If you are unfamiliar with the concepts of training history and programming, and wondering about their importance, fret not. This article extensively deals with its meaning and its role in our training journey. Let’s first decode the meaning of training history.
What Is Training History?
Training history can be understood under two aspects. First, the status of your current training program, be it from the adaptation you have been making or made. And, also the duration you have been doing it.
Second aspect is the rate of progression you have been making. It is measurable from factors like strength, fat loss and muscle gains.
Why Does Training History Matter?
It’s often that you don’t understand how much it took for you to elicit a particular response to the training or how much-diminished returns you are making from a program. In such cases, it will be hard to understand what is the most valuable training program to take on. Moreover, it doesn’t benefit if you follow a certain training blindly, and just rotate with a hit and miss approach with the many programs out there. Chances are you are getting fewer gains and hitting closer to mental fatigue from not having great progressions.
Why Switch Up Your Exercise Routines?
Bringing a change in any lifestyle or habit is not an easy task but sometimes it is the necessary move. There are two fundamental reasons to edit your fitness routines:
Breaking The Monotony
It helps overcome the weariness associated with your existing routine. Experts say that modifying your routines to add a variety of new exercises once every two weeks over a period of two months helps to develop an enjoyable workout session
The results such types of changes bring are far better than the ones where no changes at all occur in the fitness routine over a long period of time.
Avoids Hitting A Plateau
It circumvents the possibilities of reaching a plateau during your fitness journey. Adding variety to your gym routines also gives you new challenges physically which keeps the journey on track and pumps up your motivation every once in a while.
It is seen that our body adapts itself to a certain type of fitness routine every six to eight weeks. Continuing the same exercise pattern more than this time interval makes your body reach a plateau. Thus, results in no changes at all due to the repetitive training stimulus.
How To Avoid Monotony and Plateau In Your Exercise Routine?
The solutions for this tedious problem are very simple. There are numerous techniques through which you can add spice to your existing routine. And, also magnify the vigor of your existing workouts. Here are some tips to make your existing workout a blast:
Create Variations In Your Exercise
If you have been running normally on the treadmill, try going for a slight incline and increased speed. This challenges you and helps you burn more calories than you were burning earlier in the same time frame.
This also works on toning your calves and thigh muscles, so as a result, you are working on them even when it isn’t a leg day.
Incorporate HIIT Workouts
In a cross-training workout, instead of your usual target of doing one exercise per day, go for incorporating 10 minutes of these high-intensity exercises every day. For example, before you start a strength workout, go for 10 minutes sessions on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, and so on.
Target Various Muscle Groups
Focusing on different groups of muscles on different days will break the monotony and will give uniform muscle growth. For example, if you target a single muscle per day and have been doing this for a long time then you target two muscles per day.
You can also change the combination of muscles that you target every day. For instance, If you have been working on your chest and shoulders on Monday for too long then try switching up with back and bicep training for that day. Training the same muscles on the same days makes your body become familiar with your routine. Hence, results in no or minimal outcomes.
While strength training it is always important to progressively increase the weight with time. Maybe if you add extra 5 pounds one day during a bicep curl, you may not be able to do the usual 12 reps you used to like earlier. But you will definitely be able to go for 10 reps, this shift is precisely what is needed as the extra push for growing your muscles bigger.
Try Something New
Trying a new exercise can always work wonders on your existing routine. It gives your body a new challenge. And, also helps you work on a muscle in a different course of action. For example, if you perform different varieties of squats on your leg day and have been doing it for a long period of time, try adding some lunges to your routine.
This helps in working on your hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quadriceps simultaneously. Also, try swapping normal bodyweight exercises with their variations of weighted exercises. If you already perform lunges, try adding variations like weighted walking lunges and dumbbell lunges.
Increasing workout intensity is also a major amendment you can bring to your routine. Decreasing rest intervals between sets, performing in circuits, and still going for one or two extra reps when you know you’ve hit the muscle can increase the workout intensity to a massive level.
