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abett07 02-05-2012 06:14 AM

changing your workout routine to often ?
over the past 6 months I have learnt so much from this website about building size and strength.1 piece of advice that I find hard to follow is to stick with one routine for a long period of time or as long as it works.

how bad is it to keep changing workout routines every 3 months before it stops working even when going from a good routine to another good routine ?

I would also like to hear how often MAB members change workout routines

tanks for any feedback

LtL 02-05-2012 06:57 AM

For a short period of time, especially early in your lifting career, anything will work for you for a while. The problem with only running a routine for a short period of time is that you'll never know what works for you because it's right or what works just because it's new.


Off Road 02-05-2012 08:50 AM

When you stick to a routine, you work up to using bigger weights. When you switch routines, you generally start off a bit lighter. So if you constantly switch routines then you are constantly using lighter weights than you are capable of using if you had stuck to it. You want to continue to use heavier and heavier weights, so in that case switching routines frequently is a bad thing.

If you like to switch routines a lot, then a good thing to do is stay consistant with a few of the core lifts and switch up the accessory lifts to suit your mood. For bodybuider tyes; for "Back Day" you could always start with a deadlift using a consistant progression scheme, but follow it with different upper back movements. For "Chest Day", start with a consistant bench press progression, then add in different chest and tricep movements.

Beast 02-05-2012 09:23 AM

Abett07, why do you find it hard to stick to one routine? Do you get bored or is there some other reason?

I've been guilty of varying my training program often in the past - some of my lifts have shot up whilst others have stagnated. Your body doesn't know what training program its on, it just adapts to training stimulus. However, like LtL says, if you vary your training too often then you may not learn what works best for you. Sticking with a program for a decent period of time helps you establish the type of stimulus that works best for you.

BendtheBar 02-05-2012 11:59 AM

To be honest, I didn't change workouts for over 20 years.

My advice for younger lifters reading this is to stop worrying about specific routines and start thinking about improving lifts. Work hard, get stronger and evolve your training based on how things are going.

Most workouts are the same lifts in different packages.

You need to allow your body to adapt to the conditioning demands of a workout so you can start to focus on improving performance (strength progression). If someone keeps changing routines a lot of the adaptation they are experiencing is to the specific conditioning demands of that program, and do not necessarily translate into strength and muscle gains.

It is only once your body has adapted to a program that you can start to improve performance.

Rest pause training for example. I decided to experiment with it in 2008. For the first 4 weeks my body was adapting to the specific demands of the program and my strength gains were in a hover pattern. Once my body adapted to the pace of the program, and gained conditioning, my strength gains started to skyrocket.

This is the same for any athletic pursuit. If you take up running it will take you 4 to 6 weeks perhaps before you can run a mile without feeling like a physical wreck. Once you have built up some basic ability, then you can focus on improving performance.

This performance improvement might take 6 months, a year or 18 months. If you keep changing up how you train your running during this time you might be spending too much time, energy and recovery ability adjusting to new demands. Instead, you should be focused on improving your performance, making minor tweaks to your existing training protocol.

Lifting...same thing. Spend too much time playing around and adapting to new programming demands and you're taking time away from improving your performance.

The best thing a starting lifter can do is to stop thinking in terms of programs and workouts as t-shirts that they can try on. Instead, look at the commonalities, find a rep scheme and progression scheme that appeals to them, and run with it, making changes along the way.

When people jump into the Reeve's fullbody we advice them to start very slow because the conditioning demands and extremely unique when compared to a split. It is only after 4-6 weeks, once you have adapted to the conditioning demands of the program, that you can get down to business. The important business.

Lifting has become so over-marketed that every program has a slick name, and are positioned to look unique so they are appealing. Ignore all this and look for the commonalities.

BendtheBar 02-05-2012 12:16 PM

Now, to contradict myself...

Don't take my above sentiments as meaning never change programs. It can be fun to try new ideas, and lifting isn't life or death.

I simply think it's better to occasionally try new ideas that are found in different programs as opposed to completely changing your program, if that makes sense.

There is a balance in all this. I see some guys on other forums who are squatting 185-205 after 3-4 years and that's simply not getting it done. Progression on the big lifts has to remain the cornerstone, no matter what you do.

JTurner 02-05-2012 05:34 PM

All great advice above and nothing more to add on that.


Originally Posted by abett07 (Post 214044)
I would also like to hear how often MAB members change workout routines

I have followed the same basic routine for 13 months now and still progressing nicely. The main focus is progression of the big 4 lifts. Assistance has changed at some points but only after enough time to say that something isn't having a big impact or to target specific weaknesses.

Prior to this I switched around routines not making much progress. It's only once I spent time getting the form right on exercises, eating properly and concentrating on putting more weight on the bar that I actually made any progress.

bamazav 02-05-2012 09:33 PM

This thread might make a good newb sticky. OR and BTB your posts were spot on.

One thing I have loved about 5/3/1 is that once you get the main lift protocol (the 5/3/1) aspects down, you can adjust the accessories to fit your desires. Since the cycles are only 4 week cycles, I have experimented to find what fits my schedule and life or moves me toward my goals best. 1st cycle I followed the Periodization Bible Template, 2nd wendler's BB template, 3rd and 4th cycles I used a hybrid of 5/3/1 and Baby Got Back. My next cycle, starting tomorrow, will be a fullbody 3 day cycle. The key, is as Steve (BTB) wrote, focus on big lifts, compounds, and build around those.

abett07 02-06-2012 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by Beast (Post 214060)
Abett07, why do you find it hard to stick to one routine? Do you get bored or is there some other reason?


I dont get bored , its more that I look in the mirror and see something I dont like and think a new workout can fix this.
For example my upper back is a bit behind the rest of my body so I thought my current workout (reeves routine ) dosent have enough upper back work, so I considerd going to a routine that has about twice as much upper back work .

This was why I made this thread because I was thinking about going to my 4th workout in 6 months .I will stay on the reeves workout and if I have to I will just put some more upper back work into that.

abett07 02-06-2012 12:23 PM

Thanks for all the feedback,some great info has been provided .

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