in Essays

How to get different results from the same old routine
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I work out six days a week. Here’s my schedule:

Monday – Running – Track workout (usually sprints)
Tuesday – Weights – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Wednesday – Weights – Leg Day™
Thursday – Running – Medium distance (3.5 miles or so)
Friday – Weights – Back, Biceps
Saturday – Running – Medium distance (4.5 miles or so)

This has been my routine for a little over a year now.

It’s usually fine, but this week my legs are super sore, so my most recent Saturday run and Monday track workout were very painful.

That’s weird, right? I do the same types of workouts on the same days of the week every week, and suddenly my legs are so sore I can barely move? What happened?

My “weights” days go through a slow progression from high reps, low weight to low reps, high weight.

Last week was my first week back on high reps (15 reps) and now I’m paying the price. My legs don’t like that jump from low to high reps at all, so I’m basically going to be sore 7 days a week for the next month and then things should return to normal.

This is interesting because it shows that you can make significant changes within your regular routines without actually changing the routine itself. And those changes within your routine can teach you a lot about the other parts of your routine.

For example, now I get to see how much different my performance is when I begin my workouts on tired legs. I also get to train differently for my medium runs—my focus is more on maintaining a good pace even though my legs are tired as opposed to pushing my pace faster from week to week.

This has me thinking about other tweaks I can make to existing routines that might teach me something. Some ideas I’m batting around:

  • What if instead of 3 cups of coffee in the morning, I have 2 or 4? How would that affect my productivity in the morning and throughout the day?
  • What if I read a book with my coffee instead of reading the news?
  • What if I move one of my weight workouts to an earlier time in the afternoon?

None of these changes would change my actual routine, but they may still affect me in ways I might not anticipate. I could learn a lot by making small changes, which is nice because it’s a lot easier to make those small changes than to try one of those “I’m gonna try a whole new routine!” experiments that inevitably fail.