When Should I Change Up My Training?

I often get new clients who ask me when they should change up my training, get a new workout or push a little harder. These are questions you can’t answer with a specific time, because each person is different. As a personal trainer, I closely monitor clients and watch for certain signs that help me know it’s time to put on more pressure and change it up to the next level. Even though each person is different, some generalizations might help you identify your change up time.

When you workout, you’re stressing your body.

Exercise is a way to stress your body so it can recover even stronger. In the process, it also burns calories while doing that. When you’ve stuck with the same exercise routine, eventually it becomes easier and you don’t see the weight loss or improvement you’ve seen previously. Your body becomes more efficient at it, burning fewer calories. One way to tell whether it’s time to change up is just how easy it is to perform the workout.

Remember FITT.

FITT is an acronym that stands for frequency, intensity, type and time. When you’re working out, you need to change two of those four about every four or five weeks. If you’ve been doing the same number of pushups in the same amount of time, without changing the intensity or making any changes to your form for six weeks, you probably aren’t seeing the progress you had previously.

Don’t just do more, improve your variety.

You need all types of exercises and need to work all muscle groups. Even if you want to get stronger, you still need to work on flexibility and endurance. Without flexibility, you face injury and without endurance, your workout will be cut shorter. Even within each type of exercise group, using a variety of exercises not only breaks up the monotony, it also ensures all muscle groups are worked. It also can help prevent overuse injuries, while boosting weight loss in the process.

  • When you’re changing up the intensity, consider using a heart rate monitor to gauge just how hard you worked. At one time these were quite expensive, but like most gadgets, as they’ve become more popular, have gone down in price.
  • The time you spend exercising is also an important part of the FITT Principle. The time dedicated to exercise usually depends on the type of exercise undertaken.
  • The amount of time you spend varies by your goals and the type of exercise you do. It also varies with the number of sets or repetitions. While a HIIT workout is very intense, it often is one of the shorter workouts.
  • Switching your workout during the week and varying it with endurance, strength and flexibility training is important from day one. You shouldn’t spend every day exercising for any one of those, without including the other two throughout the week.

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