You’ve probably heard the proverb, “Variety is the spice of life.” There is a lot of truth to it because monotony hinders creativity and makes our days grey and bland. But did you also know that variety is vital for workout success? While some people enjoy a rigid structure and don’t mind doing the same thing for months on end, changing things up offers many benefits. So, whether you’ve been reluctant to change things or need some confirmation that variety is good, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll go over six significant reasons why having workout variety pays huge dividends.
Let’s dive in...
It Keeps Things Interesting
The most notable reason why variety is vital is because of enjoyability. The more times we do a given workout, the duller it gets. Sure, it feels exciting at first, and we get to make progress. But, within a few weeks, the exercises get boring, the structure becomes too predictable, and the overall experience becomes too rigid. And while some suggest that fitness isn’t supposed to be fun or exciting, we disagree. Fitness should be fun, and you should look forward to upcoming workouts. That’s the only way to keep things fresh, stay motivated, and remain consistent in the long run.
Ask yourself this: If you continuously dread each upcoming workout, how likely are you to stick with it in the long run?
It Helps You Develop Multiple Characteristics
Many people have a one-dimensional approach to fitness and work on a single characteristic: strength, power, muscle mass, a specific skill, or something else. There is nothing wrong with that approach. But fitness needs balance, and achieving this happens by developing multiple characteristics. For instance, strength alone is nothing special if you’re not endurant and explosive. Sure, it can come in handy, but it keeps you boxed in, and there is little you can do effectively. In contrast, being strong, endurant, and explosive makes you functional, athletic, and better able to tackle everyday challenges.
Mobility and flexibility are also important. Developing characteristics like strength and speed can be beneficial. But unless you can move your body freely, these skills are on a shaky foundation. The great thing about variety is that you get to develop different aspects of your fitness. As a result, you become more balanced, less likely to get injured, and more likely to enjoy the process.
It Benefits Your Daily Life More
As we discussed in the previous point, exercise variety helps you develop multiple characteristics. In turn, this benefits your daily life more and makes you more functional. Unlike many workout-specific activities that mostly rely on a single characteristic (e.g., strength), life doesn’t work in such a narrow window. Most of our daily tasks require several skills and capacities, and the more well-rounded we are, the more we can contribute to life. Take, for example, carrying groceries. Sure, this action requires strength, but it also requires muscular and aerobic endurance. Moving furniture is similar: though we need power, we also need endurance, adequate work capacity, and the ability to lift large and awkward objects.
The more varied your training is, the better equipped you will be to handle such tasks with grace.
It Keeps Your Body From Adapting Fully
The primary difference between exercising and training is progressive overload. The principle states: “To see improvements (be it strength, muscle gain, or any other positive athletic adaptation), you need to impose more stress than your body is used to.”
In other words, to see improvements over the long run (regardless of your fitness goals), you need to push yourself and do things you haven’t done before. Of course, this isn’t to say that you should program hop and never repeat the same workout. It only suggests that we need to change things up periodically and maintain a healthy workout variety.
This helps us prevent stagnation and allows us to progress well for many years.
It Helps Prevent Overuse Injuries
Another huge (and overlooked) benefit of workout variety is that it helps prevent overuse injuries. Such issues come from repetitive motion that slowly ruins the integrity of different tissues and eventually culminates into an injury. For example, if you squat heavy three times per week, you might eventually develop hip, knee, or ankle issues. This is because these joints receive the same type of stress consistently, and your body doesn’t have enough time to repair them.
In contrast, doing unique exercises each time you train your legs can provide a varied type and magnitude of stress. Your joints and connective tissues get stressed in a variety of ways, which helps prevent cumulative injuries.
It Teaches You One Vital Fitness Fact
If nothing else, workout variety teaches us a critical fact about fitness: We can achieve the same outcome through different tactics.
Many people approach training with a rigid mindset. For example, “I must do this specific combination of exercises to reach my goals. If I can’t do the barbell bench press, I won’t be able to develop my chest or pushing strength.”
In truth, this mindset is counterproductive because it boxes people in unnecessarily. Instead of making the most of the available equipment, they force themselves to use a small percentage of items, thinking that everything else is useless.
A direct benefit of internalizing this fact is that you will be better able to make the most of your training environment, regardless of how optimal or complete it is. For example, many people today feel discouraged because they think that home training won’t cut it. The idea is, home training is too easy and only suitable for beginners. But is that the case? Well, no, it isn’t. The fact is, you can have amazing workouts in the comfort of your home. If you invest a bit of money in some essential equipment, your workouts will be even better. If you’re interested, head over to our shop and see what we have to offer.
Instead of feeling sabotaged by your circumstances, embrace what you have. Chances are, you have a lot more potential for good workouts than you believe.