How should I vary my strength training routine?

There are a variety of ways you can vary your strength training routines. This includes switching from machines to free weights, from barbell to dumbbell exercises, high repetition to low repetition, upper body to lower body, push then pull programs, lifting at a slow tempo vs. a high tempo. Making any one of these variations or multiple variations can provide enough variety in your training to allow your body to continue to get results and improvements from your workouts.

Every few weeks, vary the number of repetitions and sets you do and the rest periods between sets. Or, if you usually use weight machines, try free weights or other types of strengthening activities such as exercises that use elastic tubing or your body as resistance. Healthy people should choose eight to 10 different exercises that involve major muscle groups, performing one set of each exercise two to three days a week, regardless of age.

Continue Learning about Strength Training & Exercise

Tone Your Muscle to Preserve Your Mind
Tone Your Muscle to Preserve Your Mind
Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic skier, challenged a flock of celebs at the 2013 Met Gala, saying they were half her weight but skinny fat, pointing out they...
Read More
Should I join a gym for strength training?
Eric OlsenEric Olsen
You don't have to join a gym to train for strength, though gyms have their good points. A good gym h...
More Answers
Easy At-Work Exercises for Nurses
Easy At-Work Exercises for NursesEasy At-Work Exercises for NursesEasy At-Work Exercises for NursesEasy At-Work Exercises for Nurses
No time for the gym? Tone trouble spots during your shift with these moves.
Start Slideshow
4 Strength-Training Tips
4 Strength-Training Tips

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.