If you’re looking to tone up and increase your strength, then you probably follow a weight-lifting routine as part of your quest to build muscle. Still, if you’re not seeing the gains you had hoped for, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten into a little too much of a routine. If you’re more-or-less following the same weight-lifting routine each time you hit the gym, it may be time to change things up—and here’s why.
Same Weight = No Challenge
When you first started lifting weights, you probably felt like you were pushing your limits with each rep. You woke up sore each morning after a good weight-lifting session. And, of course, you probably started to notice results. Your routine was obviously working, so why would you want to bother changing it?
The problem with this mentality is that your body changes as it becomes adjusted to any particular workout routine. Over time, your muscles grow and those weights that used to really challenge you no longer have the same effect. As a result, you could end up hitting a plateau. This is why it’s so important to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting as your strength increases. The more you continue to challenge your body, the better the gains you’ll see.
When It’s Time to Increase Weight
There is a general rule to keep in mind that will help you determine if and when it’s time to increase your weight load. Typically, if you find that you’re able to complete two additional reps than normal over the course of two lifting sessions, then this is a sign that it’s time to add more weight. The amount of weight to add will vary, but it is usually safe to start by adding 5% increments at a time.
Finally, keep in mind that you should still give your body the rest it needs. Just as not challenging yourself enough can result in a plateau, not giving your muscles the time they need to heal and grow can stunt your progress as well. And of course, remember to fuel your body with the right protein-rich and nutritious foods after a good workout.
Now that you have a better understanding of why switching up your lifting routine matters and when to add more weight to your routine, you can continue to achieve amazing results.