Molly McNamee | Building A Structured Workout Routine
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Building A Structured Workout Routine

As a trainer, I am always switching up my clients workouts. Each day I give them something new and have them work different muscle groups. I advocate workout variation on my blog constantly. And today I want to give you a few ideas on how to structure your weekly workout routine.

It can be confusing to walk into a gym and see all the different equipment. You don’t know if you should be doing cardio or lifting weights. And once you choose one of those, you must figure out what exercises to do.

One mistake I see a lot of people making with their workout routine is always working every muscle group. Now, don’t get me wrong, every now and then a total body circuit is great. But, if you spend every day working every muscle, nothing is getting the attention it deserves nor does any muscle group get the appropriate recovery time. If you do a brutal upper body workout, you need to let your arms rest for 24-48 hours. That’s the time it takes for muscles to recover and to change!

If your main goal in working out is to get “huge” you better not go to the gym and work your biceps every single day. Doing that is not going to make you change. Your muscles can’t grow if you don’t give them the recovery they need to evolve. I’ve said before that focusing too much on one muscle group can cause injury, but another important reason to avoid doing that is because it’s going to halt your progress. So take note, and switch it up every once in a while!

There is no formula for a perfect weekly workout schedule. Everyone will react to working out differently. There is a lot of trail and error involved in creating a workout routine because you have to find what works for you. Your goals also play a big role in how you structure your routine. If your main goal were weight loss, I would advise you to include more daily cardio than I would for someone who is trying to gain weight!

That being said, I have found a pretty good balance in weekly workout structures and here’s a very rough sample schedule I would like to show you! If you need another rest day, take it. Like I said, this schedule has to work for you and your goals! This is one suggestion for how to structure your strength training. In addition, I suggest doing a little bit of cardio each day. Your cardio could be a 30-minute run, 15 minutes of HIIT, or simply structuring your strength training in a circuit format that will raise your heart rate. If you are trying to lose weight, do at least 30 minutes of cardio a day.

Monday – Legs

Tuesday – Chest/Back

Wednesday – Longer Cardio/HIIT

Thursday – Abs or Legs again

Friday – Rest/Light Stretching

Saturday – Biceps/Triceps/Shoulders

Sunday – Abs

You see how I have you working different muscle group’s everyday. Now, maybe you don’t want that much upper body in your routine. I used to do two upper body resistance-training sessions a week, and now I have switched them both out for one day of boxing and another day for my legs. I then incorporate more upper body into total body circuits or HIIT routines. Like I said, there isn’t a full-proof plan. But the key is variety and rest.

If you enjoy taking group fitness classes, try to alternate cardio classes with strength classes for a similar affect. If you do my MFit workouts, take a look at my playlists and choose workouts under each category for legs, arms, abs, etc each day. Find a combination that works for you.

Try maintaining a consistent schedule for a month, and then change it the next month. See what gave you the best results. Once the programming makes more sense to you, it will feel easier to pick out what workouts to do each day.