Here's How Often You Should Change Your Workout Routine

Updated: May 16

When you don't see results from exercise, it's time to change up when you're doing. Here's how often you should change your workout routine to see results.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels


Getting Results: Change the Routine, Not The Difficulty


When working out to lose weight, many people choose to tackle cardio exercises or to adopt a regular weight lifting routine. After all, cardio ups your heart rate, and weightlifting gives you more lean muscle mass. Research shows that the more muscle mass your body has, the more calories you can burn when you're not even in the gym. In reality, however, there isn't one end-all, be-all exercise type that works best in terms of giving people the results they want. Instead, fitness for weight loss or strength-building likely depends on the amount of variety of your workout routine—or, your ability to switch up your workout routine when it gets stale. This is especially true if you're someone that hits weight loss or muscle-building plateaus when exercising.


If you're someone who has plateaued in terms of your fitness goals, you'll need to change how you spend time in the gym. This may leave you wondering: how often should you change your workout routine?—and what to do to change it.

If you hit a plateau in the gym, or you're simply not seeing results that line up with the effort you're putting into your workouts, it makes sense to want to increase their intensity. However, counterintuitively, working out harder doesn't usually help you lose more weight or get stronger.


In reality, it often causes injury or psychological burnout. However, actually changing the workouts you do can give your progress a kickstart and increase motivation and optimism. Here's how to change your workouts in order to see the workout results you want. Learn how and why to switch your routine.


How to Change Your Workout Routine


You likely refer to your "fitness routine" as a "routine" for a reason. It's probably something you do regularly (maybe every day), and it's likely become automatic and habitual now. However, just because your workout is something you've always done, it doesn't mean it's something you should always do. If you are simply not seeing the workout results you want to see, the answer isn't to stick to your routine and do it harder or heavier. Instead, you should switch up what you are doing completely. This might feel difficult for someone who has been working out a certain way for a long time.


So, make sure you change your workout routine in small, incremental steps. Start by spending 10 minutes of your workout on a different machine. If you are a cardio fanatic, go over to the weight machines and spend some time building muscle in your body. If you are a lifter, go over to the bike and spend 10 minutes pedaling. Increase the time you spend doing a new exercise by ten minutes weekly. Over the course of a few weeks, you'll have switched up your gym habits. Your new habits will be a change for your body. This change may be just the thing you physically need to create change in your physical body.


How Often Should You Change Your Workout Routine?


If you wonder: "how often should you change your workout routine?", and how often to incrementally introduce new exercises into your gym time, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best way to know it's time to change your fitness routine is that you've hit some kind of plateau. This can be that your weight loss has stalled, your muscle mass isn't increasing, or you're not finding that you're able to do more difficult workouts, even though your current workout doesn't tire you l Once you're stuck, the answer isn't going harder. The answer is changing things up.


Are you a weightlifter who knows you need to switch to cardio to boost your results? Consider trying running. Here is a helpful guide to learning how to run, which will introduce you to a process to help you slowly and effectively switch to running. This guide will ensure you don't injure yourself by going too hard too fast. It will also make sure you don't get overwhelmed by doing too much of an exercise that you're not yet used to.


What Other Exercises to Incorporate Into Your Fitness Routine


If you now know the answer to, "how often should you change your workout routine?", and you know it's time to change things up, you may feel stumped. After all, you've been doing the same exercises for a long time. Luckily, however, whether you go to a gym or not, there are countless ways you can move your body. Whether you're a lifter who needs cardio or a runner who needs to lift, there are literally countless ways for you to make these switches.


In order to change your routine, do some research into other types of exercise that you don't yet do in the gym. If you're a cardio junkie, consider spending days lifting weights. If you're a lifter, consider spending some days getting your heart pumping instead of focusing on lifting weights. One helpful way to learn about new exercises to consider is to speak to a trainer or staff person at your gym. Many gyms even offer free intro training sessions where a trainer will work with you and your gym's spaces and equipment to show you what kinds of exercise you can do there. This is a good way to find new fitness activities to incorporate into your routine.


For more specific ideas of exercises you might not have considered yet, but that would help you burn through a plateau, consider the following options. Each of these leans either towards muscle building or cardio fitness and offers an option that will give your body some variety from what you're currently doing:


• Hot yoga

• Dance

• High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

• Swimming

• Kickboxing

• Boot camp


You now know how often you should change your workout routine, and you know that you're ready to switch things up. Consider circuit training for a well-rounded fitness experience. Circuit training incorporates multiple types of repeated exercises so you can work different muscle groups and also boost your cardio fitness. One extra benefit of circuit training is that you can do it at home. Here is a simple guide to get you started with circuit training, so you can switch up the way that you are exercising today.


More Tips for Changing Your Workout Routine


You asked, "how often should you change your workout routine"?" and you now understand how to determine the frequency. You've also been given some ideas of what to do. However, changing a routine isn't easy, so here are a few more tips to keep in mind while you get past a plateau.


• Find a workout buddy who does a different type of exercise than you. Ask if you can work out together, and they will likely give you some guidance.

• Consider a sport or physical activity you have fun with. Make this at least one of your regular workouts. We are more likely to actually do workouts that we have fun or enjoy doing.

• Think about joining a gym if you are not a member yet. Gyms give you access to tons of helpful resources that make it easy to regularly change up your routine. These resources include trainers, machines, classes, and more.


Is your fitness goal not to lose weight or build muscle, but instead to improve your mood and boost your overall happiness? If your fitness routine is no longer working to help you feel better, consider checking out our guide to exercises that fight depression. Doing the right type of exercise for you can help lift you out of a funk and keep your mood boosted all day.


So, if you're wondering how often you should change your workout routine to help combat depression, ask yourself if you still feel a mood boost when you work out. If not, it's time to switch up your fitness activities. There is undoubtedly a way you can move your body that can help you improve the way you feel overall.