In a world where everyone is running around and trying to do their own thing, it’s hard for someone who works full time to find the time create a workout plan.
It’s even harder when you have no idea how or what type of workout system would best suit your needs.
A workout should be personalized based on your age, goals, nutrition, free time, etc.
It’s very easy to overthink the process due to the near limitless number of exercises, rep/set/rest schemes and programs to choose from.
But don’t worry!
I also created this free resource for those of you that want to build your own workout but need a little help.
You can download our free Workout Plan Creation Swipe File which covers everything in this guide:
This blog post will show you exactly how to customize a workout plan that fits into your schedule.
Step 1: Figure Out Your Fitness Goals!
Before you can even fathom doing any workout programming, you have to define your fitness goals.
You wouldn’t train for a marathon if you are looking to get lean, and you can’t do HIIT workouts if your goal is to bulk up.
Once you have an idea of what type of customized workout will work best with your goals, it’s time to create a personal workout plan!
The best custom workouts use the SMART method:
Specific: What is your goal? You need to be specific with what you want to accomplish.
Measurable: How will you know when it has been achieved? You need to know how to measure your progression. If you don’t track your progress, you’ll never know if you’re headed in the right direction or need to alter your plan.
Achievable: Good fitness goals can be achieved in the allotted time. Are yours?
Relevant: Does this goal align with your other goals and interests (for instance, if you want to get leaner but are also training for an endurance event)?
Time-bound: When do you plan on achieving these results by? Parkinson’s Law states that the work always expands to fill the allotted time. Without strict deadlines on your goals, the work required always adjusts to fit the available time.
Based on your goals, you’ll have to create a set-rep-rest scheme for your exercises.
These are key to your custom fitness plan. You can’t expect a workout to burn fat will build muscle as fast as a muscle building routine.
Step Two: How Much Time Can I Devote to A Workout Plan?
Now it’s time to determine a workout schedule so you know how much time you can spend on exercise. When looking at your daily routine, exercise should not take up your entire day!
You can take an app such as Google Calendar (it’s free) or set an alarm on your phone and turn it into your own workout scheduler.
The best fitness program works within your schedule without taking all day and can still be enjoyable.
There are tons of bodyweight exercises that require minimal setup or equipment. They’re easy enough for anyone who doesn’t have hours set aside in their day just for working out!
A workout routines at home can include push-ups at during commercials when watching TV instead of sitting on the couch eating chips
How do I decide the work out days and rest days in my workout plan?
Consistency is the biggest factor when creating a good workout plan.
You can’t work out three times one week and then none for two weeks and expect any progress in your fitness level.
However, maybe you don’t have the time for a daily workout.
Even if you create the best routine in the world, it’s useless if you can’t follow it.
The next thing to take into consideration is how many hours of sleep do you need on average? This will help with deciding what your work days should be and how much rest time you’ll have.
This may seem confusing but really it’s just asking yourself questions that will make planning for fitness easier.
In order to create a exercise program that suits your needs, you have to know when you’ll be able to workout and what days are going to require rest.
If the week is Monday-Friday with weekends off then it’s pretty easy. You can work out on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for two hours each day while letting your body recover on the other days.
But what if you work all week?
If your company has a flex schedule (meaning they allow for days off) then it won’t be hard to create a plan.
Simply take the number of hours that are in your typical work day and divide them by two or three, depending on how strenuous your personalized workout plan will be during those times.
For example: If I’m going to exercise with weights I’ll need at least an hour – so I’ll have four hours from Monday-Friday available for exercising, but only two when doing cardio workouts like running or cycling.
More intense activities require more calorie burning which means less time is available for food intake/resting because our bodies will need more calories to recover.
How do I add active recovery days into my workout plan?
If you’re someone who trains three days a week and can’t find more time in your schedule for another day, there’s still hope!
Many people think that they need to train as hard as possible on the days they do work out but this isn’t the case.
It doesn’t matter how many hours of sleep you have or what type of workout plan is perfect for you – if it becomes too much then your body will break down.
This means no progress towards reaching fitness goals and potential injuries from overtraining.
Adding rest days with active recovery is an important part of training right because when we give our bodies enough time to recover after intense workouts it will improve the quality of our workouts.
Some exercise examples that can be used for active recovery day activities in your workout plan for the week include:
– Going for a walk
– Doing light weights during a gym workout routine
– Yoga or Pilates
– Anything that doesn’t stimulate your muscles/heart rate too much but still provides an aerobic workout. (optional: this can be done outside of any designated period)
The main point of active recovery days is to reduce the intensity of your workout and focus on doing something that’s therapeutic.
This gives muscles time to recover, helps you mentally unwind after a stressful day at work or school, and lets you get in one more light workout if it feels good!
