Tuesday, January 28, 2014

5 Basic Tips for Planning Your Own Workout Program

While you may choose to hire a professional personal trainer or health and fitness coach to help you set and achieve your fitness goals, it can be pricey, and you may be the type of person who prefers to do this on your own. If you're coming up with your own fitness plan, it is important to stay on track, and having a detailed plan to follow will make it much easier to do so. When it comes to getting fit or losing weight, having a long-term workout program planned out for months at a time, with goals to achieve along the way, will help you to stick with it. To come up with your program, you will want to start with the basics to come up with something that suits your needs.

English: DeBarra Mayo in workout gear 1987. Ph...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tip #1: First, you will need to define the purpose of your fitness plan. Are you trying to lose weight? Or just wanting to improve your overall fitness? Are you trying to tone or to bulk up? Having a clear grasp of what you’re aiming to do in the long-run will help to guide your plan and keep you motivated too.

Tip #2: Now that you know what your overall goal is, it's time to think about how often you will work out in order to accomplish it. If you’re new to workout programs, or are not particularly fit, you may need to go easy to start with. Plan to do some light training on one or two days each week until you start getting used to physical exertion and recovery. Too much too soon could be overwhelming and put you off track, and it can be very hard to get back on again.

Tip #3: After easing yourself into your new routine, you can increase the intensity of the workout and add an extra one or two workout days to your program. Try for three days each week, or maybe four if you’re feeling really energetic. However, it’s as important to include rest and recovery days in your schedule as it is to include workout days.

Tip #4: The amount of time you allow for a workout session will dictate the variety and kinds of exercise you can carry out. For lots of variety, you’ll need a longer session, and for endurance exercise you’ll also need more time.

Therefore, you will need to have an idea of the exercises you intend to do in your program. Think about which areas of your body you’d like to focus on the most, and that will give you an idea of what type of exercise you need to do. Do you want to drop weight off your stomach? (Cardio.) Do you want to increase the endurance in your legs? (Running.) Perhaps you want to bulk up your biceps? (Weight training.) You can plan each session with these focal points in mind.

Tip #5. Build your program up bit by bit. Start off by deciding on your general aims, then figure out how much time you’ll have available or want to spend exercising. With a range of possible exercises in mind, plan what you’d like to cover in each session. See if you can cover everything in a one- or two-week exercise cycle.

After you’ve begun the actual workouts, you’ll have a better idea of which exercises work for you, and how long it all takes. You can then adjust your program to match what you learn. With this knowledge, you can then set yourself longer-term goals – like increasing the number of reps or sets you do in a session, or running further in the same amount of time.

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