T Nation

Changing Your Routine Regularly

I need some help explaining to some colleagues why guys who use the same routine of exercises over and over again, plateau and don’t make gains.

Search most of the Waterbury articles he gives a good explanation, also I believe he might give references at the bottom. I like to give people like that the scientific journal references. F’s them up.

[quote]Judecca wrote:
I need some help explaining to some colleagues why guys who use the same routine of exercises over and over again, plateau and don’t make gains.[/quote]

Adaptation. Your muscles become ‘familiar’ with what they will be doing. [I’m getting a brain fart about how better to explain this], but just think about it in terms of using / hitting different muscle fibers with different lifts, protocols, etc…Just like doing something repetively with your brain over, and over again. Now image switching it up - you would have to “re-learn” it and possibly use different areas of your brain - Probably not a great example.

Another reason people plateau is they are not utilizing the correct nutrients at the right time. i.e P&C dring during workout, P&C meal PWO, etc…

Simple…
If you want to maintain…keep shit the same. Ya wanna get big, time to switch gigs.
Adaptation of muscle and mind can not be understated.
To grow big, you’d continue to increase the load, correct? Same line of thought for your training routine applies.

Xen: I looked through a few Waterbury articles, but couldn’t find specific references. To help motivate you to help me find those references (I know it motivated me), here’s what someone wrote about the topic:

I was reading a mag today and came across a article where this trainer of some sort was saying how people will plateau if they don?t change up their program. I have heard this same shit for years and still don?t get it. You do not need to change your routine at all, as long as you keep adding weight you could stick to the same program for years. Your body will not get used to it as long as damage is caused it will be repaired that?s just how it works.
That?s like saying if you eat steak all the time your body will get used to red meat protein and you will have to change to chicken or fish to keep the body guessing. Sounds pretty stupid to me.

[quote]I was reading a mag today and came across a article where this trainer of some sort was saying how people will plateau if they don?t change up their program. I have heard this same shit for years and still don?t get it. You do not need to change your routine at all, as long as you keep adding weight you could stick to the same program for years. Your body will not get used to it as long as damage is caused it will be repaired that?s just how it works.
That?s like saying if you eat steak all the time your body will get used to red meat protein and you will have to change to chicken or fish to keep the body guessing. Sounds pretty stupid to me.

You know why people plateau on the same program for too long? Its mental not physical. You the trainer gets tired and bored and need something fresh to keep making progress. Even Arnold said once he found the perfect program he stuck with it. Myself I haven?t change what I do in years, just keep adding weight. Anyway as always this is just what I think.[/quote]

So yeah. I want to rip this apart, but I don’t have the scientific data to do so.

I understand about doing the same thing will stop gains, but want upping the weights make your muscles confused and you will still gain?

If you only do the same exercises all the time, you train your body to do those specific movements. By switching you add more “functional training”. Plus you fill in the areas overlooked when constantly using the same routine. Also you may keep making gains using the same stuff, but I don’t feel thats Optimal gains, which is what we all strive for. why gain 10lb’s of lean mass a year when you can gain 20lb?

I feel thats why changing your routine helps.

[quote]Judecca wrote:
I was reading a mag today and came across a article where this trainer of some sort was saying how people will plateau if they don?t change up their program. I have heard this same shit for years and still don?t get it. You do not need to change your routine at all, as long as you keep adding weight you could stick to the same program for years. Your body will not get used to it as long as damage is caused it will be repaired that?s just how it works.
That?s like saying if you eat steak all the time your body will get used to red meat protein and you will have to change to chicken or fish to keep the body guessing. Sounds pretty stupid to me.
[/quote]

Well, comparing weight lifting to nutrition, two totally different physiological processes, is retarded and “proves” absolutely nothing.

There is something to be said to simply ever increasing load on the bar, changing rep speed, tempo’s, rest period’s etc…

All these things make the movement different, however, It also makes training boring as sin and can(will?) lead to overuse injuries.

I don’t need a study to know I get stale doing the same workout week after week, no matter how much weight ends up on the bar(which will platau, sooner rather than later).

Diversity is good.

Variation can be found in a lot of places.

Altering the order of exercises, load, hand position, rest periods, DB vs. BB vs. cable vs. machine, and a thousand other things. Most people don’t do the exact same workout each week.

Than again some just do 5 sets of bench with the ame weight to failure and then hit the next and next and next… This could cause problems…

[quote]Judecca wrote:
I was reading a mag today and came across a article where this trainer of some sort was saying how people will plateau if they don?t change up their program. I have heard this same shit for years and still don?t get it. You do not need to change your routine at all, as long as you keep adding weight you could stick to the same program for years. Your body will not get used to it as long as damage is caused it will be repaired that?s just how it works.

[snip]

So yeah. I want to rip this apart, but I don’t have the scientific data to do so. [/quote]

As well as keeping the same routine, there is also the issue of “progressive overload” and why simply adding weight in small increments week after week is also flawed - Chad Waterbury hinted this on a previous article but I haven’t read anything that clearly explains why progressive overload doesn’t work in the long term.

Anyone?

Also, some people do 1-2 sets of 8 reps with a weight that causes failure and when they can do 12 reps they up the weight and repeat. And so it goes on. Apart from seeming inefficent to me these people swear it works for them and so they continue along. Not sure what to think of this - comment anyone?

scotsman

My very limited understanding and thoughts on this.

One of the things we know for sure about training is, the body is really only capable of increasing one or maybe 2 qualities at a time. For example(the exgtreme one, for illustration purposes), you can’t add 30 pounds of muscle while simultaneaously training for a marathon. The training for each signals the body totally different messages, and the end result is, neither quality improves adeqautly.

How does this relate to progressive overload?

Basically, with progressive overload, you continuously add weight to the bar,right?

The issue(s) comes when you are no longer increasing weight. For whatever reason(hormonal, nervous system, calories, boredom, whatever…) you stop responding to the stimulus.

Again, my very limited understanding, but it has something to do with specificity, progressive overload is not specific enough for your body to be improvable over time.

We know all sorts of other stuff as well(trying to tie this together, but I don’t really have it all down, so pure conjecture on my part).

For example, to get stronger, you need to be able to move the bar fast(or at least have the intent to move the bar fast). This is something progressive overload does not address. It doesn’t address speed in any way at all AFAIK, which means it does not address power.

Really, the primary thing it addresses, it seems to me, is muscular endurance.

Still trying to reason this through…

arent they bored shitless.

A bit on CPT from Staley outlines the pros and cons. 'bout 1 paragraph