Humans are creatures of habit, and when it comes to exercise, there is no exception. When we go to the gym, we like to stay where we’re comfortable. We use the machines we recognize and the same stretches that we learned in our elementary school gym class. But if you’re stuck in your fitness journey or have stopped seeing results, repetitive training is the likely culprit.

We preach #theEPIClife around on four main pillars, the first of which is Functional Training. Based on exercise science, we love functional training because it combines bio-mechanical science with physics and psychology to mold your body and expand your mind so you can expect health benefits in all aspects of your life.

A part of this is making sure that we switch up your workout routines. Regular exercise is, of course, very good for you- so kudos there!- but variety is just as important. Our bodies, and in particular our muscles, get used to movements quickly so if we have our bodies repeat the same movements we become very efficient at it. This means that while we still feel the general benefits (positive heart health, endorphins, etc.) we stop seeing and feeling the physiological benefits. Here is why changing your workout routine is such a good thing.

Break a weight-loss plateau
When you are practising the same movements, your body gets so used to them that you actually stop expending energy at the same rate. This means that you are putting in the same amount of work each time but progressively are burning fewer and fewer calories (energy). Not ideal. Challenging your body with different exercises forces your body to work harder in order to complete this new movement or activity so you are actually burning more.

Build new muscles
A great reason to switch up your workout routine is to use different muscle groups. You want to do a little bit of everything so you’re not solely focusing on one part of your body (this also help you to not look like a triangle- NEVER skip leg day). Working all areas of your body means that you’ll be ready to participate in lots of different activities and sports- even if it’s just for fun! This also helps to build endurance so you can do the things you like more with fewer injuries.

Overcome boredom
“Boring” is one of the last words you should ever use to describe your workouts- but it will be if you’re doing the same things all the time. If you’re bored during your workout how motivated do you think you will be to continue? This is a slippery slope that we recommend you stay far, FAR away from.

Avoid overuse injuries
By switching up your workout routine you’re not running the risk of overusing your muscles. You allow them more time to rest and recover and in the event that you do get injured, mixing up your exercises lets you workout others parts of your body while your rehabilitating your injury.

Stay mentally sharp
Exercise is good for the brain, generally speaking, preventing things like memory loss. This is enhanced when you start to mix up your routine since your body is learning something new or doing something that’s a little bit different and keep those neurons firing.

Making changes to your routine doesn’t have to be daunting. You can find a lot of value in just tweaking things a bit. Like to run on a treadmill? Why not try outdoors or add speed intervals. There are no shortages of exercises you can try or even variations of your favourites!

At EPIC, we change routines every four-six weeks - it’s important to note here that not changing your program is just as inefficient as changing it every time! Keep a program the same for at least 4 weeks for the best results. Otherwise, you are not allowing for proper neuromuscular connections (skill development). This leads to poor technique and an increase in stress hormones since your body can never quite master the skill. That’s not to say that we throw out your program and start from scratch all over again every 4 weeks. Technically, the exercise principles are the same but the intensity and the velocity changes. We don’t change what we are doing but how we are doing it so that you can see better results!