It’s important to follow workouts week in and week out. They help keep you accountable, as well as make sure your workouts are properly structured. Going into the gym with no plan makes for a pretty poor workout. It can be fun, but if you want the best workout, it’s important to have a plan going in.
There are many great programs out there for a wide range of ability levels, as well as a wide range of goals. From the many powerlifting programs to the many conditioning and endurance programs, the options are endless. Regardless of the program, at a certain point the results will max out, or it will get dreadfully boring. There are a few reasons to move on from the program you’re running.
You Aren’t Improving Anymore
Although programs are great to follow and can take you a long way, they all have varying levels and limits. A beginner program isn’t going to take you to an advanced level, just as a generic advanced program isn’t going to take you to the Olympics. It can take you a long way, but at a certain point, your current program is going to stop being useful.
The best example is the 5×5 Stronglifts Program. For the beginner this program can take you a long way because the body adapts quickly at this stage, with little recover necessary. For an advanced lifter, this program isn’t going to give enough in the form of assistance exercises. It is also going to be impossible for the advanced lifter to add 5 lbs to their lifts each and every week. When the gains stop coming from a program, it is time to adjust or change it.
You Aren’t Having Fun
Lifting should be fun. It should not feel like you have to force yourself to show up to the gym each and every day. Running the same program for months on end is exhausting both physically and mentally. Even if you are improving, what is the point if you are losing your passion for it all. This is not true if you have a coach and you’re training for a competition. Competing in bodybuilding, powerlifting, or anything else is almost never fun just before a competition.
If you are a casual lifter, feel free to change your program up in order to make it more enjoyable. Preferably at the end of running your current one. Find a new one to follow, make sure it is different, and follow it to the best of your ability. Or write your own with the exercises you enjoy most, but realize that there are people out there that would be able to write you a much better version 99% of the time.
You’re Changing Goals
In bodybuilding, a cutting workout plan is not going to get you massive results when you are trying to bulk. For a bulk, much of the cardio is taken out of the plan. Just like if you are trying to bulk, you probably should not be doing hours and hours of cardio every single week. Your program should reflect what you are attempting to do, not just be a random program.
The same idea goes for changing of sports entirely. A bodybuilding program will look nothing like an Olympic Weightlifting program, and a powerlifting program will not look like a CrossFit one. Although some exercises like deadlift, squat, and some overhead presses will likely be incorporate into each, they do not at all work towards the same goals. The strength sports (weightlifting and powerlifting) will have more sets with less reps like 5 set of 5. While bodybuilding will incorporate much more of 4 sets of 8-15, and CrossFit will work in all of the ranges, as well as incorporate much more endurance.
Whatever the reason for change, it never hurts to give something else a try.