>Okay, so you are four weeks into your workout program. You are getting comfortable with things. Guess what? That means it’s time to look at making a change.

When you are starting a workout and nutrition program it’s important to set up a good framework that will help take you forward through a lifetime of health and fitness. One part of that framework is understanding the value of changing up workouts

The human body is a wonderfully adaptive machine. As you apply stress to the body in the form of exercise, your body will adapt and grow. As it adapts to the exercises you do and foods you eat, it will require more work to get the same results. This happens to every individual who works out. It happens to every athlete, regardless of sport. The better you get, the harder you have to work in order to see results. Now in your first 18 months, your body is learning movement patterns. You will see amazing gains in strength and stamina in this time period. In order to keep your body moving forward, it’s a very good idea to change up your workouts every 4-6 weeks. Doing this allows your body to learn new movement patterns, practice the old ones, and helps keep things confusing enough that your body doesn’t adapt.

Body for Life recommends changing up your workouts every 4 weeks. Sit down and take a look at what you’ve been doing. Select new exercises to work on. Now this can be a bit challenging with some movements. There are limits to what you can do without access to a gym. Don’t stress over these changes. The goal is to keep yourself from getting into a comfortable place with exercise. You want it to be challenging.

If you have been using the elliptical for your cardio, shift to the bike. Ignore for a moment the conventional wisdom that says machine XYZ works best. You are looking to generate confusion. You’ll be amazed at how a simple change in equipment can leave you gasping for breath. If you rely on outdoor running for your workouts, pick a new route or add a new technique to your intervals. Again, the goal is keep your body guessing.

For weight workouts, there is a wide variety of exercises you can find. A quick internet search will provide lists of exercises and often videos to accompany them. It’s like walking into a Chinese restaurant. Pick one from column A and one from column B. Changing up your exercises also helps you address potential strength imbalances. Even a simple change from a machine based exercise to a free weight based exercise will change things up enough to keep your body guessing.

Make sure to keep notes of what changes you make. Over time, you will find exercises you particularly enjoy, and develop workouts of your own that elicit changes which excite you. You will find new sports to participate in, or fall back in love with old favorites.

Change is a good thing when it comes to workouts. This is the time where you are learning what does and doesn’t work for you. Enjoy it.

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