Planning a Week of Workouts
One time or another, we have all left our “to-do” lists at home and had to improvise by trying to remember what we had planned. Without our lists, we struggle to remember where we have to go and exactly what needs to be done and when. The same holds true for planning our fitness goals and routine. In order to stay on track, it’s necessary to document what you want to accomplish, how you plan to get there, and how to stick with your goals. In order to successfully reach your fitness goals, you should write reasonable and attainable weekly guidelines.
One of the biggest hurdles for the exercise enthusiast, whether it be to lose weight, build cardiovascular health, and/or build strong muscle, is to figure out how to get there. After you decide what you expect to obtain from an exercise program, you will need to research the different ways to get there. Reading online is one way, and another is to find a gym where a personal trainer can provide fitness advice.
What Do You Want To Accomplish
Is it your goal to increase cardiovascular health, lose weight, or plan for a 5K run? How about building large bulky muscle groups, increasing core strength or muscle tone and endurance? It is important to decide exactly what goals you expect to obtain and to design a plan to accomplish those goals.
Designing a Workout Plan
After formulating goals, you will need to design a workout plan that will fit into your busy schedule. Some of the factors that you need to keep in mind are as follows.
- Cardio – Cardiovascular fitness requires eating healthy, and frequent intense exercise. Walking, jogging, running, rowing, swimming, and climbing exercises all help keep us healthy. If you are concerned about minimizing injuries, try doing cardio on gym style machines that minimize impact injuries. The VersaClimber is one of those machines that dramatically increases cardiovascular health while maintaining proper exercise form and minimizing injuries.
- Strength – Building muscle isn’t as simple as lifting weights or doing cardio exercise. If you want to build physical strength, lifting weights will do that. But it is also important to integrate some cardio exercise into your workout routine. Cardio exercise helps increase the strength of your heart and lungs and helps increase endurance. Strength training and cardio work well together.
- Weight Loss – It is a well-known fact that cardio exercises help burn fat and aid in weight loss. In fact, for those who are overweight but also want to burn calories, lose weight, and build muscle, cardio exercise is the best way to start. One mistake that many people make is to assume that weight lifting will help them lose extra weight and help them burn fat. In fact, if you work out with free weights or weight machines before you lose weight, you will most likely gain muscle mass and not lose body fat. To lose fat, do cardio exercise first until you reach your ideal body weight.
- Age, and Activity Level – There is no question that the older we get, the more exercise limitations we have. Much of that limitation is self-imposed, and some of it is due to age. Many people say that age is in-the-mind and doesn’t have to completely limit us in how much exercise we get. It is a fact that exercise builds stronger muscles, and bones, and helps us better tolerate pain. Sedentary people often suffer joint and body pain that healthy, active people do not. Of course, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, or are an older adult, and wish to start a healthy exercise regimen, it is important to talk with your doctor beforehand. People who exercise regularly find that it’s easier to stay healthy and feel well than not.
- Exercise Frequency, and Periods of Rest – Some people believe that the more you exercise, and the more muscle you build, the more body fat you will lose. The truth is that the human body is capable of many things, but it has limitations. One of the limitations is that it needs rest and time to recuperate from all types of exercise. Exercise experts recommend that we give our bodies 36-48 hours to bounce back from intense exercise. So for instance, if you are doing intense exercise on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you may wish to wait until Sunday or Monday to resume that intense exercise routine. Keep in mind that light exercise, like walking or swimming, is a healthy alternative on your days of rest.
When you know what your exercise goals are, and have researched ways to attain them, it is relatively easy to design a workout plan. It’s as simple as creating a basic spreadsheet with days of the week listed on top, times of day listed in the left column, and exercise types, intensity, reps and duration in the spaces for each day and time. For tech-savvy people, software programs and apps will even figure it out for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks and your daily calendar will remind you when it is time to exercise.
Keep in mind that in order to reach your fitness goals, you must maintain a weekly exercise plan. If after a few weeks you find that you are not reaching the goals you set, it may be necessary to make changes to the workout plan. Remember, having a weekly plan will help you stay on track, lose weight, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular health.