Every fitness enthusiast needs to know how to make a workout plan that’s both efficient and effective. Learn how you can do that here!
How to Make a Workout Plan to Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
Step 1: Think About Your Fitness Goal
Before creating a workout plan, think about your fitness goals. There are specific exercises for fat loss and muscle-building workout plans. If your goal is to be stronger, lift heavy weights with fewer reps. For weight loss workout plans, increase your workout intensity. This way, you maximize your ‘afterburn’ effect. Working out specific muscle groups is the principle of training specificity. It’s the foundation of effective exercise training.
Step 2: Determine Your Work and Home Situation
Assess your lifestyle, work, and home conditions. The recommended amount of daily exercise is 30 minutes to 1 hour. Regardless of your time commitment to work out, it’s crucial to develop that daily habit. Think about where you prefer to train as well, whether it’s at home or at the gym. From there, you can start to gauge how to build your routine, which exercises to do, and how much time you have to work out.
Step 3: Start with a Full-Body Routine
For workout plans for beginners, experts recommend starting with a full-body workout. Do this two to three times per week. This prepares your body to move towards more centralized and challenging workouts. A personal trainer can help you get started. Trainers may also create a personalized workout plan to lose weight or build muscle.
Step 4: Assign Workout Days Based on Movement Types
Before crafting your ideal workout plan, you need to assess how often you can hit the gym. If you can only do three or fewer workouts at the gym weekly, it’s best to make every session a total-body workout. If you can manage to go to the gym every day, split your workout goals.
Exercise physiologist Pete McCall, CSCS, recommends dividing your workout by movement type. This can prevent overtraining. Here are some common movement types to include in your workout:
- Upper-body push (push-ups)
- Upper-body pull (pull-ups)
- Rotational movement (bicycle crunches)
- Hip-dominant movements (squats)
Step 5: Choose the Best Exercises
It’s best to keep your workout simple. Choose five exercises first and aim to become stronger with these movements. A muscle-building workout plan for beginners has at least one exercise for each area of the body.
Choose one exercise for your core, butt and hamstrings, and quads. Also, include at least one workout for your “push” muscles and one for your “pull” muscles. That’s how to make a workout plan using only four or five full-body exercises. Here are a few options you can choose from:
- Core (lower back and abs): exercise ball crunches, hanging leg raises, planks, side planks, jumping knee tucks, mountain climbers
- Butt and Hamstrings: straight leg deadlifts, deadlifts, step-ups, hip raises
- Quads: one-legged squats, squats, box jumps, lunges
- Push (chest, shoulders, and triceps): push-ups, bench press, incline dumbbell press, dips, overhead press
- Pull (back, biceps, and forearms): pull-ups, bodyweight rows, chin-ups, dumbbell rows
Step 6: Create a Set-Rep-Rest Scheme
Revisit your fitness goals to help you decide how many reps and sets to do for each exercise. If you aim to create weight loss workout plans, do high-rep schemes of three sets with 15 to 20 reps. Circuit training also works well for fat loss. For muscle building workout plans, three sets of 8 to 12 reps are more effective.
For strength training, focus on high-set, low-rep workout routines. Go for six sets of 3 to 5 reps. When it comes to recovery, you will need more depending on how much you’re lifting. A rest time of 45 to 60 seconds is best for calorie burn, elevating heart rate, and muscle growth.
Step 7: Maintain a Healthy Diet
You might think strong bodies are made in the gym, but they’re actually built in the kitchen. There won’t be much of an improvement from working out if you always eat fatty food and junk food. Go for a high-protein diet with good fats.
The main staples in your meal plan should contain fish, nuts, and dairy products. Nix sugary snacks, salty foods, and processed foods from your diet. Healthy meals help build strong bones and develop lean muscle.
Step 8: Consider Taking Supplements
Look for the best supplements to take according to your fitness goals. You can either consult your physician, ask a trainer, or do some research on your own. Choose supplements with the right amount of minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and amino acids.
Step 9: Switch Things Up in Your Workout Plan
Once you’ve built a 5-day workout routine that works for you, experts recommend making constant changes to it. This helps prevent your body and your performance from plateauing. The body adapts to workout routines every 8 to 12 weeks, so it’s best to switch things up.
You don’t need to completely change your workout plan or create a new one from scratch. Recommended changes include using different equipment or alternating between strength training and cardio.
Step 10: Keep Track of Everything!
Keeping a workout journal can help you keep track of your progress. Take note of how much you lift, your workout durations, and the exercises that you do. That way, you can compare yourself against your previous performances. When you track your progress, you can set a new personal best every time you workout. This helps you push yourself to be stronger, go faster, or lift more when you train.
Here’s a video to inspire you to start a workout plan for your fitness goals:
For people who want to lose weight, build muscle, or just stay in shape, you might have already wondered how to make a workout plan that actually works. When creating a workout plan for a specific goal, it’s best to keep it simple. Increase complexity and difficulty levels once you’ve established and maintained your routine. Assessing your own body and fitness needs can help you build a personalized workout plan.
What are your specific fitness goals? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!