A fitness plan is the first and perhaps the essential step in being successful in the fitness world. Think about it, behind every success story; there is always a plan and fitness is no different. If you want to achieve your fitness goals; lose weight, build muscle, increase endurance & strength, cardio, etc. and live a happy and healthy life, you need a fitness plan.
I have received many emails from my subscribers asking me how they can create a fitness plan for themselves, and I’m already tired of replying those emails, that’s why in this article I will reveal the techniques I use in my consultations.
So, how do you create a fitness plan?
There are two options; you either consult a fitness expert to get your personalized fitness plan or create one yourself.
There are pros and cons to either of the choices above, and you have to choose the one you feel comfortable with.
But if you would like to create a fitness plan for yourself or you want to know what a fitness plan contains, then this article is for you.
Getting Started: The Basis
Okay, let me start by saying that there is no generalized fitness plan, i.e. there is no one for all fitness plan. Your fitness plan should be tailor-made for YOU alone, and no matter what your fitness goal is, there is a plan for you.
When designing a fitness plan, five things form the core of a fitness plan, and their importance cannot be overestimated in your overall success in achieving your fitness goal(s).
- Fitness level
- Fitness goal(s)
- Frequency of workouts
- Fitness Level
Your fitness level has a lot to say about the intensity of your workouts, your workout routine, the number of times you should work out, and how long your workout should be.
Beginners have to take it slow, gentle, and smooth until your body adjusts to the new stress you are placing on it.
Experts have a better understanding of their body and a very high fitness level, so their fitness plan would include more types of workout programs, and the duration of the exercises will be different from that of a beginner.
2. Fitness Goal
Oh! Yes, this should have come first, before fitness level. Anyways, the most important thing is that it’s here now.
If your fitness level is a measure of where you stand in the fitness world, your fitness goal is visualizing the Promise Land and telling you what is possible.
It’s obvious that your fitness goal will determine how your fitness plan will look like. Whatever it is you want to achieve; lose weight, lower blood sugar, build muscle, increase cardiovascular endurance, increase strength and flexibility, stay in shape, want to be more physically active, etc. I’m sure you know that the possibilities are endless, your fitness plan would have to be tailored to help you achieve it.
For instance, a simple weight loss program would have more calorie consuming activities than a flexibility program (although diet plays a significant role in weight loss) and a muscle-building program would include more weight training and ingesting more calories (Yes, a caloric surplus is necessary for bulking).
No matter how good your fitness plan is if you don’t make yourself available to put it to use, it is useless (that is obvious, right?). When creating a fitness plan, you have to factor in your availability to follow through with the program.
Your workouts calendar must be scheduled in such a way that barring any emergencies, you will always be available to exercise. The best time to work out varies for everybody, but the most important thing is consistency.
In simple words, if you are not consistent in your program, you will find it difficult to achieve your fitness goals. So, it doesn’t have to be seven days a week, schedule your workouts in such a way that you will always be available to exercise.
One of the reasons why people find it difficult to stick to a fitness plan is because most fitness plans require lifestyle changes which may not sit well with the client.
Some clients are always eager to make lifestyle changes at the beginning of a fitness program, but I would later discover during their routine fitness checkups that they have fallen off the wagon a few weeks into their fitness plan.
So, craft your fitness plan around your lifestyle.
That way, you will always stay motivated and always look forward to your workouts.
Although some fitness plans necessitate making significant lifestyle changes, e.g. eating fewer calories when you want to lose weight or cutting out late-night foods to get rid of belly fat, but you don’t have to pull your life apart (not completely) to achieve your fitness goals.
If you want to get a dog and also want to increase cardiovascular endurance, get a high energy dog like Labradors (I have one myself, and we run together) which will make you exercise.
Or you have a sedentary lifestyle, and you are looking to increase your physical activity level, take the stairs instead of an elevator or offer to coach your son’s soccer team once a week.
The goal is not to go all out and make all the changes at once, but to start one at a time. Fitness is easy!
The question here is ‘how often should you work out?’ or ‘how long should your workout last?’
As a beginner, you shouldn’t work out seven days a week; your body needs to rest and recover. I would recommend at least two days full-body workout a week for beginners.
Your frequency of workouts also depends on your fitness goals; for muscle building and bulking, never exercise a muscle group on consecutive days. This is because muscles don’t grow in the gym but doing rest and recovery.
The good thing is that the human body will always adjust to whatever pressure you put on it.
So, if you want to work out five times a week and you are looking to lose weight, you should do more of cardio like three times a week and let weight training fill the rest of the days.
For twice a week workout, do full-body workouts on non-consecutive days and rest.
Your frequency of workouts depends on your fitness goals and availability.
So, What Next?
Now that you know the backbone of every fitness plan, it’s time to give you tips on how to achieve your fitness goals.
- To build muscle
Three things are very crucial to building muscles;
- Lifting heavyweight
Lifting weight and increasing the load as you get fitter (progressive overload) is the first step to build muscle. For starters, bodyweight programs are suitable for muscle strength and endurance but to significantly increase muscle mass; you have to use external weights.
Caloric surplus ensures that your body gets all the macromolecules it needs to build more and also repair muscle fibers after workouts. So, you need to increase your caloric intake to build more muscles.
Muscles aren’t grown in the gym or during workouts; you only damage the muscle fibers. Muscles are built during the rest and recovery phase, which must be between 24 – 48hrs after workouts. (Don’t exercise the same muscle group on consecutive days).
Below are some of the exercises that help to build muscles;
|Push muscles (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)||Bench press, overhead, pushups|
|Pull muscles (biceps, back, and forearms)||Pull-ups, chin-ups, dumbbell rows|
|Butt & hamstrings||Deadlift, step-ups, hip raises|
NOTE: To increase muscle endurance, lift lighter weights and go for more reps, e.g. 50kg in 20reps, while to increase muscle mass, lift heavier weight in lesser reps, e.g. 65kg in 15 or 10 reps.
- Cardiovascular Endurance
Walk, jog, run, sprint, MOVE!! Oh!! Don’t be mistaken, racing isn’t the only cardiovascular workout; swimming, biking, kickboxing, even skipping and Zumba dance are effective cardio workouts.
So, choose the one you are comfortable with, start slowly and increase the intensity with time.
2. Lose Weight And Staying In Shape
Diet plays a significant role in weight loss, as well as maintain a caloric deficit in the body. To lose weight, you have to eat less calorie than you expend every day.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an excellent way to burn calories, and most training programs can be modified to serve as (HIIT).
Bodyweight training, coupled with diet and cardio, will help you lose weight and stay in shape.
In conclusion, lack of motivation is a significant obstacle preventing people from achieving their fitness goals. To stay motivated, craft your fitness plan around something you love doing and always look forward to.
The best fitness plan is the one that you will stick to. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself and always manage your expectations.
Don’t expect to look like John Cena or Arnold Schwarzenegger after your first week in the gym. Depending on your body type and workout intensity, visible changes should start after 14 or 21 days. Be patient.
In case you still need help creating a fitness plan, book a personal consultation with our fitness expert today and start working on getting your dream body.
We would love to hear from; please use the comment box for comments and suggestions.
FITNESS IS NOT DIFFICULT!!!