How to Plan Your Own Workout Plan to Maximize Results
One of the most exciting aspects of owning my own gym is programming and creating the daily workout plan for my clients. There are infinite options and training styles, techniques, exercises, and methods to get an athlete (because we are ALL athletes) where they need to be. There is a lot of room for creativity, but with that creativity there must be logic. Workouts should typically stay in the hour range. Unless you are a paid athlete, whose nutrition is stellar, and sleeping 8-10 hours a day, you really have no use for workouts that last longer than that. And who really has time for that? Focus on working hard for the 20-60 minutes you are training.
Understand Movement: Form is Everything
Be sure to start every workout with a proper warm-up. Never start an intense movement before your muscles have been given the proper time to warm up and prepare for work.
In creating a workout plan, keep in mind that there are two kinds of movement:
Compound Movements– movements like squats, deadlifts, and presses.
Accessory Movements– your smaller, or less demanding movements that help create balance in the body and compliment the compounds.
Both are necessary for a complete workout. I use accessory movements to improve weaknesses and imbalances.
The first variable that I choose when creating a workout plan is around time. How long will we be working for and what is the goal of that time? Here are some of the most common time plans for a workout:
AMRAP’s: As Many Rounds As Possible in a set amount of time
EMOM’s: Every Minute on the Minute- completing a certain number of reps as quickly as possible, under the minute and starting again at the top of the minute
Tabatas: 2:1 ratio of work:rest, for as many rounds as you’d like to work, general rule is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds = 4 Minutes).
Your time variable selection will influence how many reps you choose to incorporate. This could be 12 exercises for 10 Reps each for 5 Rounds, or 12 exercises for 10 reps for 10 minutes. Keep in mind that this workout should fit comfortable in 60 minutes with time for a warm up and cool down.
Exercise intensity means how hard your body is actually working. Intensity can be increased by adding resistance, difficulty, or complexity of movement. Intensity will also have a correlation with reps. The more intense the work, the less reps you need for an efficient workout.
EMOM’s always make me work harder as I am trying to hit a certain rep count in a short period of time, rather than steady-state movement. It’s great to mix days working for time and effort.
An important variable to account for when creating your own workout program is frequency, how often you’re working out in a week. I recommend 3-5 days a week. My philosophy is to choose something you are able to stick with in the long term. Fitness is all about consistency and enjoyment. If it becomes “work” then you will more than likely burn out. Avoid this by listening to your body and allowing fitness to be something that brings you joy!
Especially when you’re working out alone, if you ever feel a sharp or stabbing pain, stop immediately.
Don’t forget your warm up and cool down.
If you’re doing an at-home workout plan, here are some great pieces of equipment to use:
3 sets of Dumbbells- light, moderate, and heavy
Durable Medicine Ball
Box or Step
Here are two very different short training programs:
AMRAP Workout Plan
4 x 10 Minute AMRAPS for 10 Reps Each Exercise
(Use the first round as a warm-up)
• 10 V-Ups
• 10 Air Squats
• 10 Plank Reaches
• 10 R+L=1 Bicycle Crunch
• 10 DB Bicep Curls
• 10 R+L=1 DB Reverse Lunges
• 10 DB Squat Press
• 10 DB Sumo Squats
• 10 Plank Burpees
• 10 Bear Crawl 2 forward + 2 back =1
• 10 Squat Jumps
• 10 Plank Shoulder Taps
• 10 DB Man Makers (no push-up)
• 10 DB Lateral Lunges
• 10 Push-Ups
• 10 DB Plank T’s
Tabata Workout Plan
Work for 20 seconds, rest for 10. Complete 8 times. Follow each full Tabata Round with a 200 Meter Run:
(This is roughly a 30 minute workout)
- Battlerope Powerslams
- Single Side Front Racked DB Squat (4R/4L)
- Squat Jump
- KB Swing
- Box Jumps or Tap Offs
- 2 Lateral Jumps over DB or KB + Plank Burpee