Bft84

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If people try to do what Ronnie did, they will get what Ronnie got... Before and after.. Not worth any of it..
The thing with Ronnie is he had a botched surgery, an old back injury from high school and then instead of stopping the 800 squat he kept going after he felt pain. It was accumulation. Ronnie never had a pec, quad, shoulder, tri etc injury. If it werent for his back he’d still have no injury
 

Vision

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The thing with Ronnie is he had a botched surgery, an old back injury from high school and then instead of stopping the 800 squat he kept going after he felt pain. It was accumulation. Ronnie never had a pec, quad, shoulder, tri etc injury. If it werent for his back he’d still have no injury

There is a podcast that he did with rogan, and if I remember correctly he heard himself pretty bad during his years of training and it took him quite some time before he got the operation. I'm not sure if my facts are accurate on that one. But he went against all medical advice and he still does.. lol.. and no fashion am I taking anything away from the guy because that's some different level shit but he has done, and his story is not new to any of us. Even when I hear it again and again it still has wow factor like the first time I've ever heard or read it. The complete narration of his life that is.
 

jozifp103

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If people try to do what Ronnie did, they will get what Ronnie got... Before and after.. Not worth any of it..
Yea I met him at a bodybuilding expo a few years ago and goddamn did he look crippled. He had to be wheeled to his chair at the meet & greet table, and helped by 2 or 3 guys to get out of the wheelchair and into his seat for the day. Everyone else was getting up and posing with fans...he just sat there signing autographs looking like a depressed old man. Made me kind of sad. But this may have been recently after a procedure I'm not sure...maybe he's not that crippled all the time?
 

Durro

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People are to aggressive with changes. They will go from a bulk to cut,,,,cardio to no cardio,,,,to five cardio sessions a week,,,,to twice a day etc.

You need to take your time, make it more gradual and your body will work with you much better on how you progressively change it. Not being to aggressive.
 

Clockwerk

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My routine changes based on cutting/bulking. Nothing fancy. Just change up some machines or exercises to keep it fresh.
 

Vision

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People are to aggressive with changes. They will go from a bulk to cut,,,,cardio to no cardio,,,,to five cardio sessions a week,,,,to twice a day etc.

You need to take your time, make it more gradual and your body will work with you much better on how you progressively change it. Not being to aggressive.
This. Simple adjustments.. its mostly a mindset.
unless people are going on stage, complete overhauls are not necessary, unless their whole training routine is dog shit from the begin with it..
some guys swear by aggressive changes, yet these guys have better mind to muscle connection than most and that in itself is a different chapter, so of course it displays results.

where are people with their muscle to mind connection, that should be the real question?

I seen young athletes doing these over routine changes based on something they read, they truly are putting in the time, I seen it, but nothing changes on terms that they expect, and they get frustrated. Yet, I admire their consistency..
This is where some of these YOUTUBE'ers mind fuck people with these crazy fade routines, shit is just spouted for content and traffic..

fuck all that, if people are serious.. Hire a coach, seriously!
 

CarlosBlanka

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This. Simple adjustments.. its mostly a mindset.
unless people are going on stage, complete overhauls are not necessary, unless their whole training routine is dog shit from the begin with it..
some guys swear by aggressive changes, yet these guys have better mind to muscle connection than most and that in itself is a different chapter, so of course it displays results.

where are people with their muscle to mind connection, that should be the real question?

I seen young athletes doing these over routine changes based on something they read, they truly are putting in the time, I seen it, but nothing changes on terms that they expect, and they get frustrated. Yet, I admire their consistency..
This is where some of these YOUTUBE'ers mind fuck people with these crazy fade routines, shit is just spouted for content and traffic..

fuck all that, if people are serious.. Hire a coach, seriously!

I appreciate your outlook on the subject. I think consistency in anything healthy is a good thing. I agree about the coaching too. I hired a coach a few yrs ago. Complete game changer. Even changes your outlook on certain situations in life. The key to hiring a coach is to make sure they're legit. Unfortunately there is more fake coaches out they're or coaches that are only looking after there prospects they're main guys while they're everyday normal clients get a copy paste regime that can be found on google.

Nice read
 

Jaxz

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Every 6 to 8 weeks and I take a week off in between myself
 

maxmuscle1

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I try to stick to my plan . Whatever I wrote, my trainer/other coach wrote , online workouts, even books or magazines in the family collection. Instinct training kicks in sometimes
It just happened to me this week , I started 10 sets of 10 reps w long rest periods(2-3min). Not because I started or changed my compounds either ; it was like my body took over or it was subconsciously.

If Im doing a 4 week or a 14 week program, I follow the plan. THE PROBLEM : No matter what ; your schedule/life and environment has their own plans . Like getting through college or high school ; Roadblocks & Financial or Emergencies(lil or big) 100% come up - so I just forget about all that and go asap(and listen to my body) . Some THING or some ONE..will always throw a wrench in your workout/diet schedule. I try not to TREND or Switch it up because of some hyped new workout. I do get super excited though when I am starting any new program, spurring new growth or changing my diet to make it happen is not easy.

Max
 
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