Planning your workout is as important as performing your workout! Many people go to the gym and randomly pick exercises to do, some random cardio and then doing a few weight training exercises. While you are getting some exercise, planning your workout will help you get better results.
Have a plan. Going to the gym without a plan leaves you wandering aimlessly from cardio machine to strength exercise, haphazardly picking exercises without purpose. When you’re done, you’ll head home with no sense of accomplishment, you didn’t really know what you were trying to accomplish in the first place. A simple plan will add purpose and intent to your workout, improve your results and give you that feeling of achievement. It just feels good to check something off! Your workout plan does not have to be complicated. If you are a beginner and need help getting started, a personal trainer or fitness coach can help you plan your workouts in the initial stages.
Know what body parts you are working on which days, and why. Haphazardly combining muscle groups will actually stunt your progress. For example, my personal clients perform their upper leg workouts as a standalone session. This gives total focus on one of the biggest groupings of muscles in the body. Your body can respond by dedicating all the available resources on the legs.
But also know that your chest and back can be worked effectively together. Shoulder and arms make a nice combination. By knowing this, and planning your workouts accordingly, you will skyrocket your success!
How much cardio you do and when is important. Spacing your resistance training to allow for recovery can open up days that can be devoted to cardio alone. Because you are planning for this you can enter the gym knowing what you are doing with the confidence of knowing why. This avoids ‘feeling guilty’ because you worked on one or two body parts and not all muscles.
You can now start your week off knowing that you have a plan to workout for four days and what you will be doing on each of those days. Don’t you feel a little bit relieved that you don’t have to think about what you will be doing when you get to the gym? This is also a big motivation for you to know that for four days this week you will be working out.
You can stop there and go about your week with the plan of action in place. Or, you can really dig in deeper and plan out each day’s workout, what exercises will you do on the full body days, with the resistance levels and sets and reps in order. And on the cardio days you can set the levels up with which type of cardio you will do. So now you have motivated yourself even more to get this plan done.