When you get in the swing of a consistent workout routine, and you're absolutely killin' the game during your sweat sessions, it can be easy to forget that variety is the spice of life, and that it's actually good for you to change things up every once in a while. You've probably heard it's important to switch up your fitness routine every now and then to avoid getting into a slump, and to maintain that motivation to move your body. But then, the question becomes, when you should switch up your workout — every couple of weeks? Every month? Is there even a timeline that's set in stone? Must. Have. Answers.
According to Shape, if you want to reach all of your fitness goals, and avoid getting bored AF in the gym, you should be changing up your fitness regimen all the time. However, there's no specific timeline that'll apply to every single person, or every single workout routine — sorry, fam. Some people might enjoy doing different workouts every other day, while others might go an entire month with the same routine before they experiment with something new.
The most important thing is to stay in-tune with your body, and take note of the signals it's giving you that it's time to switch things up during your sweat sesh.
One of the tell-tale signs that you should consider making some changes to your typical workouts, is that you're no longer seeing progress. Fitness instructor Trish DaCosta told Bustle that progress in a workout routine comes in many forms, including muscle definition, increased energy, faster recovery time, a quicker pace, or stronger lifts, depending on what it is, exactly, you're doing during your sweat sessions. If your body starts feeling sluggish, fatigued, or it's taking you longer than usual to recover in between workouts, a change of pace might be what you need.
Another way your body might be giving you that little nudge to switch things up, is if you feel muscularly imbalanced. By that, I mean, for example, maybe you can do jump squats for days without losing much steam, but you can't do a single push-up, like, ever, even if your life depended on it.
According to SELF, variety and cross-training are key to a physically equal, balanced, and motivating workout routine. Sure, you might absolutely love hitting up the treadmill and squat rack on the reg, but if one of your goals is to get stronger arms, or do a certain amount of pull-ups, making sure you target additional muscle groups to balance out your upper and lower body strength will keep things fresh, and make you feel more powerful overall.
So, if you've decided to give your brain and body a brand new fitness challenge, how exactly do you go about switching things up, if you're not sure where to start?
It can be intimidating to make a change if you're used to and comfortable with your go-to workouts, but it's not impossible.
For starters, you can try increasing or decreasing the intensity of your workout sessions for a little while — you know, if you're obsessed with high-intensity interval training and hardcore bootcamps, maybe try taking a leisurely stroll outdoors a couple times a week, instead. And, if you're all about that low-intensity life, throw in some sweaty ab circuits or sprints every now and then. Little changes, people. Little changes.
If you're still feeling kind of lost, or in a rut, consider trying out a few local fitness studios or yoga classes in your area with a friend. The change of pace will feel so refreshing for your muscles, and you'll be sure to enjoy a newfound sense of balance and motivation in no time.