We are always looking to improve our performance, but a phenomenon called adaptive resistance can stand in the way of that. Adaptive resistance is when you have done an exercise over a long period of time, and your body no longer responds to it.
Even worse, adaptive resistance can result in injury because if you do the same exercise for a prolonged period of time, you use the same muscles in the same pattern, which causes more wear and tear on the same soft tissues.
By creating variation and changing exercises in your routine, you can create a new stimulus, which creates more progress over time. If you rotate exercises or activity every so often, your injury risk will decrease.
How Much is Too Much?
Variation is important, but too much variation can become an issue. When choosing exercises in a program, two to three variations should be chosen for each muscle.
For most, the act of training and pursuing goals is just as much of an experience as it is a means to an end. If adding in more exercise variation allows fitness enthusiasts to stay motivated, then it may be worth considering how much variation is enough.
For most recreational lifters, it is important to establish a few compound lifts to track variables like strength, power and workload capacity, while integrating enough variation to keep excitement and adherence to a program.