T Nation

How Long Since You Changed Your Workout?


It's common wisdom that strategic periodization is the key to rapid muscle growth, since it keeps your body guessing. Periodize too frequently and you risk churning without taking full advantage of your current training, but don't periodize enough and you risk falling into a rut.

So how long has it been since you changed your workout routine?

I'm curious because my current routine continues to deliver the best growth I've seen in 7 years of training, and I've been doing it for nearly a year now. Prior to that, I had changed routines every few months.

Obviously, if it ain't broke there's no need to fix it. Just wondering how often others change your workouts, and if the frequency may depend on the type of workout your doing.


It depends what you mean by change. The main structure of my routine remains the same (and I don't plan on changing it for the sake of it), but I don't have a list of exercises planned out. I just concentrate on maybe 1-2 main lifts for each bodypart. If a lift stalls, I swap it out for something similar, when that stalls I'll move back to the "main lift".


I'm with w00tage, it depends on what you mean by change. I have a more or less static number of exercises I do but I vary rep ranges between them and I tend to work with rest periods as well (the shorter the better if you ask me). So if that means change then I mix things up every 3-5 weeks. But it's not like I've ever done HIT and then switched over to GVT or something.


You are good for one of these threads a week eh? What is next week?


It's common wisdom but people tends to misunderstand and misuse it.


Yep same here, I have a basic routine that changes slightly when necessary.


I have my core lifts that my routine is built around.

Deads, dumbell rows, squat, legpress, bench, incline, close grip, etc.

And I dont much deviate from them.

But the little exercises rotate a bit when I feel like it.


There are some things I never change. I love the heavy leg presses, seated rows, dumbell rows, and incline bench. To change up the incline bench I switch to dumbells periodically. Also that seated crunch machine that uses Olympic plates ..love that thing. I use more machines at some times more than others and some weeks I will just do flat bench, the same crunch machine and squats. The upper, middle, lower concept works well for me.


I only change when change is needed (I'll swap out an exercise when I plateau on it). Other than that my basic program template hasn't changed in about a year and a half (little longer actually) and I don't intend on changing it until I literally outgrow it (which may or may not ever happen).



I don't know if you can consider this as a periodization or not, but I normally pick a weight that I can do 2-4 reps with and I'll try to do more reps every week until I can do 8-10 reps with it then I increase the weight so I can only do 2-4 reps again. So in a way I'm "cycling" between heavy weights and medium weights.




I've been on the same routine for abotu 2 weeks now but I'm about to change it so my muscles get confused again... i need something to shock them i think

has anyone tried crossfit? i think i might try that for a week or so


i was going to give a serious answer

then i saw who the OP was


Damn is he really that bad? Or am I missing a joke here?

This week I JUST now changed my workout. I was on a 4 day a week body part split (chest, back, legs, shoulders) for the last 2 months. I changed it to antagonist pairing, 2 body parts a day split. Figured I'd change it up a bit for a couple of months. This is the first time I've tried this type of program.


i just can't take this guy serious.

he only does machine work

or circuits or some b.s. whatever it is the guy just really shouldnt be posting in BBing.


See, this is why it takes YEARS to build a body. You can't expect to throw someone else's routine at your body and expect to be Jay Cutler. You gotta EARN it, and that means making some mistakes, taking some injuries, and moving heavy stuff around until something clicks.

I know everyone says stick with a plan for years, but you gotta use some common sense. If you fuck your shoulder on flat bench, have the Goddamn courage to switch to DB's or machines. If your ass gets all big on squats, have the courage to do some leg presses or extensions.

That's why it takes YEARS. You need to learn your body and what works for you, and then have the courage to actually DO it. I don't need double-blind testing or paid advertisements to tell you what works for me. I have my training log, ten thousand reps of proof.



Dorian Yates didn't change his workout very much, he picked a few basic exercises and got really good at them. Why should you be any different. Ronnie was the same.

If you feel an exercise isn't working for you, ditch it and try another one like it. But don't change EVERYTHING you do just because you 'need to keep your body guessing' or whatever the hell that means.

Focus on intensity, not variety.


You must be confusing me with someone else. I do both free weights and machines, and have never done any kind of circuit training.


That seems to be the common theme from most people posting in this thread. Once you get the basics down, you typically find a good routine that works for you. A tweak here and there, but the overall structure doesn't need to change much as long as you are seeing good results.


I've asked you before, forlife, but I'll ask again. What kind of growth are you seeing, how many lbs have you put on in this timespan that you've seen your best growth? What did you weigh before, and what do you weigh now?

In short, stats please.

You train chest and back 5 times a week. I don't see how you can have gotten significantly stronger for reps on your exercises that way. I would very much like to see some quotes from your logbook from 1 year ago and where you're at currently.