Creating Your Own Workout Plan
Creating a workout schedule may be just what you need to stick with your workouts. Here are some tips to help you create your own schedule… whether you are a beginner or an expert you can successfully create a schedule that works best for your lifestyle.
- Frequency: Be honest about how many days per week you can actually workout. I know some of us may want to workout 6 days a week but if your life is so full that 3 days is more realistic then start with 3. You can always add more days later as time permits, but if you are trying to fit too much into one week you will just end up falling short of your goals every time. If you set a realistic goal you are likely to obtain you are more likely to stick with it. Increase your frequency as time goes on when you realize how fantastic you feel with your new workout schedule.
- Pick a time of day: What time do you love to workout, and when are you most likely to fit it in? Personally I enjoy working out in the morning after I’ve had time to digest a good breakfast. I like to start my day off with a workout because then I feel best the rest of the day. But I have to be realistic as well. If I have a busy home school schedule then school comes first, or I may have to get up before the kids wake to get a good cardio session in and then lift later in the afternoon. Take a good look at your schedule and put in writing what time you plan to get your workout in. If you don’t plan it, it may not get done.
- Set a goal or 2: Are you looking to set a record pace in a 5K or are you running your first race? Are you interested in a leaner more muscular shape or just improve your overall health. Different workout schedules are going to benefit different goals. I always incorporate some sort of weight/resistance training in my schedules, but depending on whether I have a race coming up or I want some glute gains my workout schedule is going to be different. If I’m not in race training my cardio usually consists of about 30 minutes of steady state running or I include sprints into my cardio. However my main focus is strength (the more muscle I have the more calories I burn overall). If I’m trying to hit a personal record for a race I will look up race training schedules online and time my sprints and runs according to my goal time for race day. I still lift but it’s not my main focus during race training. If you are just looking to improve your overall health you may just want to gradually increase your weight training and cardio. Your goals make a huge difference on how often and how you will want to train.
- Decide what you will do each day: Each week I look at my schedule to see what I have going on and which workouts I will have time for. Tuesdays I am able to hit legs at the gym because I have a nice block of time set aside before dinner, and I know my husband will be home to make a simple meal so I don’t have to plan anything. Fridays are our busier days so I often do cardio before the kids wake up and hit delts (a quicker lifting day) whenever I can fit it in later in the day. On even busier days I may do a HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuit because I can get in lifting and cardio in one quick session. Just search HIIT routines on youtube and you will find a bajilion fast and fun high intensity workouts (most of which you can do at home). If you are lifting make sure to hit each body part at least once a week if splitting them up or do a full body workout 2 to 3 times a week. I prefer to split mine as follows:
Monday: arms (biceps/triceps)
Friday: leg day 2 (glute focused)
I do cardio on each lifting day except legs). These days change depending on what’s going on each week.
A good 4 day workout week would look like this:
You could combine back/biceps and delts if you wanted to make it a 3 day lifting week. Just be sure to hit every body part once.
5. Lastly, do what you love! If you love to bike make sure to fit in a bike ride at least once a week or join a cycling class. If you love to lift, lift away. If you love to run, run to your hearts content. If you would rather walk, count those steps and keep on moving! If you are bored find some classes at the gym to switch up your cardio or look for a new youtube video or find a workout buddy to keep your workouts fun.Go rock climbing, jump on the trampoline with your kids, do a mud run, train for a new distance race you’ve never done before. Go on a long run with a friend on the weekend and don’t worry about your pace. If you are enjoying your workouts then obviously you are more likely to stick to them.