Step Three: How Do I Decide What Muscles to Work Out Together?
Exercises are based on your fitness goals and what you want to achieve through training.
If you’re someone who is trying to lose weight, a workout plan for weight loss will burn more calories than other routine types which will increase the caloric deficit necessary to drop pounds.
You can also mix up your training plan depending on whether you feel like cardio exercise or weight bearing activities!
With all of the exercises out there, it can be hard to decide which ones to focus on and get good at.
For a beginner’s workout routine, I recommend using KISS which stands for KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID.
Compound exercises deliver the best results.
If you’re going to do an exercise, the benefits of compound movements means they should be prioritized over isolation movements.
A workout routine for gym goers should focus on moves that work multiple muscle groups at the same time like squats, deadlifts, and bench press.
Different movements will be better for different people depending on their fitness goals so make sure to do a little research before starting!
Gym routines should always put these larger, more complex exercises at the beginning of the workout, before doing isolation movements. This will help you recover from those complex exercises mentally and physically so they can do them with better form!
However, a set of exercises focusing on single body parts is acceptable for aesthetic -focused goals!
Here is a quick breakdown of some good exercises by body part that can make up the bulk of your routine:
–Workout routines for back should include: deadlifts, pull-ups, bent over rows with barbells or dumbbells
-leg exercises include: deadlifts, squats, lunges, hip thrusts, leg press
Some of the most effective workouts are sorted by body part. A popular workout plan men use includes a 6 day routine of:
When looking at what muscles to work out together, even this basic gym split can be effective.
Keep in mind that workout routines for men typically differ from women as they don’t often have the same fitness goals.
How do I create a perfect workout plan to reduce injury and help train consistently?
The best way to work out is at your own pace as everybody is different.
The longer you train, the more likely you are to get injured.
Our bodies will break down over time and eventually can’t recover as well in between workouts. This means that we have a higher risk of injury when training becomes too intense or is done for long periods of time without enough rest days.
And injuries mean stopping what we love doing and not being able to enjoy any benefits!
It’s important to create your workout routine based on how often you’ll be able to exercise and whether or not there will be other demands on your schedule (e.g., work hours).
When deciding what body parts to workout in your routine, make sure you’re giving each muscle group AT LEAST 48 hours of rest before working it out again.
For example, exercises for your chest also hit your triceps and shoulders meaning none of those muscles should be targeted for two days after a chest workout.
If it seems difficult then start small by setting goals for yourself each week where possible:
– Train two days a week instead of three so your rested for the next workout
– Stretch or do something else to warm up for the same amount of time as your workout
-Try incorporating more active recovery days into your fitness workouts so that you can reduce injuries and continue training without being overworked. This will also help you reach any fitness goals faster!
-Adding variety to a workout is very important. This can be accomplished by mixing up your workouts, changing the order of which exercises you do each time, or adding in a new exercise that challenges you! This will help keep training fun and interesting for both body and mind.
Sticking to one workout routine without any change isn’t always healthy either. It’s important to mix things up so that our bodies don’t get used to anything too quickly.
How can I add variety into my workout plan?
You will have to take inventory of what you have access to at the gym you go to. If your gym doesn’t have a pool, then swimming laps will most likely not be possible.
– Alternate between cardio and weights exercises
– Add in new or different exercises every week, but still do them at the same intensity level as before.
– Use different workouts each time – for example, if you always workout on a treadmill then change it to an elliptical machine next time!
This will help your body stay more engaged because it’s not used to any one exercise too quickly.
Prioritizing your fitness and exercise choice are essential to your success.
Step Four: What Should the Set-Rep-Rest Scheme Be?
Just like all the other prior steps, the weight lifting plan’s sets, reps, and rest pattern are based on what your fitness goals are.
It’s important to rest enough between sets to ensure your body is energized enough to complete the next set with proper form and technique.
Here are guidelines for reps and rest based on your lifting goals:
1-3 reps if you’re going for strength or power lifting. Rest 2 to 5 minutes between sets.
4-7 reps if you’re going for strength. Rest for 2-3 minutes between.
8-12 reps for a mix of size and strength. Rest for 1-2 minutes between sets.
13+ reps for endurance. Rest enough time to recover so you’re prepared for the next set.
Trying to cut weight. Take short 30 second breaks or even super set exercises!
Super sets are where after you complete an exercise, you immediately do another exercise without any rest.
This keeps your metabolism higher which helps burn more calories.
Mix up what types of workouts you do: try adding in more intense ones once in awhile so that your body doesn’t get used to anything too soon. Doing different things will also help keep it both fun and healthy!
