Daily Archives: July 11, 2017

How to make progress: Part 5 – Variation

“You must change exercises frequently in your workouts to avoid stagnation, confuse your muscles!”
 
Well yes and no.
 
To adapt and overcome you need to have frequent exposure to a stimulus, the same stimulus in fact. that way your body will have time to fatigue, react and adapt, if you chop and change what you do too often then you won’t actually create the stress you need and as such not progress in the most optimal way.
 
Exercise variation is not a bad thing by any means, however you’ll find the most successful programs are the most boring because they don’t have too much variation, and the variation they do have has a direct correlation/crossover to their main/staple workout.
 
Let’s say you’re wanting bigger legs, how can you achieve this?
 
Squats would be the correct answer.
 
Lot’s of squats.
 
Now, what you will find is that your accessory movements (the ones you do after the meat and potatoes – squat) can have some variance to allow you to stave off boredom, however these would probably change every 3-6 weeks depending on your personality.
 
For example;
 
Lunges with a parrot dumbbells could become pistol squats with a kettlebell or even a split squat, so a similar movement patter with a different emphasis on the loading perimeters.
 
The main lift would stay the same because to cage that too often would cause lacklustre results.
 
It’s a common problem that people want novelty in their training all the time, and while there is nothing wrong with this it offers little to no results for the majority of people. Chances are you may know a person who does different things all the time and looks great, well you’re not them, they’re there exception and you don’t want to base how YOU respond on them because you’re not them, no matter how much you want to be.
 
Consistency is the key to progress, don;t change too much and if you have to make changes try to do so under the guise of ‘Same but different’ – this means a similar movement patter with perhaps a variant on loading, position of the bar, tempo etc.
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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