When it comes to strengthening exercises, we need to alter our exercise program as our body adapts to make sure that we continue to get stronger. Of course changing the exercises that we do is an important part of this, however there is an easy trick that is often forgotten that is important to add.
What is this trick?
Before you change your exercises completely, you should consider changing the number of repetitions that you do. Repetitions are the number of times you perform an exercise repeatedly before taking a break. They are organized into what are called sets. The number of sets is the number of times you perform each complete series of repetitions with a break in between. Some commonly used repetition ranges for exercises are 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
We easily become regimented in our routines and perform the same number of repetitions of an exercise without giving any thought to changing these numbers. While changing the repetitions of an exercise is a subtle and simple change, there is a good reason to use it. You see the body adapts to the repetitions that we do at a faster rate than it adapts to our exercise selection. The success of most exercise programs centres around trying to make it difficult for the body to adapt to an activity, as body changes come through challenge. By changing your repetitions, you not only challenge your body more, but you also lengthen the period of time in which you need to change the exercises themselves.
How often should you change your repetitions and your exercises?
The time frame to consider changing your repetition range is around 4-6 weeks into a new program. The time frame in which most people need to change the exercises in their program is around the 10-12 week mark. Of course there are a few exceptions to this, however for most people these time lines prove to be effective.