If you have been performing the same occlusion training exercise routine for months, you may find that your workouts have become too easy and that you no longer see the results you once did. You may feel a sense of accomplishment at being able to easily do what once was a challenge, but the program will no longer be pushing your body to the point required to build your physique. In order to make your regular gym visits worth your time and money, consider these tips to make your workouts more effective.
Target Different Muscle Groups
If you exercise the same muscle groups without a break, you can find yourself facing two problems. Number one: You will be doing nothing to help these muscles grow. You will instead be training them to become accustomed to the same exercises. This adaptation will result in decreased muscle growth. Number two: Your other muscle groups will be neglected and can atrophy as a result.
Giving your occlusion training routine some variety will allow you to change your focus for different parts of your body and provide new stimulation as a challenge. As an example, if you have been prioritizing occlusion training for arms for the past three months, it might be a good idea to switch to start integrating occlusion training for chest, back, shoulders and legs. Even if you are doing a well-rounded exercise program, it is a good idea to do something different every now and then to keep your body (and brain) engaged.
Prevent Injuries Caused by Overuse
Injuries can occur when you perform the same exercises on the same muscle groups without allowing sufficient time for recovery between workouts. Injuries can also occur if you fail to provide your body some type of active recovery period eight weeks or so. All your joints require a certain amount of time to recover from the stress placed on them during a workout routine, especially if you’ve been trying to lift heavier and heavier each week, placing increased stress on your mind and body. To avoid overuse of your muscles and overtaxing your nervous system, change your exercise regimen every 8-12 weeks, and try to take an active recovery week every 8 weeks (i.e. doing only blood flow restriction training with light weight that week). This will give you a chance to strengthen new ligaments, tendons and muscles, and allow your nervous system to unlock to levels of strength.
Create Interest and Provide a Challenge
Going to the gym and doing the identical blood flow restriction training program every day for weeks on end will most certainly become dull and boring after a while. New routines will allow you to get into a new pattern, providing interest and diversion. You will also be forced to find ways to improve as you develop your new moves and find a new rhythm to your routines. If you find that your workouts are becoming dull and seem more like a massive chore to complete than a positive experience, it is time to rethink your current workout schedule and come up with something new. Your brain needs novelty in order to stay focused and stay motivated, so don’t be afraid to break away from the norm once in a while.
Kickstart Your Weight Loss Again
As everyone knows, the way to keep weight down and build muscle at the same time is to exercise with consistency. However, consistency doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing over and over again. If you do the same thing every day for an extended period of time, your body will eventually become accustomed to the routine. Your muscles will no longer develop the micro-tears needed to encourage new growth and will instead adjust themselves to the movements. Your body will anticipate the energy demands of you strength training and cardio routine, and will make itself more efficient with each subsequent workout – which means you are burning less calories each time with the same workout routine. If you are no longer losing weight or are feeling overly confident about your routine, change your exercise regimen. It is normal to feel uncomfortable, maybe even a little anxious, as you venture away from your norm and begin experimenting with new modalities.
To your gains,
Kusha Karvandi, PES, CES, CSCS