Planning Your Own Workout Program: The Basics

Planning Your Own Workout Program: The Basics

When it comes to getting fit or losing weight, having a long-term workout program planned will help you to stick with it. When planning your own workout program, you need to start with the basics to come up with something that suits your needs.

Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to improve your overall fitness? Are you trying to tone or to bulk up? Having a clear grasp of what you’re aiming to do in the long-run will help to guide your plan and keep you motivated, too.

When it comes to getting fit or losing weight, having a long-term workout program planned will help you to stick with it. When planning your own workout program, you need to start with the basics to come up with something that suits your needs.

Planning Your Own Workout Program: The Basics

Now it’s time to think about how often you will work out. If you’re new to workout programs, or are not particularly fit, you may need to go easy to start with. Plan to do some light training on one or two days each week until you start getting used to physical exertion and recovery. Too much too soon could be overwhelming and put you off. I’ve experienced this over time and learned my lesson.

After easing yourself in, you can increase the intensity of the workout and add an extra one or two workout days to your program. Try for three days each week, or maybe four if you’re feeling really energetic. However, it’s as important to include rest and recovery days in your schedule as it is to include workout days.

Check out how to stay fit without a gym membership.

The amount of time you allow for a workout session will dictate the variety and kinds of exercise you can carry out. For lots of variety, you’ll need a longer session, and for endurance exercise you’ll also need more time.

You need to have an idea of the exercises you need to do in your program. Think about which areas of your body you’d like to focus on the most. Do you want to drop weight off your stomach? Do you want to increase the endurance in your legs? Perhaps you want to bulk up your biceps? You can plan each session with these focal points in mind.

Build your program up bit by bit. Start off by deciding on your general aims, then figure out how much time you’ll have available or want to spend exercising. With a range of possible exercises in mind, plan what you’d like to cover in each session. See if you can cover everything in a one- or two-week exercise cycle.

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After you’ve begun the actual workouts, you’ll have a better idea of which exercises work for you, and how long it all takes. You can then adjust your program to match what you learn. With this knowledge, you can then set yourself longer-term goals – like increasing the number of reps or sets you do in a session, or running further in the same amount of time.

I’m no health or fitness expert, but if you need extra motivation, bring a friend with you, or get a fitness trainer to get you started! I know it’s tough to start getting fit on your own, but it only takes one session to feel the adrenaline.

Share with me your fitness tips in the comment section below.

4 Responses to Planning Your Own Workout Program: The Basics

  1. I’m working extremely long term these days with my fitness goals. I’ve been working with a personal trainer since the beginning of the summer with the goal of rehabbing an injury I’ve had for five years so I can finally run again. Finally started the couch to 5K program last week. It’s my goal to run a 5K on Thanksgiving. I’ve finally accepted that if I want to run I have to also be strong.

  2. I gave up a workout routine, which always made me feel guilty for skipping, with a daily commitment to move. Whether that’s a walk or yoga, I like having the flexibility to switch things up. I’m taking up salsa for the cardio next. Thanks for the article.

  3. I HAVE to work out in the mornings. I have no will power after noon. And then, there is the added bonus, that walking into work at 8 am, I know I have already done what few will get around to and it makes me feel great about myself.

    Even if I am a marshmallow after noon. 🙂

  4. I started at zero and got some simple DVD’s. I first I just watched them but eventually got off the sofa and did them… a few minutes at a time, then a few minutes more and then a few minutes more. Now I’m at the gym doing a solid hour of cardio 3 times a week and strength training 3 times a week. My advice, start slow and give time, time.

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