One of the things I do with my personal training as well as that of the athletes and clients I train is do my best to never repeat a workout exactly. Now, for total beginners I will usually have them work on a program that remains relatively constant with regards to exercise selection and order, TUT* etc. I do this because I want them to focus on learning proper breathing and specific exercise technique, as well as gaining the ability to work hard and challenge them selves. During the initial stages of training I also want to build a solid foundation of strength and flexibility throughout the entire body while targeting any imbalances that may exist. Once I am confident that they have learned good solid technique on the basic exercises as well as how to work hard and stay focused (This usually takes between 3 – 6 months) I will then begin to incorporate more and more variety into their training program. Eventually they will reach a point where they will go months and months without ever doing the exact same workout.

As I have written about in many of my articles and talked about in different pod-casts we need to take into account individual genetic limitations and abilities, needs, goals, and preferences as well as environmental influences when we design specific training programs. The truth is that our bodies are in a constant state of flux. Outside of the afore mentioned specific genetic limitations and abilities the other factors above may change on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Also, as we progress and mature in our training our bodies grow more and more accustomed to the different stimulus they encounter. What once was novel and new now becomes second nature. If we do not change things around in our training, we can not expect to create a need for the body to react, adapt and change in the results it produces. Stated another way we can’t continue to do the same thing over and over again and expect to get a new and different result.

So remember if you are a beginner to exercise it is a good idea to take the time to build a strong foundation of proper breathing and specific technique as well as correct any major strength or flexibility issues that may exist. Once you are confident that you have done this (usually 3 – 6 months for most) then you should begin to incorporate more and more variety into your training. For the absolute best results from both your fitness and nutrition programs, take a little time to track your progress from week to week and month to month. Just a few minutes of writing things down each day will go a long way to helping you get the most out of what your doing. For more ideas about ways to incorporate variety into your training check out my article Variety: The Spice of Life at

Also, check out a great article by Brian Johnston, one of the Hybrid Fitness advisory members. The article is called Muscle Hypertrophy: The Role of Adaptation & Variation. Read it here.


* TUT = Time Under Tension