Priority #8

Going hand in hand with Priority #2, Exercising Efficiently, keeping your workouts ever changing and fresh is essential for results, to alleviate boredom, and reduce overuse injuries. Constant and renewed challenge to the body is pinnacle to achieve results. With so many options to keep your body active, there is no need to do chest on Monday, biceps on Friday, and 30m on the elliptical as a cardio warm-up … or even head to a gym at all. Repeating the same workout routine, using the same devices is not only redundant to the body and boring to the mind, but it puts your results to a screeching halt because the body becomes efficient at repeated tasks. Continual and constant variation in your workouts is not as hard as it seems and will keep the results you want coming and prevent you from getting injured.


Strategic Variation ®

Tom Purvis, founder of the Resistance Training Specialist courses states:


“You do in fact need exercise variety, and the principle of Strategic Variation® is based upon using complementary exercises to create synergistic stimulation... versus traditional variation which typically offers little more than exercise redundancy and excessive joint wear.” 

Read the full article and about all RTS Priorities here:


The Same Exercise a Dozen Ways

The simplest of exercises, a biceps curl, or elbow flexion can be performed:

  1. With Dumbbells
    1. Standing
    2. Seated
    3. Together
    4. Alternating
    5. ‘Hammer’ position (fundamental neutral radio-ulnar position)
    6. Twisting on the way up
    7. Reclined on a bench
    8. With slight external rotation of the shoulder
  2. With a fixed Barbell
  3. With a cable stack
  4. Using Rubber Resistance Tubing: together, alternating, attached from behind, underneath, above, or in front
  5. Using a machine in a shoulder flexed ‘preacher’ position

 The point is that there are options like this available to you with each and every exercise. So, rotate your tires!


Detriment to Joint Surfaces

Beyond the limbs you see moving during exercise, there is an internal picture. Joints, muscle, tendons, cartilage, bursa, and ligaments, all play a role. Muscle and tendon produce movement while ligaments regulate movement, and cartilage protects bone surface. So, resisted exercise, whether it be bench press or the treadmill, if done the same way, (speed, time, angle, load, etc.), is more than just the same visible motion being repeated. Continual repetition of the same joint movements can create specific wear patterns between contact surfaces of bones leading to overuse injuries such as breakdown of cartilage, tendonitis, and arthritis. Realize too that overuse and degenerative injuries are seldom noticed until it’s too late. Movement patterns must be varied often and allowed to regrow and recover.


Get Some Advice From A Fitness Professional

To find some options that work for you and add variation to your workout, hire a Personal Trainer. Purchase a few sessions and go in telling them that you are hiring them as a consultant, want options to your existing program with strategies set out, workouts written down, and explanation as to the what and why behind it all. If you have equipment of your own and/or the motivation to get workouts in yourself this is a great way to further your knowledge base.


One of the most important and neglected aspects to a regular workout program is recovery. Rest, nutrition, and hydration are healing properties that allow the body to regenerate to become stronger and resilient. Too much, too often, too similar, sets a course for injury, degeneration, and even autoimmune disease.


One Set - Two Sets - Three Sets - Four

How many sets? How many Reps? What’s the Range? Tempo? Manipulative variables are numerous. Unless your goal is competitive bodybuilding, for most fitness goals, two sets of the same exercise is completely adequate.

Vary The Intensity

This was discussed in Exercise Efficiently but I cannot stress how important it is to not go ‘Balls to the Wall’ all the time, or have a ‘No Pain No Gain’ mentality. True health and fitness is a life long endeavor. It is not measured by the number on the scale every day or week, how much you can lift, or how far/long you can run. It is about having a plan of action that involves progression & variation, staying the course, and most of all, being patient.

Read More About Variation HERE

Never Repeat The Same Workout