When it comes to workouts, the majority of individuals fall into one of two categories. Some adore mixing it up: engaging in HIIT one day, going for a run the next, and throwing in a few barre classes for good measure. Others are creatures of routine: their workouts remain consistent day after day, month after month. However, is it detrimental to work out every day if you belong to the second group and perform the same workout each time? (Here’s why one writer declares she will never commit to one type of workout, and another who suggests you should stop attempting to do it all.)
While both approaches have their advantages, most fitness experts will inform you that those who incline towards variety are the ones who truly benefit from exercise – and studies support the fact that workouts that challenge your body in novel ways are the most advantageous over time. Nevertheless, some highly sought-after forms of exercise such as road races, rowing, and cycling necessitate training that more or less follows the same routine consistently. So, can sticking to the same workout every day ever be beneficial? The answer is complex, so continue reading for a comprehensive analysis.
Is It Detrimental to Perform the Same Cardio Workout Every Day?
If you regularly attend indoor cycling classes three times a week or if you are training for a half-marathon, you are undoubtedly reaping the rewards of regular cardio – such as enhanced heart health, improved efficiency in your lower body muscles, and increased calorie expenditure – states Kyle Stull, a NASM-certified trainer and performance enhancement specialist.
“Repeating workouts is not inherently negative, especially if you derive pleasure from what you are doing,” explains Stull. Additionally, research demonstrates that enjoyment is one of the primary reasons why people adhere to a workout routine. Once individuals find an exercise they adore, they will find it difficult to miss a few sessions simply for the sake of diversifying their routine – just ask any avid runner why they never skip their daily runs. Furthermore, some repetition is necessary to acquire new skills. “If you have a goal of improving at something, then you must engage in repetition,” adds Stull. After all, no one would attempt a marathon without performing numerous long runs beforehand.
The only drawback of performing the same workout consistently? The human body is exceptionally adept at adaptation. “Whatever the body is required to repeat, it will become highly proficient at it. After a few months, you may experience the psychological benefits, but not necessarily the physiological benefits,” explains Stull. In other words, what was once an effective calorie-burning workout could end up being no more beneficial than an average stroll, he says.
Shake Things Up
To prevent reaching a plateau and continue enhancing your stamina, vary your cardiovascular exercises so that you don’t perform the exact same workout every day. The easiest way to accomplish this is by adhering to the F.I.T.T. principle (which stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type), as suggested by Jacqueline Crockford, an exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. Implement one of the subsequent steps on a weekly basis.
Firstly, increase the frequency of your exercise routine. For instance, if you have been cycling three days per week, elevate it to four times a week. However, ensure that you allocate one full day of rest each week as well.
Next, elevate the intensity, which can be accurately determined by your heart rate. For example, if you have been working at 70 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR), increase it to 75 percent. A heart rate monitor would be helpful in this regard, but you can also calculate your target heart rate by following these steps:
1. Deduct your age from 220 to determine your MHR (e.g., if you are 30 years old, your MHR is 190).
2. Multiply your MHR by 0.7 (70 percent) to find the lower range of your target zone. Then, multiply your MHR by 0.85 (85 percent) to determine the upper range of your target zone.
3. To calculate your beats per minute (BPM) during exercise, lightly press your first two fingers on the blood vessels inside your wrist, near your thumb. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply the result by six to obtain your BPM. If your beats align with the 70-percent mark, adjust your exercise intensity to reach the upper end of your target zone.
After that, extend the duration of your workout session. If you have been exercising for 30 minutes, add an extra five or 10 minutes.
Lastly, try replacing your usual choice of cardio with a different type of movement. This will help fortify various muscle groups, enhance endurance, and reduce the risk of overuse and potential injury, according to Stull. For instance, instead of cycling, attempt activities like running, swimming, or even dance cardio once a week.
Is It Detrimental to Perform the Same Strength Workout Every Day?
Those dedicated to strength training are often accustomed to following a fixed routine each time they enter the weight room. Here’s some encouraging news for those creatures of habit who enjoy the same workout: To be effective, strength routines should be repetitively executed over a period of time. As Stull affirms, if you’re just commencing a new routine, there are substantial benefits in maintaining consistency. According to Darryn Willoughby, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist and professor at Baylor University, the initial four to six weeks primarily result in neurological improvements as your brain learns the most efficient methods to engage your muscles and complete the exercises.
(Nonetheless, that does not imply you ought to be performing the identical precise exercise every day. Explore this impeccably balanced week of workouts for programming principles.)
Change It Up
The downside: This does not translate into enhanced muscle size (yet). “A good overall time frame to anticipate observable progress is 12 to 16 weeks, but it varies by individual and intensity of training,” adds Willoughby. That is why you do not want to give up a month into a new strength training program simply because you are not seeing “results” in the mirror. If you are beginning a new program, commit to that 12-week time frame. But after that, as your body adjusts to the routine, you will need to alter your program in order to continue reaping the advantages and keep witnessing results, says Willoughby.