How to Rotate Workouts At the Gym

When you make the decision to work out at the gym, it can be difficult to come up with a routine that works for you.  It’s important to try out different things, understand what you and your body like or dislike, understand your weak points and areas for improvement, and most importantly, find ways to switch things up so that your body doesn’t get used to the same old daily routine.

We all naturally get comfortable and content with what we know, and many of us like this comfort zone.  Unfortunately, when it comes to working out, having the same routine for extended periods of time may cause a plateau, which is a point in time where you are still working out hard, but seeing no further physical improvement.  To combat plateau periods, it is recommended that you consider rotating workouts.  This is where you switch up your routine a bit every so often so that your body doesn’t get used to anyone’s specific routine.  On average, it is recommended that you rotate routines every three to four weeks.  Rotations also help give your muscles time to recover while also ensuring that you’re working out enough to see results.

Benefits to Rotating Exercises

There are two major benefits to considering a rotating workout schedule.  First, there is a major reduction in the risk of muscle overuse which can lead to injuries.  Doing the same workouts for weeks, months, and maybe even years puts a lot of stress on the same joints.  Your muscles aren’t getting any rest and so, are prone to injury from repetitive stress.  If you’re used to a very regular strength training routine, you may be putting a lot of pressure on joints in your wrists or elbows.  This can cause a chronic soreness that negatively impacts your ability to continue training.  In addition to joint damage, you may experience muscle damage, something is known as the repeated bout effect.

Your Rotations Depend on Your Goals

There are many ways to structure your workouts.  Before you decide on what’s best for you, consider whether you’re more interested in total body workouts or split series workouts?  Are you more interested in burning fat and getting lean or are you looking to bulk up and build muscle?  If you’re considering total body rotations, for example, consider doing one day on and one day off so that you get three days of complete body strength training.  On the off days, consider adding in one or two days of high interval cardio workouts.  This will be a healthy way of both strengthening your muscles and losing fat.  On the other hand, if you are interested in more of a split series routine, you can divide upper and lower body workouts,  For example, you can start your week by focusing on 2-3 upper body muscle groups, focusing the next day on the lower body, then repeat.  Towards the end of the week, consider adding in some quick cardio.

How to Rotate

So, we’ve already talked a bit about total body workouts incorporating cardio and split workouts incorporating cardio, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  If you want to effectively continue to see results, you’re going to have to understand how workouts are broken doawn.  Categories typically include horizontal push, horizontal pull, vertical push, vertical pull, squat, and hip hinge.  When rotating, what you’ll want to do is take an exercise from one category and replace it with another from the same category.  This creates just enough of a ‘difference’ that your body doesn’t start to adapt.  For instance, if you start with a seated row, within a few weeks, you should replace this with something like dumbbell rows. You’ll still be working out the same way, but a bit different to keep things interesting.

Rotating workouts are a great way to keep your body from getting used to your movements, keep muscles from over-working, and see continuous results.  If you’d like to learn more about the rest rotating plan for you, feel free to contact us today!

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