I’m a bit confused about this. Tracking progress is a key ingredient of progression, but many people say that you need to switch around your exercises every so often to ‘keep the body guessing’.
a) How can you track progress if you’re constantly rotating exercises?
b) How can the body (positively) adapt to an exercise if you’re not using it often enough?
Would it not be more beneficial, on a FB for example, to have set exercises for say a month, then to change them all for a month etc? That way, you can easily track your progress on those lifts, your body can grow stronger and with more muscle for those lifts, instead of constantly having stimulation to grow from a variety of different lifts.
I.e. for month 1: Squats, SLDL, Bench. Chins, Military Press, lat raises.
Then for the next month: Front Squats, Deadlifts, Incline Bench, db BOR, Upright Rows, front raises.
Then for the 3rd month: Leg Press, Sumo Deads, Dips, bb BOR, DB shoulder press, rear delt rows.
What do you reckon?
It’s best to switch out exercises once you plateau on them (at least IMO). Keep the same exercises, sets/reps, etc… and keep progressing on them (adding weight to the bar whenever possible) until you cannot continue to progress on them (meaning you can’t add reps or weight in two consecutive attempts). At that point, switch the exercise out for another one for the same muscle group.
How often you will be able to do an exercise, or whether or not you’ll need to rotate exercises on a regular basis, will depend on your current experience/strength levels, recovery abilities, diet, and genetic limits.
A rank beginner should have no problem progressing on a 3x per week TB program. An intermediate on the other hand will probably need more recovery between sessions than that, and an advanced trainee even more recovery.
Rotating exercises can be used to increase the frequency with which you train a muscle group, while still giving you plenty of time between actually doing the same exercise again (which should make progression easier).