10 Signs You Should Replace Your Old Gym Routine With A New One

April 29, 2016

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Going to the gym is good for your health, but how do you know whether you are getting as much benefit out of your workout routine as you could?

Here are 10 signs to look out for that could suggest you need to shake things up.

1. You’re sore all the time

It is normal to be a bit sore after a trip to the gym, but you shouldn’t have to put up with aching muscles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you cannot remember the last time that you didn’t feel sore, then you either need to reschedule or rework your gym sessions to give your muscles more time to recover. One solution to aching muscles is to take at least one day off between each trip to the gym, but a more time-effective strategy is to work a different group of muscles each time you go.

For instance, gym addicts could concentrate on their legs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and their upper bodies on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

2. Your mind is wandering

As with any hobby, going to the gym can get boring if you do exactly the same thing every time.

If you find your mind wandering off while you are working out, then it is likely that you are not putting the effort in to get the results that you are hoping to achieve.

It is time to make some changes that will reengage your mind and prevent you from losing concentration or motivation. Ask a trainer at the gym to suggest some new exercises that you could try to shake things up, or look online for some new suggestions.

3. You’re not being stretched enough

Workouts often get easier to complete over time. In fact, the idea is that exercises gradually become easier as your body gets stronger and more flexible.

However, if you have gotten to the stage where you can go through your whole workout in complete comfort, then you need to make some changes.

Increase the number of repetitions of each activity, up the amount of time you spend on the machines, or introduce some completely new exercises that you find more challenging.

You should also congratulate yourself on your progress – when a workout that used to be tough becomes easy, that is a clear sign that you have gained in strength and fitness.

4. You dread gym sessions

The gym is a place where you go to get active and push your body to achieve great new things. It should not be a torture chamber.

If you hate going to the gym, then sooner or later you are going to end up skipping sessions and finally giving up your healthy workout habit altogether.

You do not have to keep pushing yourself through a routine that you hate. Be kind to yourself and make a few modifications to make the routine more bearable.

Alternatively, switch from the gym to a form of exercise that you prefer, such as yoga, dancing, swimming or cycling.

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5. You have an injury

When you get an injury, you need to cut back on your usual exercise regime.

You can still go to the gym and work on parts of your body that aren’t affected by the injury while you wait for it to heal, but you really must avoid putting strain on an injured joint, muscle or tendon until you are sure that it is feeling better.

Trying to carry on with your usual gym routine when you have an injury will only make it worse, and could mean that you end up having to take even more time out in total.

6. You keep getting injuries

If you keep getting injured as a result of your gym sessions, then your body is giving you a very clear signal that you need to change what you are doing.

You don’t necessarily have to give up your favorite activities, however. It could be that a change of technique will be enough to make the difference to your suffering body.

Consult a personal trainer to find out whether you are using correct techniques during your workout, and pay attention to any new techniques that he or she recommends. You need to be careful with your body to avoid getting injuries that hang around for years to come.

7. You’re not seeing the results you want

One of the most common reasons for changing a workout routine is that it simply fails to deliver the desired results.

Although you should not expect miracles to occur overnight, you should start to see results appear after you have followed a consistent gym routine for a few weeks or months.

If there are no results at all, then you need to reevaluate the situation. Are you really pushing yourself as hard as you could in cardiovascular portions of your workout?

Are you using the right techniques in all your stretches? Be honest with yourself about what you need to change.

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8. You’re always tired

One of the key benefits of regular exercise for most people is an increase in energy levels. If you find that your gym routine is having the opposite effect on you, then you need to take action.

First of all, check that you are eating and sleeping well, and consider seeing your doctor to rule out underlying medical conditions such as a thyroid disorder.

If there is no obvious reason for your fatigue, then perhaps you are simply overdoing it. Consider easing off on your routine for a while, adding more rest days, and perhaps trying some more relaxing forms of exercise, such as yoga or Pilates.

9. You’re developing some muscles more than others

Different types of exercise develop different muscles. That’s why cyclists often have big thighs, whereas swimmers have shoulders to die for.

It’s ok to work on some muscles more than others, but if you find that you have big biceps popping out of otherwise weedy arms, you might want to shake up your weightlifting routine a little.

Targeted exercises such as bicep curls work very particular muscles, which can lead to imbalances in your arms or legs. The problem with this style of working out is that injuries can easily result when some of your muscles are much stronger than others.

10. You have new goals

Perhaps when you started your gym routine, all you cared about was shifting some excess weight, but now you are actually more concerned about building strength than burning calories.

Every so often, you should think about what your fitness goals are, and modify your workout to help you meet those targets.

Staying active throughout your life is one of the best things you can do for your health, but you will need to change your focus as new health issues crop up over the years. Make sure your workout is right for you right now, not the you that existed several years ago.

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