create your own workout plan

Step-By-Step Guide to Create your Own Workout Plan

Are you thinking about starting a training program? Lucky you!! You are 7 steps away from creating your own workout plan.

Scroll down and start your own workout plan!

Why Do you Need a Workout Plan?

Create your own workout plan is about individualizing the training routine to your needs and goals.

Everyone is different in a lot of aspects of life, and the way we respond to exercise is not an exception (1)

If you create your own workout plan, your trainings will fit perfectly your needs, and you will be able to get much more out of it. Periodized and planned trainings also show to a better choice than non-periodized in terms of muscle building and sports performance (2)

If you want to reach your best physique and performance, you need to create your own workout plan

What Do You Need in a Workout Plan?

What you should include in your workout plan depends largely on the sports discipline you are doing. For my own sake and because is my area of expertise, I’ll focus on strength and hypertrophy training.

For aerobic training, check this step-guide!

To create your own workout plan, you need to consider two main things: the exercise selection, and training variables

Exercise Selection

What exercises should you include in your workout plan?

The goal of choosing exercises is to make sure you are training all parts of your body. Select those that you want to train, and choose exercises targeting that muscle.

Make sure you include complex exercises. These are exercises involving more than one muscle at the same time (E.g: bench press, militar press, squat...)

Lastly, combine guided machines and free weights to work on your core stability and functionality.

In simple term, include the whole spectrum of exercises in the right ratio for you.

Training Variables

The main variables to consider if you want to create your own workout plan are:

  • Volume: How many sets are you doing for each muscle?
  • Intensity: How close to muscle failure are you taking each set?
  • Frequency: How often are you training each muscle?

These are the main variables for muscle building and body composition (3)(4). To create your own workout plan, you'll have to set the training variables to cover your needs and take you to your end goals.

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1.- Know Where You Are

Before start creating the workout plan, you must know your start point.

This will give you important hints on how to plan the workout plan to make it specific for you.

To find your start point, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long have you been training?
  • What do you like training?
  • How much do you know about training?

2.- Set where you want to be

Now that you know where you are, the next step to create your own workout plan is to set the goals.

After these two first steps, you'll already have the road to follow; where to start, and where to end.

Once again, ask yourself these questions to find your goals:

  • Why are you training?
  • What are your short/medium term goals?
  • What do you want to get out of this?

3.- Make your Weekly Plan

You need to fit your workout plan into your busy and schedule week.

But we live in a society full of obligations and things to do. Work, family, friends, commitments, events..

To make sure you keep up with the workout plan, it's a good idea to organize your week, and know where to fit the workouts.

Before getting into the next step, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much time do you want to spend in the gym?
  • How many days do you want to train?
  • When are you going to be available for training?

4.- Set the Working Volume

Now you have your week planned. You know how many workouts to do, and when.

The next step to create your own workout plan is to set how much you want to train each muscle, and the distribution of your workouts.

Volume load is an important variable for muscle building (5). Assuming you are a beginner/intermediate, I recommend you using the Volume Landmarks as a guideline to set your target volume load

Tabla-Max-Volume

5.- Select Exercises

The exercises is what actually makes your workout. You must choose the exercises according to your preferences, needs, and goals.

Cover all possible types of exercises. Isolation, compounds, guided, free weights... If you have all the spectrum, why choosing only one?

To help you go through this step, ask yourself these questions:

  • What exercises do you like?
  • What exercises will help you achieve your goals?
  • What exercises adhere to your routine?

6.- Plan the Progression

You build muscle because you progress over time. If you keep doing exactly the same over and over, your body will adapt, and you won't build more muscle.

Plan the progression. Take the two main variables; volume load and intensity. Choose a progression model, and start increasing the difficulty of your workouts. every week.

Progressive Overload

7.- Be Open for Changes

Most of the times things don’t go as planned, and you need to stir your plan back into the right path.

It's not easy to build muscle and improve your physique. It takes effort and time, and there will be a lot of bumps throught the road.

progressive overload

Make changes when you consider appropiate. Wait, evaluate, and then decide if it's the right moment to make the change.

Conclusion

Making a workout plan is about individualizing the training to your needs and goals. If you want to reach your peak performance and physique, you need to create a workout plan.

In this post, we've seen the 7 steps you need to take to create your own workout plan. Are you ready?

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