One of the basic principles of a successful workout routine is one of diversity. The idea is that you need to diversify your workouts to ensure that your body doesn’t have the chance to completely adapt to the manner in which you exercise.
Some even formulate this approach as “attacking” the body or muscles in surprising ways to create a higher degree of stimulation and illicit more response, whether in the form of fat burning or muscle building.
Diversifying your workouts has both physical and mental benefits. On the physical side of things, by preventing your body from adapting to your current routine, you maintain a higher degree of intensity throughout your workouts. On the mental side, changing how you train on a regular basis reduces “exercise boredom” and increases the chance of long term adherence to your workout routine.
The question is how do you go about creating diversity in your workouts. Let’s go over some of the ways in which this can be done…
One of the easiest ways to diversify your workout routine is to switch the exercises you do every few weeks. For instance, if you do push-ups to train your chest muscles, you can switch to barbell chest presses, or cable flies. If you do tricep extensions you may switch to dips. You may do leg extensions for a time and then switch to lunges or squats in order to train your quadriceps.
Some body parts have a large number of exercises which target them primarily. With other muscles, the variety is limited. The good thing is that you can also use different variations of the same exercise to create more diversity.
Different Exercise Variations
When you tell someone to do a push-up, they know exactly what you mean. However, push-ups don’t have to be done with your body parallel to the ground and supported by your palms and the tip of your toes. You can do incline and decline push-ups and change the distance between your palms to stimulate your pectoral muscles from different angles.
The lunge is an excellent lower body exercise and there are a number of ways to do it: forward, backward, with dumbbells, etc. Each variation is similar but different.
For the biceps you can do a regular bicep curl or rotate your arms to do a hammer curl. For the triceps you can do a seated tricep extension or a lying one.
Use Different Equipment
Many exercises can be done with a variety of different equipment. This is another way to create diversity. For example, you can do a chest press with dumbbells or a barbell. You can do a bicep curl with a cable pulley or with dumbbells. You can do a rowing exercise with free weights or with a machine.
Combine different exercises together
Each workout is comprised of a collection of exercises. The way you structure your workout and order the exercises in it can also change the overall intensity of the workout. If you want to change things up, consider combining different exercises together or work on different body parts during the same workouts.
For instance, some people advocate working on your chest and triceps on the same workout and on your back and biceps on another. Why not switch things up? Try training your chest and biceps during the same workout and see how you feel.
Use Different Training Programs and Methods
There are two ways you can do this: change the workout plan you follow every few weeks or months. For example, you can follow the Flavilicious Fitness plan for a number of weeks and then switch to the Venus Index program. Each of these programa is intense but they each have a totally different approach to fitness.
You can also do this with training methods which don’t come packaged as a complete program. You can train in a pyramid or do the same number of reps on each set. You can choose to increase the number of reps or reduce them (and the resistance you use accordingly). It’s very easy to create diversity in your workouts if you just put your mind to it.
Take it Outdoors
Finally, one of the easiest ways add diversity to your workouts is to change the environment in which you do them. If you normally train in a gym, do some workouts in a park or play sports. You will be forced to drastically change your workout since you won’t have access to the same equipment you normally do.
The same goes for cardio. You can run for 10 miles straight but if you haven’t swum in a while, you may find yourself gasping for breath shortly after your first stroke in the pool.
Diversifying your workout is not hard. It just takes some thought and the willingness to change things. This is one of the best ways to make exercise more fun and interesting. It is very important for your long term results. So, don’t repeat the same workout over and over again. Spice things up on a regular basis.