The Neutral Corner: Death To Routine! Keep Your Body Guessing For A More Effective Workout

As we get deeper into the new year and all the allure of the new year,new you fitness resolutions starts to fade it’s time to review your program and make sure your not getting stuck in a fitness rut. Whether it’s boxing, a group exercise class, or your own program it’s very easy to find yourself doing the same movements repeatedly every workout…remember these four words ROUTINE IS THE ENEMY.

Think of it like this; if you take an aspirin everyday one day when your head is really pounding your going to take that aspirin and it will be ineffective. The human body has an amazing ability to adapt, so that really grueling workout that you’ve been doing everyday will eventually become easier and easier and no longer effective.  Wait. Isn’t that the point of training, to get better at workouts that used to be hard? Yes but an even bigger no. Yes, the idea is that as your level of fitness increases your work load capacity will increase so your performance during a specific workout should improve. No in the sense that your body will adapt to whatever stimulus that you are putting it through, when this occurs your muscle memory takes over and your no longer shocking your nervous system as effectively as you would through the introduction of a new movement, load, or rep scheme.

Here’s a few tips to avoid this when training.

– Keep the body guessing. Don’t always follow the same schedule week to week. If possible switch up your daily fitness routine don’t always weight train every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and run or box every Tuesday and Thursday. Flip that schedule week to week just to keep your body guessing.

– If boxing is your program of choice don’t always follow the same routine. As a boxing trainer I know typical boxing workouts can be very monotonous as they should be to help instill the necessary skills to be successful. But unless your training to box competitively there’s nothing wrong with adding a little fun variety to your workout. Spend time working on combinations, play around with the round time, (it’s doesn’t always have to be 3 minutes on and 1 off) Mix in some body weight exercises or core movements in between rounds. This will make things fun and challenge you in new ways.

– If your following a strength based programming, there should be some sort of linear progression as far as loading. Meaning depending on the program the weight prescribed for each movement should increase from week to week and decrease periodically for deloading and recovery purposes. Doing this correctly will increase your strength and also keep you from hitting plateaus too quickly.


Keep it fun and fresh in the gym, challenge yourself in new ways as often as possible and your body will thank you…Go be great!

Jeff Hunter
About the Author:

Jeff Hunter. Passion for fitness and results based training is what drives Jeff to share his knowledge with the world. With over 6 years of experience as a personal trainer and strength & conditioning coach, Jeff brings a wide range of practical know-how from his experience with the general population and also elite athletes. Jeff is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and is also a USAW and USA boxing coach. You can find him training out of the Everlast Lab in Hoboken, NJ.