If you’re not sure what intensity level is right for your workout then start by reading about it online. You can also just start at a lower-intensity first until you get used to how that feels.
Remember: if something becomes too intense, back off and take a break!
You don’t want an injury when training becomes too intense or is done for long periods of time without enough rest days.
Injuries mean stopping what we love doing and not being able to enjoy any benefits!
Be careful but make some progress each week – even little changes can have great effects on both body and mind in the end.
Add one new exercise into your routine per week that is challenging, but something you can do well. If this new exercise becomes too easy then add another one the following week.
Increasing intensity can be a great way to challenge yourself and get more out of your workouts. However, it’s important not to increase too quickly or else you’ll risk hurting yourself!
Remember that working out is about feeling good!
If at any point during the week you feel exhausted, overworked, or frustrated with how hard something feels, then listen to your body and take a rest day!
This will help your muscles recover because they need time in between intense exercise. This means better muscle growth when the following workout comes around.
Step Five: How Much Weight Should I Lift?
The answer to this question is dependent on your fitness level and requires trial and error.
You should err on the side of caution and always choose lighter weight to start rather than weight that’s too heavy for you.
When you first start trying an exercise, you’re programming your neuromuscular systems to do the movement correctly. If you choose too heavy of weight, your from will start out poorly and cascade into problems down the road.
How do I safely increase the intensity in my workout plan?
So you want to increase the intensity of your workouts! That’s great because that means you’re ready for more and are committed.
But remember, starting out with a higher intensity right off the bat is not always possible. It can lead to injury or over-training quickly if done too often without enough rest days.
So how do we progress gradually? Here’s what I recommend:
Increase duration (minutes) by two each week for cardio exercises. This will help strengthen muscles slowly as time goes on and get better at burning calories in general.
For weights, just add another set or weight every workout until you hit an overload point where your body cannot handle any more weight being lifted.
But remember that this is only for those who are already fit – otherwise the best workout sets incorporate slow progression to prevent injury.
Increase intensity by one level every few weeks. This means, if you’re just starting out and doing cardio or weights on a low intensity day then go to medium or high the next week based on how your body feels!
Step Six: How Long Should My Workout Be?
Workouts don’t need to take you all day to do. You can easily complete a workout of 25 sets within an hour block.
If you factor in time for proper warm-up and stretching afterwards, your workout will be a little longer.
A 20 minute workout is better than no working out at all.
It’s a good way to fit working out in your day if you can’t go for an hour or more.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, which equals 30 minutes five times per week.
If you do not have time to do this, try working out for 20 minutes three times per week.
If you get bored with working out that way, use different speed intervals to keep it interesting.
For example: slow jog for one minute then fast-paced running the next minute and so on until your time is up. This will help you work hard but still have a good time working out.
It’s important that you work your way up the more intense workouts and not jump right into a high-intensity routine if it isn’t something you’re used to.
If this is the case, try starting with light cardio instead of jumping straight in on weights or other strenuous exercises. This will help your body get used to working out and not be sore.
Step Seven: How Do I Keep Track of My Progress?
You can write about your experience so far on a small chart with three columns for duration, type/intensity level and positive feelings towards being able to complete the workouts.
You can also change up these items based on your specific needs as well! So if working out is getting harder then experiment by increasing resting periods or decreasing weight loads
– Keep a journal designated as a workout planner with notes about what you’ve done and how it felt.
– Use an app to track your workouts, calories burned and weight loss if applicable. There are many free apps out there that can help!
– Share progress or ask questions in online forums for more advice from personal trainers or other people who love fitness!
The benefits of tracking your fitness goals are:
– You’ll have an easier time seeing progress if you’re always looking back at what’s been done and how.
– It will be more motivating to get up for workouts when they work towards something specific (i.e.: a weight goal or miles walked).
You can see where progress has stalled and make changes accordingly.
Tips for Working Out:
There’s so many variables that can affect the quality of your workout so I tried to name a few of the most important. Remember these tips when working out:
-Remember your “why”. I started working out for me and nobody else.
– Make it interesting! Changing up what you do or where you do it can make the experience more enjoyable and keep your mind off of how hard a workout is.
– Share with others: try to find other people who are interested in fitness so that working out becomes easier for both parties as you motivate each other.
-try adding in more intense workouts once in awhile so that your body doesn’t get used to anything too soon. Doing different things will also help keep it both fun and healthy!
-drink lots of water and stay properly hydrated
– Listen to music or an audio book while working out so it doesn’t feel like time wasted
– Take breaks when working out; don’t go straight from one exercise into another without giving yourself a chance at recovery before continuing
– Get creative with workouts through YouTube videos or fitness blogs (these can help break up monotony)
And injuries mean stopping what we love doing and not being able to enjoy any benefits!
