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The Importance of Exercise Variation for Muscle Growth (Explained)

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

Different exercises target different muscle groups, so various activities and exercises are essential for everyone, especially when building muscle.

But do you need to add variation to your workouts and routines?

For example, if you're a runner, it's crucial to include strength-training exercises to help protect your joints, prevent injury and build more muscle.

If you're a bodybuilder, you need to focus on strength exercises to help strengthen your joints and protect them. And if you're a swimmer, you need to focus on other muscle-building exercises to improve power and cardio.

Table of Contents:

woman doing the plank exercise

Why Do We Need to Vary Our Exercises?

Because if you only do the same type of exercise every day for a certain number of weeks, your muscles become used to that exercise.

When you vary your exercise routine, your muscles get used to two or three different exercise moves.

So when you do the same thing repeatedly, your muscles will get used to doing that movement, and it will no longer be as effective.

Therefore, varying your exercise routine every month or two will help improve muscle growth.

man doing a barbell deadlift

What Are the Benefits of Variation & Muscle Growth?

Muscle growth is a crucial benefit of exercise. However, muscle growth isn't the only benefit.

Building muscle will also strengthen the bones, joints, and connective tissue, such as tendons.

This extra muscle can have a secondary effect of protecting yourself from an injury such as muscle tears or fractures.

Varying your exercise routine can help with all of these aspects.

How to Vary Your Exercises

Many types of exercise will help you get a bigger, stronger and more muscular body.

Some of the main types of exercises and activities which help build muscle include:

  • Weightlifting

  • Running

  • Swimming

  • Powerlifting

Varying your workouts style can help improve variation and stop our body from getting used to the same movement.

Even a simple variation such as switching from the push up to a bench press is good!

man running next to a woman doing a bicep curl

When to Add Variation?

It would be best if you aimed to change up your workout routine every month or two.

Or, you could even change it up every couple of weeks by switching between different variations of the same exercise.

For example, switching to the push up instead of the bench press. Or even doing the deadlift instead of barbell rows.

Simple changes and often can help prevent a plateau in muscle growth.


While doing the same workout program over and over isn't wholly wrong, it's better to vary your program every month or two.

It can help build muscle and have the knock-on effect of preventing injuries and strains. Even switching between different forms of the same exercise can help!

Essentially, changing it up can help massively.


Written by Billy White

billy white

Billy White is a qualified Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer. He is an aspiring bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, and health and fitness researcher.

He has multiple years of experience within the fitness, bodybuilding and health space. He is committed to providing the highest-quality information.


The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.


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