Most people who go to the gym on their own develop a routine. Don’t get me wrong, a routine is great, especially when it keeps any gym goer consistent. The problem arises when that routine is never challenged, or changed at all. Doing the same exercises, sets, reps, and weights, week after week will eventually lead you to stall out. Your body will adapt to that specific demand, and become efficient at completing that specific task. At that point, there has to be a different demand placed on the body in order to illicit new adaptations. There are plenty of ways to change it up, without re-inventing your routine. Small changes will do the trick while keeping things simple.
Increase weight – most people get comfortable in a certain range of weight on their exercises. What they don’t realize, is that a 2.5lb difference in dumb bells, or 5 lb difference on a machine will make a big enough impact on the body, and not such a large impact on the brain as long as everything else (sets and reps) stay the same
Change amount of Reps – if the thought of adding weight is just not something you are ready for, this is another option. Add extra reps to every set, even if it’s only one rep per set. By the end of the day it will add up, and then the next time add another one again. Keeping this up will eventually get you even more prepared to increase the weight
Change up the sets – another option for getting more work in without having to increase weight. Adding an extra set to your exercise/s will automatically increase the amount of work. Sometimes it’s ok to lower the amount of reps in each set as long as the total amount of reps is higher than before.
Have fun playing around with what you can do. Do not be afraid to lower the amount of reps or sets if you are trying to add weight. Get comfortable with adding to the routine.