As a trainer, I am always switching up my clients workouts. Each day, I give them something new. I design a workout schedule for each client that helps them constantly progress. If you are new to exercise, it can be difficult to create this type of structure for yourself. So, today I want to give you a few tips on building a structured workout routine.
The first question you should ask yourself when building a structured workout routine is: what are my fitness goals. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to build muscle? Are you training for an endurance event? Take a moment to organize your goals, both big and small. These will help you create your routine.
The second question you need to consider is: how often can I realistically workout each week? If you can commit 6+ hours a week to the gym, that is great! However, many people struggle to commit that amount of time to exercise. So, be honest with yourself. How many times a week can you ACTUALLY workout?
My three main tips for creating a workout schedule are:
1. If you can only workout three days a week, work as many muscles as possible each day.
2. If you are trying to build muscle, you need to devote time to weight lifting most everyday.
3. Regardless of your goals, there should be some amount of cardio and stretching in your routine.
Let me break down each of those tips a little bit more.
If you can only commit to working out three days a week, make each of those workouts as productive as possible.
Aim to work both the upper body and lower body in all of your workouts. Each workout should blend cardio with total body conditioning exercises. These workouts will be tough. But, if you want to see your body change while working just three days a week, they need to be tough. Try some of my MFit HIIT & Burn workouts or one of my bootcamp flow routines. These kinds of workouts blend total body training and cardio perfectly. They are types of workouts you should spend your time doing.
All of my MFit home workout plans include workouts like these. So, if you are looking for full-length, follow along total body workout videos… check out my plans!
If your main goal is to build muscle, but you can only exercise three days a week. That is okay… for now. However, if you are serious about building a significant amount of muscle, you will need to find extra time in your schedule eventually. But for now, on those three days, here is what I recommend doing. On Day 1, do a lower body and abs workout. For Day 2, do a push workout for your chest, triceps and shoulders. Then on Day 3, do a pull workout for your back, biceps and hamstrings.
That routine will work for a while, but as I said before, if you want to build muscle, you need more time.
Building a significant amount of muscles takes a lot of time. So having more time each week to focus on working the muscles you want to grow is helpful. If you want to get a bigger butt, for example, a program like my 4-Week Peach Plan is a good guide. In this plan I have you train your legs, specifically your glutes, three times a week. In addition to those three lower body workouts, I also include three other days of shoulder, back and core workouts. Those workouts will enhance the booty curves we are creating. It is a process. But this process will give you the results you want.
Say you want to gain muscle in your upper body. Once you have 5-6 days a week to go to workout, you can have a day for arms, a day for shoulders, a day for chest, and a day for back. Now you can really work each muscle to its max everyday, and you have the appropriate amount of recovery time that your muscles need to heal and grow.
So again, if you only have a few days to workout… make those days count. However, if you want to build real muscle, eventually you need to find more time.
Regardless of your goals, you need to stretch and do some type of cardio everyday.
When it comes to cardio, don’t be intimidated. I just want you to get your heart rate up daily. Go for a brisk walk, do one of my steady state cardio routines or try something more intense if you are up for it. If you can’t squeeze in that extra cardio time, blend cardio into your workout like I do in the 2-Week Mini Band Cardio Plan.
Keep in mind that there is no formula for a perfect workout schedule. Everyone will react to working out differently. There is a lot of trail and error involved in building a structured workout routine because you have to find what works for you. As I’ve said, your goals play a big role in how you design your workout. I am giving you tips that have worked for me and my clients, but remember your body is unique.