Be honest: how many times have you gone to the gym only to be left stumped as to where to go and what to do?
And while it would be nice to hire a personal trainer to help you design a workout plan, hiring one can be pretty pricey. So it's no wonder that it can feel overwhelming for many who want to begin exercising or create a new fitness routine.
Have no fear! By using the tips below, you'll be able to build your own workout program like a certified trainer -- and you won't have to pay a cent.
What Are Your Goals?
Before embarking upon any new fitness routine, it's always important to know your why. Specifically, what are your goals? Do you want to increase your strength? Do you want to train for your first 10K race? Do you want to lose weight? If so, how many pounds and/or inches do you want to lose?
It's crucial to be clear with your goals as it will not only give you the motivation to keep training, but it'll also give more clarity to your workout plan. You'll know what you need to do, and why you need to do it.
Consistency is key with any new routine, but it's especially key for implementing a new workout program. In fact, many studies have shown that consistency in working out will bring more substantial results than working out periodically.
Which is why it's important to be realistic with how many days you can commit to your new routine. If you're aiming to lose weight, chances are you'll need to hit the gym at least four to five days a week. However, if your schedule doesn't allow you that kind of time, then you'll need to ramp up the intensity of your workouts.
No matter what, sticking to a routine that works both for your life and for your fitness goals is the only way you'll see results.
It's important to select the best types of exercise for your training that you know will get you the results you want within the time frame you can commit to.
Lifting weights is often the focus for those who want to increase strength and/or tone up. You don't have to make it complicated. By focusing on traditional compound movements, like squats, push-ups, lunges, dumbbell rows, and overhead presses, you'll be getting an effective workout that delivers.
Cardio training, like running and swimming, is best for those who are looking to lose weight and/or endurance train.
P.S. A resistance training program and/or HIIT will burn fat and increase metabolism in a much more efficient time period than traditional cardio, i.e. slogging for an hour on a treadmill. Which means working out three times a week for 30-45 minutes might be all you need.
Making your workout an appointment that you need to keep is a great way that will help you adapt to it easily.
A good rule of thumb is implementing two resistance training periods in your week, with a rest day or two in between to let muscles rest and repair. Cardio and HIIT days can be practiced more frequently, three to four days a week.
An example of a workout schedule might look like:
MONDAY - CARDIO
TUESDAY - RESISTANCE
WEDNESDAY - ACTIVE RECOVERY
THURSDAY - HIIT
FRIDAY - RESISTANCE
SATURDAY - CARDIO/ACTIVE RECOVERY
SUNDAY - REST
Factor in Active Recovery
Burnout and overtraining can finish a workout routine fast. Ensure that you're planning an active recovery that will keep your body moving as well as help with its recovery.
Examples of active recovery include yoga, a leisurely walk or hike, foam rolling, or swimming at a moderate pace.
Keeping it simple and manageable is key when it comes to implementing a new workout routine. By sticking to a routine that works with your lifestyle, focusing on your goals, and listening to your body, you'll find that keeping a workout program is really no sweat at all.
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