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  1. #1
    Registered User Kirsch33's Avatar
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    How often should you change up your workout?

    Just as the title says. How long before your body gets used to the same reps on the same exercises, so about how often to I need to change up my workout to make sure I'm constantly seeing results?
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  2. #2
    Registered User aspengc8's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kirsch33 View Post
    Just as the title says. How long before your body gets used to the same reps on the same exercises, so about how often to I need to change up my workout to make sure I'm constantly seeing results?
    I dunno man, I haven't changed routine in 2 years and went from from 180ish to 225.
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  3. #3
    Registered User kylecampbells's Avatar
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    Most people say every two weeks switch up the order, play around with some different exercises for each muscle group. Basically whenever you feel like your body is getting used to the workout, and it is becoming more difficult to get that "sore" feeling, you need to switch it up. Keep your body guessing.
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  4. #4
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    Muscle confusion is completely in your head. It is about breathing fresh life into a workout to motivate you to train harder.

    I've met very disciplined individual who follow the same basic routine for 5+ years and get great results. I've met huge guys who do not even have a routine, they just walk into the gym and go "Hmmm today I feel like doing 10 sets of front squats, some heavy benching, and some high rep barbell curls... **** yeah!", then proceed to train as hard as they possibly can then do something different the next day. Then there are those who periodize, use proper methods, and get great results. The thing they all have in common, they all train very hard. I've also seen countless people use all 3 of those methods and achieve minimal results, because they put in minimal efforts and approach their training with laziness.

    Unless you are specifically alternating phases to achieve different things and create a synergy, the benefit to changing up a workout randomly is purely motivational. It does not "trick the muscle" or "confuse the muscle" into growing. Spending 12 weeks doing heavy power training then switching to GVT (a pure hypertrophy routine) is goal based and perfectly acceptable. Changing your 3x10 bench press to 3x8 weighted dips because you think it will cause better gains is purely in your mind. It will work if you truely beleive it will, and you push yourself harder because of this belief or becuase you were bored with 3x10 benching and had slacked off.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by JasonDB View Post
    Muscle confusion is completely in your head. It is about breathing fresh life into a workout to motivate you to train harder.

    I've met very disciplined individual who follow the same basic routine for 5+ years and get great results. I've met huge guys who do not even have a routine, they just walk into the gym and go "Hmmm today I feel like doing 10 sets of front squats, some heavy benching, and some high rep barbell curls... **** yeah!", then proceed to train as hard as they possibly can then do something different the next day. Then there are those who periodize, use proper methods, and get great results. The thing they all have in common, they all train very hard. I've also seen countless people use all 3 of those methods and achieve minimal results, because they put in minimal efforts and approach their training with laziness.

    Unless you are specifically alternating phases to achieve different things and create a synergy, the benefit to changing up a workout randomly is purely motivational. It does not "trick the muscle" or "confuse the muscle" into growing. Spending 12 weeks doing heavy power training then switching to GVT (a pure hypertrophy routine) is goal based and perfectly acceptable. Changing your 3x10 bench press to 3x8 weighted dips because you think it will cause better gains is purely in your mind. It will work if you truely beleive it will, and you push yourself harder because of this belief or becuase you were bored with 3x10 benching and had slacked off.
    Great post. As long as your progressing in either weight on the bar, or reps, you will grow.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    Most people say every two weeks switch up the order, play around with some different exercises for each muscle group. Basically whenever you feel like your body is getting used to the workout, and it is becoming more difficult to get that "sore" feeling, you need to switch it up. Keep your body guessing.
    "most people" I know say that you should stick to a routine until you start to plateau.

    Soreness has nothing to do with how effective your workout is. If you are adding weight to the bar, it's working.

    Your body only has one brain, it doesn't need to keep guessing about anything in order to progress. Muscles respond to stress. If you stress them, they adapt. Switching up routines all the time is actually detrimental to their adaptation.
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  7. #7
    Registered User kylecampbells's Avatar
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    You honestly stick to the same routine for long periods of time ? I find if I was to do the same **** over and over again like i used to I would go nowhere. If you find your body getting used to flat bench, not seeing any gains from it stop doing flat bench, switch to dumbell press.
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  8. #8
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    You honestly stick to the same routine for long periods of time ? I find if I was to do the same **** over and over again like i used to I would go nowhere.
    If you find your body getting used to flat bench, not seeing any gains from it stop doing flat bench, switch to dumbell press.
    To your first point. That's in your head. If you're not motivated to train, then by all means change your routine.

    What exactly do you mean not seeing any gains? If your diet is off, but you are still able to add weight to the bar (or reps), you're making gains. If you're on a calorie deficit, you may not notice any gains visually. However, if you're losing weight (and not much muscle), then something is working.
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  9. #9
    logical mofo PowderMonkey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    You honestly stick to the same routine for long periods of time ? I find if I was to do the same **** over and over again like i used to I would go nowhere. If you find your body getting used to flat bench, not seeing any gains from it stop doing flat bench, switch to dumbell press.
    Training, diet, rest. If you start to stall, make sure all 3 are in order. If you are trying to grow muscle, it gets really hard if you aren't eating enough.

    If you still stall, think about switching your routine up completely. Then, commit to this routine for at least 6-8 weeks. If nothing happens in 6-8 weeks, it's not the training, it's the diet or the rest.

    Don't expect to gain anything on your lifts during a cut. It can happen, but the nature of a cut means that you aren't giving your muscles enough to grow with.
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  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Make small changes when necessary only. Like the rep range or the grip used etc.

