How to plan your weekly workouts
Pick a day to start your rotation of exercises and have a plan for what you will be doing each day. My workout week starts on Sundays and continues to Friday with a rest day in between.
These are the steps I follow to stay consistent with my fitness routines and goals . . .
Start a workout journal
When I started my journey for a healthier lifestyle change with exercises, I kept a journal of my daily workouts. These days my workouts habits are so ingrained in my physic that I don’t think about it. I just do it.
A typical journal should follow the following format . . .
At the top of your journal list your goals – longer-term and short-term – and highlight them in red. Consult your journal regularly. List your achievements from your last session and use that as a basis to measure your progress.
Your journal should have a list of all the exercises you regularly do including their variations. For example, when doing chest exercises you might use a regular bench press with a straight bar one week, machine presses another week and dumbbells a third week or even a combo of each.
Keep your journal for as long as it takes for your routines to become a standard and an accepted part of your day.
The night before you do your exercises review your journal and plan your workout accordingly.
How to start your workout
Before you get into your workout routine you will need to warm-up your body. Do this by first doing a basic stretching program for about 10 minutes or until your body feels lose and warm.
Check out this warm-up routine used by personal trainers to improve flexibility and focus.
After stretching you will need to increase your heart rate to get your calorie furnace started. You do this by breaking a light sweat – while jogging in place, speed walking on a treadmill, rope skipping, cycling, or any other form of cardio you may prefer – for about 5 to 7 minutes. I have access to a punching and speed bag. Two of my four cardio-days I use these as part of my warm-up and calorie burning routine.
Let your goals guide you
I exercise my body by working the major muscles once per week. In the past I worked differently based on the goals I had then. However, these days I get more benefit from doing compound movements like the bench press, squats and lunges, shoulder presses and certain back exercises.
Your exercises should be based on the goals you want to accomplish. If you wish to increase strength then do progressive load workouts where you regularly increase the weights you are moving.
If your goal is to shed body fat then do fat-burning exercises like HIIT (high intensity interval training). This requires you to pick up the pace of your movements in short bursts.
Maybe you want to improve your respiration. The best way to do this is to focus on doing cardio type movements. These include martial arts, rope skipping, swimming, cycling or running to name a few. There is an endless list to choose from.
After you’ve completed your workout routines it’s time to cool down. If you did your exercises properly you should be covered with perspiration from your efforts. Do a light stretch session before calling it quits for the day. Five minutes is enough for this.
I like to get a cool shower within an hour of completing my workouts and I recommend the same for you.
You will need to nourish your body after exercising and my choice is a blended protein smoothie. I will later follow this up with a nourishing and fulfilling meal.
I follow a similar schedule for each day I workout with the exception that I work on different muscle groups each time I exercise.
In addition to the above I do core abdominal exercises two or three days per week . . . usually before starting any weight lifting routine.
Some useful motivational tips
Here are some tips to help you jump start your fitness journey.
- Workout partner – One of the most valuable things you can do is get a workout buddy who is on the same page as you.
- Buy some piece of workout gear – workout gloves, new trainers or sneakers or even subscribing to a fitness site can inspire you to get fit.
- Strap on your favorite music – podcast or up-tempo music is my go-to entertainment while working out.
- Get a personal trainer – When first starting a healthy lifestyle you may feel a little overwhelmed. A PT can help you make the adjustments.
Remember: Stay hydrated throughout your entire workout session – before, during and after.
And give your body the proper amount of rest and recovery.
I’ve put together a training manual that details all of the above. Go here now for more information.
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