T Nation

Scientific Resources for Changing Exercises?


Can someone point me to the source and the reasoning for the idea that one must change his exercises every training sessions? (be it 1 session, 20 or "whenever you plateau")

Thank you, Eisen


I don't think there is a journal article that says that. Now, me personally, during the majority of the year i.e. 10 to 11 months out of the year, I do the powerlifting lifts, because those are my contest events. I will do pullups all year round. The types of rows, tricep, bicep, dips, military press, get cycled on and off ~ 3 to 4 weeks at a time.

The reasons are:
1. injury prevention: doing the same lifts over and over, using the same movement patterns, stressing the muscles/tendons at the same joint angle, creates the potentional for overuse injuries. In the one to 2 month period when not doing powerlifting movements, I try some OLY lifts, single leg exercises etc. It is to give my body a rest from the usual.

  1. I cycle my assistance lifts faster, to keep me psychologically fresh and not bored. There are also a few assistance lifts that if I were to do them for 6 weeks or longer, injuries startd creeping up, so naturally, I use these lifts, then ditch them for a while.

I hope that helps.



Once you adapt to training you stop getting stronger. You must never adapt. Variation doesn't have to be changing exercises. Diffferent sets, reps, time intervals, rest intervals, can be considered variation. It will be almost impossible to find any American literature on any of this. Not because it is not studied but major publications have many interest groups backing them. Say a study is done comparing the Under Armour Combine 360 program with the conjugate sequence system. The that publication gets X amount of money for advertising from UA, guess which one works better.

Pick up a copy of Supertraining. All of the research you are looking for is in there and you won't have to hire a Russian/Bulgarian translator to figure out what it means.


Thank you beef, and thank you StormTheBeach.

That's what I thought and want to test: that you can simply alter the frequency, intensity and volume. OTOH, I have my own (very limited) experience that going for a 1 RM drains you for a long time (in my case, my performance decreased for about 1 month), but I'd say I was drained overall

It doesn't make sense that training goes stale because you do "the same movement pattern" time after time. Doesn't this actually contribute to motor learning? OTOH, I'm really curious how far I'll be able to go without going stale (for too long) if I rarely go >95% 1 RM, and alternate light and heavy training...

Will get Supertraining.
And Science and practice of strength training.


Exactly. Motor learning is what you want for your contest lifts. For your contest lifts, you should be able to perform in your sleep.