It can be very confusing when trying to create a workout plan, whether you are just starting out, or even an advanced triathlete. There is so much information out there in the health and fitness world that sometimes it gets tough trying to put it all together. One thing that you can be sure of is that we are all humans, we go through similar movements patterns, and all have similar needs and goals when it comes to trying to get in shape and be healthy. There is no cookie cutter way to construct a program, but here are 5 things everyone must do when creating your own workout plan.
1. There is too much of a good thing. Balance is key
I put this number 1 on the list because often times I see people doing too much of the same thing, and not creating balance in their workouts. You can’t only run all of the time and expect to be strong and build muscle. You can’t lift weights and expect to be flexible. And you can’t just do Yoga and expect to have good cardiovascular conditioning. Building strength and muscle tissue, increasing flexibility, and cardiovascular conditing are ALL essential tools when constructing an exercise program. Make sure that you try to include a little bit of each in your workout routine. You may do more Yoga than cardio, but try to mix some in. You may run more than lift weights, but lifting weights will only make you a better runner and keep you free from injury. Too much of a one type of training often leads to muscular imbalances, injury, and overtraining. First things first, find some balance and variety in your routine. Your body and mind will thank you!
2. Ramp Up the Intensity for Better Efficiency
Our lives are just so busy these days. We hardly have time to relax, let alone work out! The number one reason why people don’t work out is becasue lack of time. This is not only due to people not having time, but they also have the mindset that to get a good workout it takes a lot of time. That is not the case. You can get a great workout in a very short amount of time by simply increasing the intensity and decreasing the duration of your workout routine. An hour on the treadmill or a long walk, and a 1-hour step aerobics class don’t do too much for the metabolism. That is why I highly recommend circuit training. You can pair up many different strength, core, cardiovascular, and Yoga/dynamic stretching exercises all into one very effective circuit that has it all! Anyone can do it of all levels, and you can even do it at your house with minimal equipment.
3. Does it Make Sense for Me?
It is so easy for people to jump on the bandwagon and try out the latest and greatest workout routine. So the hot ones out that come to mind are P90X, the “300” workout, and CrossFit. While all of these having tremendous value, they are not for everyone. There is no do all end all way to work out. Make sure you are skeptical and do your research first. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is. Consult with a professional if you are confused or if you want them to help you sort out the latest and greatest workout you found on the internet.
4. Does Your Workout Routine Have Preventative Exercises?
When you think of a workout routine you think of the basics, strength training, cardiovascular training, and stretching. Very rarely do you think of the things that you need to do in order to enhance functional movement patterns, improve tissue quality and recovery, and preventative exercise to either prevent or improve pain and injuries. I include these types of things in ALL of my client’s routines no matter what! Using certain squatting and lunging, crawling, Get-ups, pushing, and pulling exercises to improve our bodies’ natural functional movement patterns, foam rolling and active stretching to improve tissue quality and health, and preventative exercises that are similar to ones that you would see in a physical therapy setting are all extremely important when constructing a workout routine.
5. Putting it All Together
With all of that being said, here is what is needed when looking at your workout routine. I have broken it down into about a 1-hour workout schedule that you could perform 3 days a week. Each person time doing each type of exercise will vary depending on their own personal goals and needs. Dynamic Warm-up/Movement Improvement: 5-10 minutesPower/Strength Training: 25-35 minutesCardiovascular/Conditioning: 5-15 minutes
Everyone’s individual needs will always be different, but please make sure to keep these tips in mind when trying to create your own personal workout routine!