Coaching and Nutrition

Why Variety Isn't Always Better

By Joe Holder

Why Variety Isn't Always Better

How to get the best results from deliberate and curated repetition.

Sure, lots of variety in your workout is fun. But it may not be the best thing for you in terms of results. What if you try thinking about it this way—the fun can come from mastering one particular skill and then building on it until you're a pro. That's where you're going to see some major results. Keep reading to find out how to make this mind-shift from variety to proficiency work for you.

With workouts, a lot of people just throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks. Going for a run one day, an online core class the next day, lifting weights the next day, not really repeating what they're doing.

Don't do things just for the novelty factor, for the sake of trying something new. The key is more nuanced than that: it's being deliberate and curating your movements to produce the best results.

The programmes I design might not seem like they have tons of variety. That's done with intention.

I understand that variety can be super fun, because you never have a chance to get bored—you're always off to some new movement you've never tried before.

Yet oftentimes, tons of variety won't actually get you results, because you're not doing anything long enough to actually produce the desired effect.

You need to keep practising a movement until you achieve a base level of proficiency that you can then add to.

Why Variety Isn't Always Better

"To see real results, it helps to have a mental frame-shift that values results, not variety".

Joe Holder

Think about it: are you really going to get better at an exercise just by doing it once or twice a week for one week? No. You just don't automatically graduate to a whole set of new movements because it's a new week.

That doesn't mean I have my clients do the same movements the same way week after week. Other variables change besides the exercise itself, like temp changes, rep changes and even planes of motion.

So resist the impulse to switch exercise for variety's sake and instead stick to the movements that really work, and just see to improve your skill at them.

Why Variety Isn't Always Better

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Why Variety Isn't Always Better

Join Nike Training Club

Get access to our world-class experts and trainers for help staying active and healthy.