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Vary Your Workout? Really?

I always here guys telling me, oh you shoudl switch your routine every 4 weeks…oh you’re not gaining because your body has gotten use to the stimulation! etcetera…

Then I see my Dad and Grandpa who both have respectable physiques for elderlymen, and these are men who have never changed their routine a day in their life. They do the same bodyweight exercises everyday with an intensity that’d make your head spin, becuase theyve been on it for 30+ years.

Or when I was doing wrestling as a kid, we did the same shit everyday for months on end, and just got alot better at it, and were cranking out alot more pull ups at the end of it all.

While I’m sure ‘shocking’ the muscle is quite possible, do you all really think if a guy folloed the same rep routine and set structure for squat, bench press or military press, a speciality routine and then deadlift or pull up to close 5 days a week, that he’d truly retard not se his weight go up and not have optimal muscle growth?

In my pst, I find the more random I do it the less ntoiceable change I experience, and the more I stick to one routine, the better my strength gets.
What do you think?

Few things:

  1. What routine? Not everyone has a set routine, once you get more experienced you can start to train instinctively to a good degree, because you know how your body responds to different kinds of work.

  2. If your Dad and Grandpa only have “respectable” physiques after 30+ years of training, why the flying fuck would you listen to them???

  3. I like to do totally random stuff from time to time that has nothing to do with my training goals, just for a change of pace, cuz hell, it’s fun. Usually it involves squatting. Every so often, for example, I throw 135 on the bar and see how many times I can squat it. First time I got 65. Recently I hit 100. You can’t tell me that doesn’t do anything for conditioning/mental toughness.

I vary my workouts by adding more weight or reps. Works pretty well.

[quote]Rohnyn wrote:
I always here guys telling me, oh you shoudl switch your routine every 4 weeks…oh you’re not gaining because your body has gotten use to the stimulation! etcetera…

Then I see my Dad and Grandpa who both have respectable physiques for elderlymen, and these are men who have never changed their routine a day in their life. They do the same bodyweight exercises everyday with an intensity that’d make your head spin, becuase theyve been on it for 30+ years.

Or when I was doing wrestling as a kid, we did the same shit everyday for months on end, and just got alot better at it, and were cranking out alot more pull ups at the end of it all.

While I’m sure ‘shocking’ the muscle is quite possible, do you all really think if a guy folloed the same rep routine and set structure for squat, bench press or military press, a speciality routine and then deadlift or pull up to close 5 days a week, that he’d truly retard not se his weight go up and not have optimal muscle growth?

In my pst, I find the more random I do it the less ntoiceable change I experience, and the more I stick to one routine, the better my strength gets.
What do you think?[/quote]

Well, I don’t think you should really be doing random things for the sake of change. Everything you do in the gym should have a reason, from exercise selection to rep scheme.
I personally don’t think you need to change it every 4 weeks, and the changes don’t have to be drastic. Slight changes may be all thats needed. If your in a rut, a change might be necessary.
Thats what I’ve learned from my experience anyway, which might not be worth all that much.

[quote]Rohnyn wrote:

the more I stick to one routine, the better my strength gets.
What do you think?[/quote]

i think you should look at what has actually WORKED for you… aka no DONT switch your program
if your progressing on it. once you stagnate you can change something up but the best approach
(i believe) for that would be change as few variables a possible. that keeps is simple too

I don’t think you stop progressing completely if you don’t change it up but I have found that I progress quicker if I change things every 8 weeks or so. I have done Stripped Down Hypertrophy, 5x5 and just lately the Perfect Rep style system and each of these have given me massive gains over the first 6 or so weeks and then my gains have begun to plateau. When I’ve changed to something else (if it suited me) then things have taken off again and when I’ve swung back to the same system again I’ve definitely added real strength.

Some could argue that the initial spike in progress is to do with getting used to a movement and that is likely true, but I have tended to continue to gain strength for 4-6 weeks after this and then begin to plateau. There are probably plenty of reasons for this such as getting bored, buildup of fatigue, etc but hey to me it’s the same as the placebo effect. Who cares why something works as long as it works, right?

So I think you need to just take notice of what works for you. Maybe you’re dad and grandad have good physiques but maybe if they’d changed things up they’d be even better?

