Alternating Exercises Week By Week?

Discussion in 'Training Information' started by Vanch, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Vanch


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    The way my workouts have been going recently is this... I workout using specific exercises for around 8 weeks. I then take a deload week, which is either taking a complete break from the gym or reducing the volume/weight in order to recover properly. I then start a new workout with completely different exercises, which I follow for another 8 weeks. For example, I'll switch from Barbell Bench Press to Dumbbell Bench Press, or Barbell Military Press to Dumbbell Military Press, as well as Barbell Back Squats to Barbell Front Squats, etc. I basically keep the same big compound movements in my routine, but change the way they are done, switching from Barbells to Dumbbells and so on.

    The problem I've been coming across recently is that due to the fact I stop using certain exercises for 8 weeks, whilst switching to my alternate exercises, by the time I go back to my original exercises I find that my progress has diminished and it takes me a good few weeks to get back to the weight that I was using previously. It's as though the 8 week break from the specific exercises have somewhat ruined any progress that I made with them in the first place.

    I've been considering doing this instead, and wondered what you guys thought of it. I'm of course open to trying it out myself to see how it works, as different routines work differently for different people, although I just figured I'd check here first to see if you think it's worth trying. Basically, instead of using a certain number of exercises for 8 weeks, and then switching to different exercises for the following 8 weeks, I've been considering just alternating the exercises week by week. For example, Week 1 would be exercises consisting of using the Barbell, and then Week 2 would be switched to Dumbbell, which I'd alternate. Week 3 would then be back to Barbell, and so on, so I'd carry on like this for the 8 weeks before the Deload week. The worry that I'm having with this is that switching exercises week by week may not give my body a chance to get used to the exercise, and therefore no progress would be made at all.

    This may sound a lot more complicated and overthought than it seems, but the basics of what I'm asking is this... Is it okay to alternate exercises week by week, i.e. doing a specific exercise for 1 week, and a different exercise the next, but then back to the original exercise the week after, and so on? This would give me a week break from a specific exercise, so that I'm able to progress on OTHER exercises as well, whilst hopefully keeping them close enough together that I won't fail to lose any progress on the exercises. It'd basically be 1 week of not doing a specific exercise, instead of 8 weeks which I've been doing recently.

    Thank you, any help is much appreciated.

  2. Mr mac

    Mr mac TM Health & Safety officer Top Contributor

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    This isn't always a bad thing to b honest as you cannot keep adding weight forever to the same lifts it just doesn't work that way. If you ever read stuff by guys that have been in the game a long time especially power lifters Jim wendler etc they often say start lower than you think progress slowly then take a break and start again.
    Your week by week rotation is a great idea and one that's used by lots of great routines like DC training etc. So pick 3 compound lifts that work for you and work those 3 lifts for 5-6 odd weeks deload then pick 3 new ones or variations. Then when you've ran through a load go back to your first lot again.

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