The hardest part of going to the gym is getting there right? Once you’re there, though, it’s also important to make good use of your time. Most of us don’t have 2-3 hours to spend at the gym each day, and even if we do, no one wants to put in tons of time without results.
The best way to avoid this is to have a plan before you get there.
Why Do I Need a Workout Plan?
Having a plan for your workout of the day (#WOD), and even for the entire week, can help you get the most out of every single workout and actually start to SEE RESULTS. Which is what we all want most, right? Of course, doing something is always better than doing nothing, but having a set plan has MANY benefits that will help you see better and faster results and take you to your best level of fitness.
The first thing to note is that there are hundreds of different types of workout styles or plans, and finding the one that is right for you is the key to getting the results you want.
So what is your goal? Are you looking to lose fat and add muscle? Would you like to add strength or speed? Do you want to alleviate pain and add flexibility? Each of these goals requires a different plan or focus. A football player isn’t going to have the same workout plan as a basketball player, and a ballerina would not have the same plan as a gymnast. Decide on your goals, and set your plan accordingly.
Your Plan and Your Diet
The type of workout you plan to do for the day should ideally inform when and what you eat as well. Planning a long run? Make sure you have enough carbs that day to fuel your long haul. Going for a heavy lifting session? Prepare a protein-packed meal to have ready right for after you’ve finished.
Of course, you can eat the same healthy foods on each day, but being prepared can help you have a better workout, with improved performance and, ultimately, better results.
The Bigger Picture
Once you have your workout plan for the day, think about how it fits into your week, your month, and even the season. It’s important to think of your workouts on both a micro and macro level. That means that you must look both at today and at the big picture, because these plans work TOGETHER.
If you know that you have a big event to attend this weekend, you don’t want to schedule a long workout on the same day. You might end up skipping your workout because you don’t have enough time.
The same applies to a busy work week. If you know you’ll be working late on a Tuesday, you might schedule your workout for early morning, or you could choose to make this your rest day, so that you don’t have to worry about dragging yourself to the gym after an exhausting day. Plan out your week or even your month, and you will begin to see a reduction in missed workouts from your prior preparation.
Track Your Progress, or Lack Thereof
A structured workout plan is also key in helping determine what is NOT working for you. If you want to lose fat and you work out for a month straight without much progress, it would be difficult to pinpoint the source of your frustration if each time you go to the gym you are doing something different or random. What are you doing wrong? How will you be able to tell?
Also, once you have a plan, you don’t want to change it too often. You have to trust the process. After several weeks, it will become clear which areas are working and which aren’t, and then you can make adjustments to get on the right track.
Let’s look at an example.
Kelly wants to get leaner (reduce body fat), but she also wants to build her booty. To accomplish this, she will need to have cardio as part of of her workout plan to help her get lean, but she also must make sure that she is doing the right amount and type of cardio, or else she may end up burning off the same booty that she is working to grow.
In this scenario, in addition to a proper diet and focusing on her glutes several times a week, Kelly should also incorporate interval training such as sprints, or intervals on the stair master, which will aid in building muscle, without overtraining the booty.
Plus, when Kelly goes to the gym on her Glutes Day, she will know exactly what she’s planning to do, know when she’s finished, and will know exactly how she did with her goals for the day.
There are many steps involved with finding and implementing the right workout plan for YOU, but the best place to start is to have a plan and KNOW before you GO!
What type of workout plan do you have and how did you decide what you wanted your plan to be? Please share in the comments below!