With the fast-paced lifestyle, we often find ourselves neglecting our health and fitness. There is no denying that regular exercise is the key to maintaining a healthy mind and body. But, the thought of starting a workout routine can be overwhelming for many, especially if they are new to fitness. Creating a workout plan can be intimidating, but it becomes easier if you follow a few simple steps. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to create a workout plan that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Determine Your Current Fitness Level and set a Goal for Improvement
The first step towards creating a workout plan is to determine your current fitness level. This will help you decide your starting point and set achievable goals. You can do this by evaluating your cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, and flexibility. Once you are aware of your fitness level, you can set a realistic goal for improvement. Remember, the goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
Ways to assess your fitness should center around the four categories I use for myself and clients:
- Strength—the ability to move load
- Conditioning—the ability to do physical activity continuously
- Skill—technical knowhow
- Mobility—the ability of joints to move through range of motion
For example, you may perform a press, hinge, and squat to assess strength and technical know how for these types of movements. At the same time, this movements will help you assess your mobility based on how well you joints move during the exercises.
For the press, you could perform one or more of:
- Machine bench press
- Kettlebell floor press
- Dumbbell overhead press
- Or any number of other pressing movements
For the hinge, you could perform one or more of:
- Bodyweight single leg deadlift
- Bodyweight hip thrust
- Band straight leg deadlift
- Kettlebell swing
- Barbell deadlift
- Or any number of other hinge movements
For the squat, you could perform one or more of:
- Bodyweight squats
- Pistol squat
- Machine squat
- Dumbbell front squat
- Barbell back squat
- Or any number of other squat movements
Performing these movements and recording videos of you doing so, or having a trainer such as myself review your form in person, will help you assess your strength, mobility, technical know how, and general comfort with workouts.
A simple way to approach the conditioning portion is to pick a cardio method and see if you can continuously complete it at a light to moderate pace for 10-60 minutes. There are a number of other ways to test conditioning, but this approach is simple to employ and easy to assess, making it ideal for a starting assessment.
Create an Achievable Workout Plan According to Your Budget and Schedule
Now that you have set your goal, the next step is to create a workout plan that fits your budget and schedule. You don’t need a gym membership to get fit; many exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment. Incorporate aerobic and strength-building exercises in your workout routine. Aerobic exercises like running, cycling, and swimming help improve cardiovascular fitness while strength-building exercises like weight training and resistance bands help build lean muscle mass.
The exact details of what you do are not the most important thing. Consistently doing something is. Take me for example, in 2001 I began working out with some equipment a friend left at my place. With a curl bar and a few weight plates, I began doing curls, overhead presses, and other exercises. From there, I just kept going. Early on I just ready fitness magazine, tried things for exercise as well as nutrition, and moved forward without much of a plan.
But, I kept putting in work and trying to improve over time, which has led to me being the fittest I have ever been.
A simple approach for you may be to just plan to get active in some way seven days per week. Just 15 minutes of activity everyday adds up over time. This could include having structured workouts that last 30-45 minutes three days per week, and then just walking or moving in some way for 15 minutes the other four days of the week. Just start and keep going.
For a structured plan, there are a lot of online resources you can find with a simple internet search, or you can hire a trainer to help you improve your fitness.
Break the Monotony by Incorporating Different Types of Activities
One of the most challenging aspects of sticking to a workout routine is getting bored. To avoid boredom, change up your exercises by incorporating different types of activities like yoga, Pilates, or running. When you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to stick to it. Additionally, it challenges different muscle groups and prevents overuse injuries.
This is something I did extensively over the years and still do today. This include regularly trying new things, but also cycling “old” things in and out based on goals and interest. Some training styles I incorporated over the years include:
- Isolation training (body building)
- Martial arts
- Strong Man
Take Advantage of Free Outdoor Workouts
Integrating outdoor workouts into your fitness regimen introduces an exciting dimension to your routine, offering a myriad of opportunities to push your boundaries and embrace diverse exercises. Engaging in activities like hiking or embarking on a refreshing bike ride not only exposes you to the rejuvenating embrace of nature but also serves as a remarkable means to enhance both your physical prowess and stamina. These activities foster an immersive experience, allowing you to bask in the beauty of the outdoors while sculpting your body.
Consider exploring the waters through kayaking, where the rhythmic paddling engages multiple muscle groups, providing an exceptional full-body workout. Alternatively, the dynamic nature of beach volleyball can offer a spirited way to work on agility, coordination, and cardiovascular health. Even a casual yet spirited game of basketball can transform into a thrilling workout session, infusing fun into your fitness routine.
Moreover, the allure of outdoor workouts lies not only in their physical benefits but also in the mental rejuvenation they offer. The change of scenery from the four walls of a gym provides a refreshing break, invigorating the mind and spirit. The sights, sounds, and fresh air stimulate your senses, elevating your mood and revitalizing your motivation.
Incorporating these outdoor activities not only diversifies your exercise regimen but also infuses it with an adventurous spirit. They present an opportunity to challenge yourself, explore new physical feats, and foster a deeper connection with the natural world. So, step outside, embrace the serenity of the outdoors, and let your workout be an invigorating journey of discovery and fulfillment.
Reward Yourself with Small Treats Along the Way to Stay Motivated
Maintaining motivation along your fitness journey forms the cornerstone of consistent progress. Infuse your routine with small yet meaningful rewards, acting as incentives that fuel your drive to achieve your goals. Treat yourself to something special at the end of a successful week—a fresh pair of vibrant workout leggings to invigorate your exercise wardrobe or indulge in a soothing facial to pamper yourself for your hard work. These little rewards serve as delightful reminders of your dedication and progress.
Tracking your journey is another pivotal aspect that amplifies motivation. Document your milestones, triumphs, and even the challenges you overcome in a dedicated journal or through a fitness app. This tangible record not only helps you acknowledge how far you’ve come but also serves as a source of encouragement during moments of self-doubt. Reflecting on your progress can reignite your determination and reaffirm your commitment to your fitness goals.
Additionally, sharing your accomplishments with your support network—friends, family, or even online communities—can be immensely empowering. Vocalizing your achievements not only solidifies your commitment but also invites encouragement, support, and even constructive feedback from those who care about your well-being. This accountability loop fosters a sense of responsibility, pushing you to stay consistent and dedicated.
Furthermore, consider setting smaller, manageable milestones along your journey. Celebrate these incremental successes to sustain your motivation and sense of achievement. Breaking down larger goals into smaller, attainable steps not only makes the journey seem less daunting but also allows for more frequent moments of acknowledgment and celebration.
Remember, maintaining motivation in your fitness journey is about finding a balance between dedication and self-care. Rewarding yourself, tracking progress, and sharing your successes can serve as pillars of motivation, guiding you through the peaks and valleys of your transformative journey toward a healthier, happier you.
Creating a workout plan may seem intimidating at first, but following these simple steps will help you stay on track towards achieving your fitness goals. Remember, start by determining your current fitness level and setting a SMART goal. Create a workout routine that’s achievable according to your schedule and budget and includes both aerobic and strength-building exercises. Break up the monotony by incorporating various activities and taking advantage of free outdoor workouts. Lastly, reward yourself to stay motivated throughout your fitness journey. Start your fitness journey today and enjoy the numerous health benefits that come with regular exercise.
And that is it. Have questions? Let me know on social media. You can click the links here, or just look up Nathan DeMetz Personal Training on Facebook and Instagram.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!