How Often Should You Vary Your Bodyweight Workouts?

Hey Alistair! I’ve been doing my new bodyweight workout routine for over a week now. Is it time to mix things up?

Erm no.

Your muscles don’t need a constantly changing stimulus to evolve. They need to be stressed beyond their comfort-zone, given time to rest and regenerate, then stressed again.

Constantly changing the source of that stress means you have no way to gauge progress.

Stick with it. Write down your scores. Try to beat them. Ride this wave of progress!

Eventually a few things might happen which could signal its time to mix things up...

The Workout Becomes Too Easy

Unlike a barbell or resistance machine you can’t keep adding resistance to bodyweight exercises (unless you are using a weighted vest!) This means exercises and combinations of exercises eventually become too easy and no longer trigger any further adaptation in your muscles. This would be a good time to vary your workout.

Your Progress Stagnates

With a determined mindset and consistent action you can go a long way with just a few of your favorite bodyweight exercises. However, like most things in life, any given workout (or exercise) will eventually suffer from diminishing returns and continued progress will be much harder to comeby. Again, this would be a good time to vary your workout.

Boredom Kicks In

I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. I’m not of the opinion workouts need to be fun. I’m of the opinion they should make the rest of your life fun. However, having been comprehensively outnumbered in a number of friendly debates I can see I’m in the minority. Look, if boredom kicks in and you are losing the will to train then obviously mix things up… even if that means departing the progress train before you have maximised your gains from any given routine.

So there you have it.

  • Your workout becomes too easy

  • You stop making progress

  • You get bored of doing the same thing

Three reliable cues which you can use to assess whether its time to vary your bodyweight workout routines.