How to make a fitness routine and plan. Fit man holding barbells and doing fitness.

A Workout plan is a plan of what workouts you plan to do. It is usually for a workout session. While a workout routine is workouts you plan to do for a specific period of time.

Before making your workout plan and routine, there should be a clear goal of what you want to achieve, why have you decided to be fit? This you need to answer before making a plan and routine. This is because the workouts you do must be coherent with the goal you have in mind.

For example, if you’re planning to lose weight, then your plan and routine should include lots of Cardio to help your metabolism and burn calories.

Most workouts you will do will have to deal with specific muscles or group of muscles. Read the main muscles for workouts here.

You need a workout plan and routine whether you choose to workout at the gym or at home — whichever one is convenient for you.

What Your Workout Plan and Routine Should Look Like

How to make a fitness routine and plan. Woman holding a pen and writing her plansWhen doing fitness, the last thing we want is to burn out or run out of ideas. Fitness is a continuous process.

First of all, you need to know how many days in a week you want to work out. Most fitness models and bodybuilders workout at least 5 days a week. If you are reading this article, you simply might not be able to work out this much. This is understandable as we all lead a busy life.

For me, 4 is optimal. For you, it might be 3 times a week. I would say if you workout not less than twice a week then you’re still safe.

Next, you need to know how long you want your workout sessions to be on the average. Can you go 2 hours a day? one hour, 45 minutes, 30 minutes. If not less than 30 min, I think you’re fine. When considering the lengths of your workouts, you need to also put into consideration the number of days you workout in a week. For example, say you plan to workout 4 days a week, 30 min each day or 2 days, 2 hours each day. Both are okay. You need to plan this according to your schedule and make sure you are able to do this and it doesn’t burn you out.

Next, what are you going to do during your workouts and on what days are you going to do them? You need to know simple definitions like;

Reps(repetitions) and Sets if you don’t know them.

Rep(s):- is one complete motion of an exercise. Several complete motions make reps. It’s short for repetition.
Set(s):- is a group of consecutive repetitions. Reps make a set. This number is not specific but varies depending on your choice.

For example, 2 sets of 10 reps of bicep curls mean 10 bicep curls, rest and another 10 bicep curls. If this is your plan for the day, then you can say you have successfully worked out your biceps.

You shouldn’t work out all the muscles of the body in one day. This is won’t be productive.

The productive way to go about is to work out a muscle or group of muscles in one day, rest (period till the next workout). This allows your muscles to heal and working the next group of muscles the next workout day will be more efficient. Also, this prevents you from burning out.

Example of a Workout Routine

 

Monday:  Cardio, Chest and Biceps

Wednesday: Shoulders (Delts), triceps and Core (abs and lower back)

Friday: Cardio, Push-ups and Back

Sunday: Gluts, hamstrings, and Leg

Or

Monday: Cardio, Chest, Biceps and Shoulders (Delts)

Wednesday: Triceps, Core (abs and lower back) and Back

Saturday: Gluts and Leg

Example of a Workout Plan
Monday

Cardio: Running on thread mill or outside, I set, 20 min.

Biceps: Dumbbell biceps curl 3 sets of 10 reps, Barbell biceps curl 3 sets of 10 reps, Standing cable curl 2 sets of 10 reps.

Chest: Barbell bench press 3 sets of 10 reps, Dumbbell bench press 3 sets of 10 reps, Chest Dips 2 sets of 10 reps, Pushups 1 set 20 reps.

Wednesday

Shoulders: Barbell shoulder press (standing) 3 sets of 10 reps, Dumbbell shoulder press (sitting) 2 sets of 10 reps, Rear delt raise (standing) 2 sets of 10 reps, Arnold dumbbell press 2 sets of 10 reps.

Triceps: Dumbbell overhead triceps extension 3 sets of 10 reps, Triceps rope pulldowns 3 sets of 10 reps, Bench dips 2 sets of 10 reps.

Core (Abs and Lower back): Sit-ups 3 sets of 10 reps, Bicycle crunches 3 sets of 10 reps, Deadlifts 2 sets of 5 reps.

Friday

Cardio:  Walking/Running/Swimming/Cycling 1 set, 30 min

Back: Bent over barbell roll  3 sets of 5 reps,  One-Arm dumbbell row 3 sets of 8 reps, Wide-grip pull-Up 2 sets of 8-10 reps, Standing t-bar row 1 set of 10 reps

Sunday

Gluts: Squats 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Hamstrings: Deadlifts 2 sets of 8-10 reps

Legs: Leg press 3 sets of 8-15 reps, Lying leg curl 2 sets of 10 reps, Leg extensions 3 sets of 10 reps, Standing calf raises 3 sets of 10 reps.

These are examples. You should set your routine and plan according to your convenience, taste and weight bearing capacity. But, the format should be the same.

10 Workout Tips

 

  1. Workout specific groups of muscles in one day. Don’t try to do all your workouts in one day. This is not productive, Instead spread your whole body workout over the course of the week. An illustration has been described above. Our muscles need time to rest, and it is during the resting period it grows and reorganizes itself.
  2. Don’t burn yourself out. Try not to burn yourself out. Change your workout techniques often, change your work out days, take it easy on yourself, learn new workout techniques, get a workout partner, listen to music while working out. These are some ways you can prevent yourself from burning out. Your workouts should be fun too.
  3. Dedicate a day to Gluts and Legs. Called the leg day, this is usually the last workout day of the week. This is because the muscles of the legs are tedious to workout and become very sore after a workout. This also allows your leg muscles to heal and grow before the next workout.
  4. Workout a muscle for at least 15 minutes. Take time to do your workouts. Spending too little time on working a muscle e.g. the biceps might not be productive. Do several reps and sets with different workout techniques for a muscle. 
  5. Choose your weights accordingly. Too light and too heavy are not recommended. Too heavy might damage your muscles. Best way to know which weight to start with is to gauge yourself. With time you can increase the weights.
  6. Rest after each rep and set. Don’t rest too much or too little between reps and sets. The amount of time you should rest between reps and sets should depend on your fitness goal. Optimal is between 1 to 3 minutes.
  7. Push yourself to the limit. Always try to outwork your planned workout without going overboard. Believe you can do better. This will help you not only to reach your fitness goal but also will motivate you.
  8. Don’t do a workout if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are several resources you can find on workouts. You can improvise new workouts later on when you’re an expert but when starting out, it’s better you know what you’re doing. Use the machines if you know how to use them over the traditional dumbbells and barbells and vice versa if you know how to use the traditional dumbbells and barbells. This is also true for home workouts.
  9. Drink enough water. Stay hydrated. Drinking water has several benefits and it’s a must when doing fitness. Dehydration can make you dizzy, nauseous or even faint. Drinking at least 8 cups of water daily is recommended.
  10. Eat before and after a workout. Your muscles need nutrients and energy to work and grow. Doing fitness on an empty stomach isn’t optimal. At the very least eat some fruits or a light meal before workouts. You will usually be hungry after a workout — you just burned calories. So, make plans for this as well. Benefits of eating fruits can’t be overemphasized.

In conclusion, making a workout plan and routine should be easy and not complicated. Most importantly you should plan what workouts you are going to do and on what day you are going to do them. Now go ahead and make one for yourself.

Specific workouts will be discussed in upcoming fitness articles.

Until then, Stay Fit!

 


Dr. Klas

Dr. Klas aka Dr. Emmanuel Adeniran is a medical doctor, a health educator, and a fitness expert who has been into fitness for more than five years. He is willing to share his knowledge and experience with you.

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