How important is variety to you?

To keep from boredom and to shock your muscles, does anyone else here try to put as much variety as possible into their workouts, or do you stick to a daily/weekly routine?

I'm curious because I've tried variety and hear it is the best way to get into great shape, but it's hard to constantly be creative and find new workouts.

I wondered if anyone else has experience with this.


  • Foamroller
    Foamroller Posts: 1,041 Member
    I vary WO and intensities to prevent getting too comfy in exercise adaptation. It's also good to work different muscles regularly to not get muscle imbalances and less strain on particular joints/ligaments/tendons by overworking them repeatedly.

    Keep challenging yourself and you'll never get bored :)
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    To keep from boredom and to shock your muscles, does anyone else here try to put as much variety as possible into their workouts, or do you stick to a daily/weekly routine?

    It really depends on the objectives one wants to achieve. To make progress then one has to progressively increase the demand on the system from the training; progressive overload. If one is ocntinuously changing the workouts in other ways then there is limited opportunity to benefit from progressive overload.

    So for me, increasing distances, speeds and terrain allows me to improve my performance. For others that'll be about adding weight to their sessions.

    There is little point in randomly varying the sessions in the name of variety.
  • livingleanlivingclean
    livingleanlivingclean Posts: 11,751 Member
    edited May 2015
    Muscles don't get shocked or confused. I prefer sticking to a program so I can assess progression (Strength/weight, reps etc)
  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
    I use a variety. Don't know about my muscles but I get bored if I'd just do the same thing over and over again. So to keep me motivated I use several types of excersise
  • AmazonMayan
    AmazonMayan Posts: 1,168 Member
    Variety in types and getting outside to different places when I can keeps me craving movement.

    I work harder and faster when I'm exploring a new hiking trail in state parks or new (to me) walking/running path along creeks and rivers. I'm lucky enough to be near a somewhat decent variety of options. When I can get a bike, a lot of these areas have bike trails to explore as well.

    Indoor exercise like lifting and other strength kind of stays the same but try to go heavier when it gets easy.
  • omgfluke
    omgfluke Posts: 4 Member
    I run 5 times a week and find variety within those workouts, tempo runs, long runs, intervals, new routes, hill runs, gym work, form work...and losing weight.
  • kpodaru
    kpodaru Posts: 133 Member
    it's' good to switch things up once in a while because doing the same thing all the time gets boring and you often don't push yourself if you're stuck in a rut. then you start to lose motivation to keep going since you're not seeing results as often or as dramatic as when you first started going.

    besides, switching things up is fun and gives your body a different kind of workout. tennis, running, trail running, cycling, martial arts etc are all great ways to stay active and burn calories. i do a lot of lifting but like you, started to find the routine a little mundane even though i continued to add weight but i needed something more. then i started muay thai and loved it! i split my time between that and lifting but i lift lighter since it's hard to move in muay thai if your'e bulky. these changes reignited my passion for the gym since 1) i'm lifting differently and 2) i'm not there as often.
  • lavrn03
    lavrn03 Posts: 235 Member
    I workout 6 days a week so I need variety to keep it fun. I feel that's what keeps me more active. I do: walking indoor or out, elliptical, bike, jog, water aerobics, oh and strength training.
    I actually hate my rest days because I've loved being active and love how I feel post workout!!
  • determined_14
    determined_14 Posts: 258 Member
    The most important thing for me is variety *within* my workouts. If I do cardio, I would way rather do a Tababa-format of various total-body exercises than just jog a few miles. Pushing through the hard parts is easier if it's not boring!
    If I'm strength-training, I would way rather do 5-8 reps a set than 10-15-- I get bored! (I'm a fan of super-sets for this reason too.) In this, I'm fortunate that my primary goal right now is strength gains. ;)
  • Fujiberry
    Fujiberry Posts: 400 Member
    Not very important. I've only done 2 programs in the year and a half I've been lifting. I can't tell if a program is working if I keep switching it up. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. :P
  • Charliegottheruns
    Charliegottheruns Posts: 287 Member
    " GAS " General Adaption Syndrome: A syndrome in which your body responds and adapts to imposed demands....... Once adaption has occurred, the body will require increased stress or overload to produce a new response and a higher level of fitness. A prolonged intolerable stressor produces fatigue and leads to a breakdown in the system or injury such as stress fractures, muscle strains, joint pain, and emotional fatigue.
    A key word to goggle would be:
    " Undulating Periodization ": Dividing up a long term training program into smaller, progressive stages.
    The primary benefit of periodization is maximize levels of adaptation, while minimizing overtraining.
    This can be done by adjusting the acute variables in your program design and is generally performed in 4,6, or 8 week cycles, but not necessary limited to that.
  • mwyvr
    mwyvr Posts: 1,883 Member
    Variety is important to me only 50% of the time. Some days I start my run with left foot forward; other days I mix it up and start my run with my right foot.
  • missh1967
    missh1967 Posts: 661 Member
    As I get older, I need variety to avoid overuse injuries.
  • yesimpson
    yesimpson Posts: 1,372 Member
    I try to do a variety of exercises to avoid injury and to try to improve my strength, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility. So I do a mix of running, lifting weights, stretching, swimming and cardio machines (elliptical, rower etc.). Running is my favourite, but the other exercise types support progress in that area, as well as stopping me getting bored.
  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
    Varying things just for the sake of doing so, while helping with boredom, typically results in not making as much progress as you would with a more structured program. Muscles don't need shocked or confused.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,261 Member
    I shock my muscles by using a hair dryer in the tub.

    Just kidding.

    I don't vary my routine a whole lot. I do 5/3/1 3x/wk and walk 2x/wk. I'm starting to add back a bit of running now that the weather is nicer but that will end up taking place of walking most likely. I'm also going to start doing 1 conditioning session from the Greyskull conditioning book that I have, each week. I think I'm going to do the same one each week for a month so that I can gauge improvement and then the next month I'll pick a new one to do.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 25,164 Member
    I like variety to alleviate boredom and also to use different muscles.

    For the most part my variety right now consists of cycling different routes with different terrain and different scenery on the weekends + walking different routes with different terrain and different scenery during the week.

    But over the years, I have taken yoga classes and spinning classes, done weightlifting at home and at gyms, walked and ran on treadmills, ran outside, gone cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, gone hiking in the mountains, paddled a canoe and have made some attempt at boogieboarding (body boarding?).

    It's all good ... keeps the fun in it. :smiley:
  • Jennloella
    Jennloella Posts: 2,286 Member
    Something different every day! Pole dancing, swimming, punching bag, bike, running, yoga, weight lifting, or a DVD I have to keep myself interested
  • rjason2015
    rjason2015 Posts: 64 Member
    I mix it up with wakeboarding, trampoline,weights and UFC fit DVDs .
  • mccraee
    mccraee Posts: 199 Member
    I love crossfit because of the variety. Every time is different. THat being said, we do repeat some basics over time (pull ups, cleans, deadlifts, etc etc) and I love seeing my progress on these. I go three times a week and then do something active on the other days (ride my bike, walk, garden)