Workout Plan FAQ
Is it good to work out everyday?
Working out everyday means that you’re going to be too tired or unmotivated when those days come up where it’s just not possible. Working out every day can lead to injury if the intensity of work outs exceeds what the body can handle on a regular basis. Lastly, working out every day doesn’t mean that there are no other things in life worth enjoying. Take time off for family functions or afternoons spent with friends to enjoy yourself without guilt over missing workouts. There are many factors involved in deciding how often one should workout per week (intensity level/equipment availability/schedule).
How many days a week should I work out to build muscle?
When building a workout plan, it’s recommended that you work out at least three days a week. However, the more often you workout, the faster your muscles will grow as long as they’re not overworked. For optimal results, aim for five workouts per week or even six if time allows! With this routine, one would do upper body exercises on Monday and Thursday mornings; lower body exercises Tuesday morning; cardio Wednesday afternoon; abs Thursday night before bed and Saturday morning before breakfast (or any other off day).
How many sets per workout?
A good rule of thumb is generally 15-25 sets per workout. Nothing is cut in stone and you’ll have to see how your progress and recover based on the number of sets and reps you complete. If you find yourself hurting or too tired to do the next day’s workout, that’s a good indication the number of sets may be too high and to decrease it.
What are the best workout routines?
The best workouts are ones that you can and want to complete. If you design a plan too intense that you can’t do it or it leaves you poor recovery time before the next workout, it’s pointless. Choose exercises and an intensity right for you. It may take time to get it right, but once you do, you’ll HOPEFULLY enjoy it and keep with it.
What if I can't find time during the day for workouts?
You can always find time for workouts. It just might not be in the traditional sense. For example, if you’re short on time at night after work or before bed, try doing some morning and evening workouts instead- they’ll give your body an extra boost when it needs it most! The best way to build your routine is by starting with what feels right for your schedule and going from there. Trust me: setting aside even five minutes every day will do wonders for getting back into shape!
When should I work out?
Mornings are best to help you to get through your day without feeling sluggish. Try not to work out late at night if possible, as working out before bedtime can cause difficulty sleeping and insomnia. If working out after a meal is too taxing on your digestive system, try working up an appetite with some light activity first (walking or yoga), which should be enough to give you plenty of energy while also giving your body time for digestion. Working out at night can be beneficial due to having all the macronutrients that were consumed throughout the day readily available to burn as fuel to power through the routine.
What should I wear when working out?
When you step into the gym, wear something that makes you feel good about yourself- whether it’s a tank top and shorts or a hoodie and sweatpants!
Doesn’t matter what as long as you’re comfortable in your own skin. And shoes: don’t forget to put on some shoes!
How do I know if my workout plan is working?
Your personal fitness plan will be effective if there are observable results such as weight loss, increased muscle definition and improved endurance levels.
If not, try different exercises and workouts until you find one that works for you!
How long should my workout be?
The answer to this question depends on how much time you can spend working out each day. If you only have 30 minutes, your workout should be short and intense. At the gym or at home, find a variety of body weight exercises that take about 20-30 mins including: squats, pushups, lunges and planks.
What are common mistakes when creating a fitness routine?
The common mistakes when creating a fitness routine include:
– not defining a goal
– no time management that leads to workouts taking up too much of your day
– skipping planned rest days or working out on consecutive days without enough time for recovery in between.
-not properly tracking your progress
-failing to prioritize nutrition and tracking it
-inadequate sleep and recovery
If you keep these mistakes in mind when designing your routine, it will make for effective workouts.
And remember: if things get too hard, then take a break and come back with fresh eyes!
Creating a workout plan is simple; just start by choosing an intensity level that fits within your schedule – lower is always better than higher at first!
Take into account any injuries or disabilities as well. If you’re new at exercising this way then don’t forget to consult professionals before starting anything intense.
What’s the best way to keep myself accountable?
You can use a friend, family member or online community as your accountability partner.
If you don’t want other people involved in your process then just check-in with yourself every day and try not to break the commitments you’ve made!
Even if it’s simple: like swapping out one meal per week for a healthy option or going on a walk after dinner instead of sitting around watching TV.
It’s important that you’re also forgiving of yourself when mistakes happen – even personal trainers have off days; so do what feels right and good in those moments.
Programming your own routine and diet is within your ability. Just start by setting a goal and then go from there!
You’ll probably make some mistakes along the way but they’ll lead to an even more customized routine that will fit your needs.
If you’re looking for a personal workout routine, don’t let previous lack of experience stop you from trying to make your own! It doesn’t need to be long, complicated or expensive.
Just make sure you have a plan in place and that it’s something you know your body can handle!