I decided to bite the bullet and change my workout program even though I haven’t technically hit all of my goals yet.  I’ve managed to reach my goals for both the Deadlift and the Squat, but I’m still lagging on my Bench Press and the Standing Military Press.  I’ve been right on the edge with the Bench Press for a couple of months now without ever making it over the barrier.  I’ve sort of hit a plateau, and it’s time for change.  So here are the reasons why I’ve decided to change my workout program.

1) I’ve been having trouble working getting my workouts in for the last two months consistently. There are a couple reasons for this.  Ever since I moved up to Michigan, instead of working out a gym I have been lifing in my boyfriend’s basement.  While I was living there, working out was a simple matter of walking downstairs.  But now that my partner and I are living in our own place again, working out means I have to go over to their place.

And trying not to be disruptive to them is making my workout schedule very erratic.  I would ideally like to lift first thing in the morning, but I often end up not lifting until I get off of work.  My work schedule is also really erratic, which means I’ve occasionally had to lift in the evening.  This is sort of a problem for me, because when I work out late it ends up messing with my sleep.  So a lot of times if I don’t get out of work by a certain time (around 3) I have not lifted.

Of course all of this is a bit of an excuse, because of reason 2.

2) I’m bored.  For the past 4 months, I’ve been lifting (with more or less consistency) 3 days a week.  Every day is the exact same workout.  Squats, Bench Press, Deadlift, and Standing Press.  Doing the same thing every workout has started to wear thin.  I’m mentally bored with the exercises, but my body at this point is pretty adapted to them, and my progress is slowed down.  Also because I’m doing all big lifts every workout day, I’m not really giving my muscles the rest that they should be getting between workouts.

I think that switching my workout program will help alleviate the boredom and get me excited about lifting again.  So these are the changes that I’m making:

I’m joining a Gym.  Yesterday I checked out two local gyms, and I signed up for a 10-day trial at one of them.  I think that it is pretty likely that I will end up joining when my trial is complete, for a few reasons.  The cost is reasonable.  It’s only $22 per month when I buy 4-month blocks.  It’s a serious weight-lifting gym, not a fitness center overrun with cardio equipment.  It’s also the gym that my boyfriend joined at the beginning of the summer, and he enjoys it.  While he and I are on different schedules, at least there is the possibility of occasionally working out together.

I am switching to a split routine.  While I haven’t settled on a final exercise set just yet, I’ve moved from doing my entire body every day to focusing on a few body parts each workout.  I’m going with the push/pull split, so one day will be legs and shoulders, one will be chest and triceps, and the third will be back and biceps.  I haven’t settled on an order yet, but for this week I did leg day yesterday, will be doing Chest tomorrow, and back on friday.

I will be changing up my sets/reps combination.  For the past few months I’ve been doing five sets of five reps for each exercise (not counting warmup sets).  Since I will be doing a larger number of exercises for each muscle group, I am dropping down to three sets for each exercise.  I haven’t decided yet what I’m going do set as my rep range yet. Yesterday I kept it to five reps for each exercise other than the Calf raise, which I did as 15 reps.  I haven’t entirely decided on what my goal is for this phase of lifting, so I have to decide on whether I want to focus on continuing to build strength, building muscle mass, or triming down.  I’m leaning toward trimming down, which will end up involving higher repetitions at lighter weight, plus adding in cardio.

I will have to start working on adjusting my eating, especially if I’m going to try and focus on trimming down, but that’s going to come later, once I’ve settled on a specific workout program.  This part is going to be one of the more difficult for me, because my eating has sort of gone all over the place.  There was a period of about 3 months about a year ago that I was eating really well, but it’s been a mess ever since I moved up here to Michigan.  I’ve started some of the initial work to try and shift my eating, but that’s a post for another day.

But for now, I’m taking a new step in reforging my body.