    'Changing it up' all the time just flatters you because you get fairly swift neural adaptations - extra strength that is not due to muscle growth.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    You honestly stick to the same routine for long periods of time ? I find if I was to do the same **** over and over again like i used to I would go nowhere. If you find your body getting used to flat bench, not seeing any gains from it stop doing flat bench, switch to dumbell press.
    You actually think that your body gets used to a specific lift and that it will no longer stimulate the same muscles any longer? It will eventually adapt to the load of doing a specific weight, for a specific number of reps, for a specific number of sets with a specific number of seconds between each set. However if you increase the weight by 5 lbs, or add a rep, or a set, or reduce the rest time between those sets by 15 seconds, I absolutely promise you it will further tax those muscle and force additional adaptations. It isn't the lift itself that you have adapted to, it is the intensity, volume, workload and workload density that you have adapted to... which is the desired goal. It is that adaption that increases both strength and growth. You then increase any of those 4 variables further for additional adaptation.

    There is nothing magical about switching from one lift to the next. If they stimulate the muscle differently you will slowly start to lose the adaptions you made from the way the other lift stimulated you, and begin adapting to the new stimulation. This doesn't automatically mean you will see new growth, you might or you might not and you might even lose some muscle tissue if the new lift fails to give the same amount of stimulation to a given muscle. Switching lifts is about boredom and freshness and is psychological in nature, it isn't always directly physiological in its benefits.
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  13. #13
    Registered User kylecampbells's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JasonDB View Post
    You actually think that your body gets used to a specific lift and that it will no longer stimulate the same muscles any longer? It will eventually adapt to the load of doing a specific weight, for a specific number of reps, for a specific number of sets with a specific number of seconds between each set. However if you increase the weight by 5 lbs, or add a rep, or a set, or reduce the rest time between those sets by 15 seconds, I absolutely promise you it will further tax those muscle and force additional adaptations. It isn't the lift itself that you have adapted to, it is the intensity, volume, workload and workload density that you have adapted to... which is the desired goal. It is that adaption that increases both strength and growth. You then increase any of those 4 variables further for additional adaptation.

    There is nothing magical about switching from one lift to the next. If they stimulate the muscle differently you will slowly start to lose the adaptions you made from the way the other lift stimulated you, and begin adapting to the new stimulation. This doesn't automatically mean you will see new growth, you might or you might not and you might even lose some muscle tissue if the new lift fails to give the same amount of stimulation to a given muscle. Switching lifts is about boredom and freshness and is psychological in nature, it isn't always directly physiological in its benefits.
    Alright lets say you do Dumbel curls for your 6 weeks. Increasing the variables like you said every workout. Why not switch it to a barbell curl, change the routine. Because like you said your muscle will be adapted to that workout, and when you change it up it will be worked a different way and tear the muscle fibers MUCH EASIER because it is a new movement.

    Like honestly, if somebody who has been here for a while said the exact same post as me you would have been fine with it. Why do people attack somebody knew's post just because they are new ? Power trip.. Ive been watching the community and reading and doing research for a while now.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    Alright lets say you do Dumbel curls for your 6 weeks. Increasing the variables like you said every workout. Why not switch it to a barbell curl, change the routine. Because like you said your muscle will be adapted to that workout, and when you change it up it will be worked a different way and tear the muscle fibers MUCH EASIER because it is a new movement.

    Like honestly, if somebody who has been here for a while said the exact same post as me you would have been fine with it. Why do people attack somebody knew's post just because they are new ? Power trip.. Ive been watching the community and reading and doing research for a while now.
    Because you're wrong. The only confusion your muscles need is more weight. I've made more gains in the 6 months I've been on Madcow's 5x5 then I had in the last 4 years of training and I do 7 total exercises. No need to "confuse" my muscles.
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    Alright lets say you do Dumbel curls for your 6 weeks. Increasing the variables like you said every workout. Why not switch it to a barbell curl, change the routine. Because like you said your muscle will be adapted to that workout, and when you change it up it will be worked a different way and tear the muscle fibers MUCH EASIER because it is a new movement.

    Like honestly, if somebody who has been here for a while said the exact same post as me you would have been fine with it. Why do people attack somebody knew's post just because they are new ? Power trip.. Ive been watching the community and reading and doing research for a while now.
    I was nice becuase you are a noob actually. I've called some of the 10 year regulars "****ing morons not qualified to give advice."... hince my low rep. LoL
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by kylecampbells View Post
    Alright lets say you do Dumbel curls for your 6 weeks. Increasing the variables like you said every workout. Why not switch it to a barbell curl, change the routine. Because like you said your muscle will be adapted to that workout, and when you change it up it will be worked a different way and tear the muscle fibers MUCH EASIER because it is a new movement.

    Like honestly, if somebody who has been here for a while said the exact same post as me you would have been fine with it. Why do people attack somebody knew's post just because they are new ? Power trip.. Ive been watching the community and reading and doing research for a while now.
    Continue progressing on those db curls. That way, when you add 1 rep or 5lbs you KNOW it's muscle, and not neural adaptations of switching from one movement to another.

    Not to mention, doing so tends to lose what you just worked so hard to build up on the movement you are leaving behind. Then you might say "do them both." Well, sure that's another way to force additional growth, but then the question arises. "When adding more movements, do I A) need them for growth, or B) does adding this movement hurt my ability to recover from the rest of my training?

    The truth is the guys that have the big shoulder girdle are generally the ones that pounded out their bench even when it stagnated for a week. They stuck with it when times were tough. And because of that, they dont have a system bouncing from one neural adaptation to another. They are actually spending time building more muscle on one movement. I know this makes no sense if you receive your information from the muscle rags and/or drugged up bb'ers. But it's true.
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