[quote]silverhydra wrote:
I vary my workouts by adding more weight or reps. Works pretty well.[/quote]

this works well

You should check out P90X if you want to get huge AND ripped :wink:

I switch out rep schemes but keep the exercises or just mix the week’s order up…putting my chest/back on thursday instead of monday and doing legs instead

sometimes I have a oly phase of 6-8 weeks

i say change when you stop seeing progress. if your squat is flying up in reps and weight. why the fuck would you stop doing it? stop reading articles and listening to people and use common sense this shit is ridiculously simple.

To each his own.

This should be ingrained in every person’s mind. It’s been said literally thousands of times that there is no universal answer to these questions. What works for you may not work for me. I think by taking that into account every time you wanna ask a question like this, you will save everyone the time. But then again, post counts will be low and opinions won’t be voiced.

[quote]Hazzyhazz24 wrote:
i say change when you stop seeing progress. if your squat is flying up in reps and weight. why the fuck would you stop doing it? stop reading articles and listening to people and use common sense this shit is ridiculously simple.[/quote]

This.

[quote]MODOK wrote:
I think the 'change every 4 weeks" bullshit has been pretty much put in the garage sale. [/quote]
Sadly it’s still being taught in Kinesiology courses… =/

When I think of “vary your workout,” I think of this:

I bench 225 x 10 for a year and I experience no growth. Varying my workout and adding weight and reps to the bar as often as possible and bringing that bench to 315 x 10 will cause my muscles to adapt and grow.

Having no method to your madness is stupid. If you’re just doing shit to do it it is stupid. Every exercise I choose, all the weights, reps and sets I hit are done for a reason. My exercises change when I get bored or I find soemthing better than what I am already doing. You can’t get better than the best so if you have figured out what exercises work best there is no reason to change them. Vary your workouts be hitting PRs as frequently as possible.

change…tempo, reps, bar speed, grip width… It’s all change.

[quote]Rohnyn wrote:
I always here guys telling me, oh you shoudl switch your routine every 4 weeks…oh you’re not gaining because your body has gotten use to the stimulation! etcetera…[/quote]

Changing every 4 weeks sounds crazy to me… Unless you are talking about adding reps or weight. But you should be doing that every week.

But one thing mixing it up does, is give you a more well rounded strength. If you only do several specific exercise all the time, you will probably find you will become weak at the types of movements you aren’t doing. You may not notice because you aren’t doing them, but you will be getting weak nonetheless.

I know a while back when I had just hit 325 x 3 in deadlift, my dad asked me to help him move a 250 pound statue. I figured I could do it easy. But it was balanced differently than an Olympic bar (of course) and I couldn’t safely move it. Since then, I’ve been mixing it up. Lifting different things different ways. It probably isn’t helping my main power lifts a lot, but I’m a lot stronger overall for it.

To me, training eccentrically, is varying it up.
I don’t need to do a bench press on a benzu ball…when I want to go to higher weight, I’ll just try to hold some weight that I must definetely could not press for a period of time, and then try to get on assist after doing it for a while.

[quote]silverhydra wrote:
I vary my workouts by adding more weight or reps. Works pretty well.[/quote]

x2 plus advanced training techniques ( iso tension holds, etc.) but the moves reamain the same. no point in running away from something you aren’t good at yet while you are just getting used to it.

You’ve gotta look at who is pedaling this idea of changing your workouts so frequently; people who have stake in you always needing them to give you new workouts (muscle mags, fitness mags, your local “trying to keep you reliant on them” personal trainer). Otherwise, if they were completely honest with you and told you the truth (that you can continue to make progress on a given workout for much longer periods of time, especially during the beginner and intermediate stages), then what use would you have for them?

BTW, I’m not saying that a good trainer (someone like CT on this site for example) can’t still be a valuable asset to even an advanced and knowledgeable lifter, they can be. But, that requires them to actually be good at things like motivating their clients, picking up on and fine tuning routines, exercises, and dietary methods/supplement protocols, and helping their clients get the most out of what they are doing.

Most trainers just don’t know how to do those things, all they know how to do is throw together some random exercises, assign some rep ranges, and call it a routine. Thus, they need to convince you that in order to continue seeing results you need them to keep writing you new routines. That and the fact that most trainees, Americans anyhow, have very short attention spans, and have difficulty with consistency. It’s easier to get those people to be consistent with a routine for 4 weeks than 6 months.

TYPOS! DER DER DER DER

I change my routine when the joints start failing. Other than that I do the same shit I’ve been doing for almost 7 years. Light/heavy. Light days are still heavy. Heavy days are super heavy. Rep ranges change accordingly. It works for me. I’ve gone from 198 to 266 at my peak so its working.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
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Who’s that in your avatar Sentoguy? Thx.