Planning A Workout
Planning a fitness routine can be a challenge. Everyone is different and will require a different workout depending on overall healthy, current fitness levels and goals.
Motivation + Goals = Success
We all have had thoughts of starting a fitness plan or workout routine at some point in our lives. It usually starts with thoughts of losing weight or the desire to be in better shape. Many of us talk about it and some even act on these thoughts. What happens? The majority of us let our busy lives get in the way or just lose interest and motivation all together. Don’t let this discourage you. There are ways to stay motivated and reach your goals. Let’s look at 5 tips to help you stay motivated and on target before you jump in to the workout.
Tip 1: Timing Is Everything
One of the most important parts of designing a workout routine is to find a time you can workout consistently. If you choose a time when you could get interrupted, you will be more likely to fall off your routine. Many people find early morning is the best time to workout. Before the day begins, while everyone else is still sleeping. This will offer minimal chance of interruptions. Plus, if you can stick to the same time every morning, you have a better chance of getting into a cycle. Doing this will also give you a sense of accomplishment, you will feel like you got something worthwhile done before you even officially started your day.
Tip 2: Keep Your Goals On Your Mind
First, set some simple goals. These goals will Depend on your current fitness levels. For example, maybe a good first goal will be to do a fast walk for 10-15 minutes a day. In a weeks time set a goal to be up to 20 minutes a day. It’s important that your goals are achievable, but not too easy. A long term goal at this fitness level may be to walk a 10K possibly in a years time.
Tip 3: You Need A Reward
Besides the reward of being in better shape and feeling great, buy yourself a small something after reaching a long term goal. Example, get some new exercise equipment for your workouts. After your workout, take time to reflect on how good you feel. Think about this feeling and how it could go away if you skip a workout.
Tip 4: Get a Buddy
Having someone else help push and motivate you can be a big help. You are there for each other. When one of you feels like quitting the other can help get you back on track. The buddy system could be done as a challenge to see who loses the most weight or could just be friendly neighbors walking together. Exercising with your significant other can also be beneficial.
Tip 5: Have Fun
Having fun exercising is very important. Sticking to your routine will depend on it. Without fun it becomes a chore. Don’t let this happen. If you find you’re losing interest in your workout do something different. Play a sport with friends or join a league. Try changing it up, have different exercise routines planned in advance. Switch between these plans weekly or even daily. This will not only help with preventing boredom, but ensure you are working your different muscle groups.
Planning an exercise routine can be the easy part. Staying on this plan and staying healthy for the long term can be the real challenge. These tips are designed to help, but find what works for you based on these tips. When you include goals, motivation and fun, you will have a much better chance of staying with your plan and creating a healthier lifestyle.
Use An Exercise Chart
Using a chart to design your routine is the best way to stay organized and offers a way to record progress. Below are some resources for exercise and workout charts.
You can download a basic exercise chart here
Design Your Workout Routine
Now that you have your goals, ideas and plans, you need to actually design your routine and exercise program. Here are some tips to choose your exercises and workouts.
Design Your Workout Schedule
We discussed timing in tip 1 to the left and hopefully if your at this stage you know what time you will be working out. You now must choose what exercises will fit into this time period. For an easy example, you have 45 minutes set aside each morning from 5:00a.m. – 5:45a.m., you will do this monday – Friday and break on the weekends. You may start with a 20 minute walk, a 10 minute break, then proceed in to a 15 minute light weight lifting routine. These lifting workouts should include different muscle groups each day. Remember, this all depends on your current fitness. Make sure you start with achievable goals and progress with time.
Your Workout Volume
Once you have your schedule down, it will be time to plan your volume. This includes how many sets and reps you will do per exercise. Depending on your schedule and time, you could work upper body one day and focus on lower body the next. Choose exercises that adhere to these muscle groups.
Exercise & Muscle Group Ideas
Abdominal muscles are the group of muscles just below the chest in the mid-section of the body. Abdominal muscles help support posture and balance.
Exercises Include: Crunches – Reverse Crunch – Knee Tuck
Chest muscles are in the top region of the body, just above the abdominal muscles. They reside on top the upper part of our rib cage.
Exercises Include: Push-Ups – Bench Press – Dumbbell Press
Back muscles are usually used in pulling motions. We use our back muscles when pulling something toward us like opening doors or lifting our body up like when doing pull-ups.
Exercises Include: Pull-Ups – Dead Lift – Rows
Arm muscles include shoulders, triceps and biceps. The arms are usually a major focus in any workout program.
Exercises Include: Curls – Tricep Extension – Shoulder Raise
Hamstrings, quadriceps “quads”, and calf muscles. Each of the leg muscle groups can also be broken down further into separate groups within themselves. Hamstrings are located in the back of the upper leg. Quads are the upper front of the leg while the calf is the blower back part of the leg.
Exercises Include: Leg Curls – Squats – Running/Jogging