How often should you change exercises

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Alternating exercises

Posted by Fred

I have lifted on a and off for many years, I am in no way a professional or a body builder like most of the participants on this board, but I have been trying to learn more about how to train smart to get the most out of my lifting for the time I have to put into it. So here is one of my questions:

On the days I do bicep work, I do lying barbell preacher curl and one arm concentration curls. I was wondering if after a week, month , 6 months etc.. if it would be beneficial to switch to different bicep exercises like standing barbell curls and seated dumbbell curls, for a while ?. Would I be able to follow this same method for other area’s like triceps, legs, chest etc…? How often should I change?

Re: Alternating exercises

Posted by Spencer

It's good to change your overall routine every three to six months. You need to remain on a program long enough to allow your muscles to get used to the exercise so that you can continue to add weight in a progressive manner. After all that's what weight training is all about.

I recommend that you take a tape and do your measurements prior to starting a new program. After three or four months when you are ready to change your workout, take the tape again to chart your progress. As well as being a great motivator, it will allow you to see what areas need improvement. For an example you may need to adjust your routine to include more delt work, etc. Having said this, there is certainly no harm in adding or subtracting some exercises from your program from time to time.

Most of us would agree that changing exercises often results in a temporary setback until the muscles get conditioned to the change. But a new program will challenge your muscles and will assist in your overall development. It also keeps your workouts interesting and therefore you will feel more motivated in the gym.

None of these rules are cut in stone. The fact that you trained for several years is an indicator that you are clearly on the right track!


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