Practicing drop sets can also be seen as a great move in your fitness journey. These work as a shock technique to your existing routine and prove to be a blast in your tough plateau stage. Drop sets are worked by dropping weights gradually and increasing the number of reps performed.
Try Supersets or Pyramid Sets
Utilizing supersets is also an effective way to grow a stubborn muscle. This is done by performing a major compound muscle exercise followed by an isolation exercise. For example, going for a barbell curl just after a chin-up would definitely fire up your biceps. Moreover, going for a bench fly just after a flat bench press helps you work intensely on the middle and lower chest muscles.
Working on pyramid sets is also an efficient method to bring yourself out from the rut. In this you start working with low weight, gradually increasing the weight and then coming back down. Going from 12 reps to 8-10 reps then 6-8 reps and finally 4 as you increase the weight is the drill here. After this, you can exercise your way back to 12 reps but they should be slow and controlled in motion.
Push Yourself A Little More
Forcing reps is also one way of overcoming the laziness associated with regular gym routines. You do the largest amount of strict reps you can with no assistance. Doing certain reps until failure, that is the final rep where you can’t maintain the correct form anymore, is an ideal way to push yourself.
And, then you ask a spotter to help you with another two or three reps. This helps you grow bigger muscles and overcome the plateau. You can also practice mindfulness by taking mental coaching which helps you to focus more during workouts. Consequently, you’ll be able to push yourself everyday to do better than yesterday.
Try Dynamic Moves or Exercise
Performing exercises that are dynamic in your warm-up should be a mandate for beginners to advanced levels. Exercises like lunges, arms overhead, pull-ups, push-ups, and other compound bodyweight exercises help maintain body balance and eradicate movement issues.
Hence, in a nutshell, what you need to do is take a two-week break from your existing gym routine and shift to a completely new training cycle or block. You do not have to stop training completely or use less load or volume. You should also make sure that you notice patterns and come out of them in time. This would help you avoid reaching a weight loss plateau.
How Often Should You Change Your Routine?
If you are in the beginning stage of your fitness journey then your body will take about two weeks to adjust to the neuromuscular coordination and muscle-joint positioning required to practice each exercise. Then it will need another three to four weeks to adapt to these anatomical changes. Hence you would be ideally performing a particular muscle movement before modifying them. If you have a pre-developed routine, then bringing in exercise and overall routine changes every three to four weeks is a good practice to avoid being caught in a rut. However, key aspects of your routine should definitely stay the same for months. You may bring minor element changes every 10 days in terms of style and also technique. Moreover, you are not a sports scientist and can’t spend your time researching energy systems and training methodologies. You have a job, family, and a lot of things going on with your life. However, not knowing what to transit into and how to do it will hinder your progress and won’t let you maximize the fruits of your efforts. Moreover, incorporating a healthy diet and health supplements further makes your routine more sustainable and long-term.
You can’t simply just add on more and more training volume. There is a limit in how many times you can hit a button until it breaks. Ironically, a blog and post will not be enough for you to learn about training programs and periodization. Training has to be smart to be effective. We, at Tsquared Lab, understand the importance of training history and its effects. That’s why craft only science and research based workout sessions. Consult our expert professional trainers who help you to achieve physical rehabilitation and your fitness goals, from building a toned physique to losing your first 10 to 20kg.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How to develop enjoyable workout sessions?
A. We can develop enjoyable workout sessions by breaking the monotony. Adding a variety of new exercises once every two weeks over a period of two months helps overcome the weariness associated with your existing routine.
Q. How can we create variations in exercise?
A. If you have been running normally on the treadmill, try going for a slight incline and increased speed. This challenges you and helps you burn more calories than you were burning earlier in the same time frame. This also works on toning your calves and thigh muscles, so as a result, you are working on them even when it isn’t a leg day.
Q. What kind of warm up exercises should a beginner do?
A. Performing exercises that are dynamic in nature should be a mandate for beginners. Warm up exercises like lunges, arms overhead, pull-ups, push-ups, and other compound bodyweight exercises help maintain body balance and eradicate movement issues.