The muscle-building secret you’ve been missing: How balancing routine and novelty can help your progres

When it comes to building muscle and strength, some fitness professionals will say to “just stick to a routine” and other will say that “switching exercises can be more effective”. They are both right and they are both wrong. Here is why and how find the right balance between the two.

On one hand, sticking to a routine can help you become proficient at a particular exercise or set of exercises and see progress over time. The more you do an exercise, the better you will become at it by improving form and technique and help muscle growth. However, there is a point where your body will reach a plateau and progress will slow down.

On the other hand, switching exercises can help you avoid plateaus and keep your body challenged. Novelty is a key factor in muscle growth and progress. When you switch exercises, your body is forced to adapt to new movements, which can lead to further muscle and strength gains.

To balance the two you will have to start by sticking to a routine for a period of time, long enough to see progress and adapt the central nervous system (CNS). Once you have reached a point where the CNS has adapted, you can start changing exercises to take advantage of novelty.

It’s also important to keep your core exercises consistent and improve the form and technique. Core exercises include exercises that target your abdominal, lower back and hips muscles. Some examples of core exercises are:

  • Planks
  • Russian twists
  • Deadlifts
  • Leg raises
  • Sit-ups
  • Pull-ups

By keeping your core exercises consistent, you’ll maintain a solid foundation of strength, improve your form and strengthen your technique while still challenging your body in new ways by changing/adding other exercises.

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