There are many things you can base your workout off of:
- What equipment is available when you get to the gym
- What you feel like doing that day
- What body part isn’t sore
- How much time you have to workout that day
- What you see on instagram during your warm up
There’s a better way!
If you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like in the gym — the first thing I’m going to ask is if you are keeping track of your workouts. The second thing I’m going to ask is if you are following a workout program.
(Let’s say you do answer yes to both, then we’d want to take a look at your recovery and exercise selection.)
Most people don’t keep track of their workouts or follow a program. I didn’t used to either! As I’ve become a smarter lifter and trainer, there’s really just no reason not to because there are so many benefits:
- You don’t have to make decisions day of on what to do = less stress
- You know that the amount of work you are doing is “enough”
- You’ve planned for recovery/rest days so you don’t feel guilty taking them
- You can see the progress you are making week to week = motivation
- If equipment you planned on using is already in use, you can sub in a similar exercise versus abandoning the plan altogether
- You look and feel like you know what you’re doing in the gym
- You have efficient workouts because you always know what is next = time saved
So how do you go about starting a workout program?
Obviously, I recommend reaching out to a certified personal trainer who can create a program based specifically on your body, injuries, goals, equipment available to you, time constraints, etc. (shameless plug)
IF you’re not going to go that route:
- Start by deciding how many workouts you want to include in your workout program — I’d recommend 3-6 depending on how many times you plan on working out per week.
- Decide on your workout split — full body, upper/lower split, push/pull split, body part split, etc.
- Pick your exercises — make sure to not just include your favorites!
- Pick your sets and reps — make sure to include progress overload.
For my clients and myself we use a google spreadsheet that can be edited within the Sheets app, but you could also use good old pen and paper or whatever works for you.
Let me know any questions you have about workout programs in the comments!