The only workout plan you’ll stick with is the one you like. Why not have it your way and create your own workout plan easily.
If anyone has been following me for a while (creep, just kidding please don’t stop; I love you), you’ll know I started out with this awesome idea of online personal training in the summer of 2015. After about 8 months and 1 client later I figured it would be best for me to focus strictly on this blog and get out of my non-existent personal training world. Since then, and hopefully it’s a sign that people are starting to realize that I do know what I’m talking about (for the most part), I’m constantly getting asked by friends and family to train them or give them workouts.
Truth is, to properly give someone a workout plan you need to know limitations, ability, goals, and a whole host of other things that people might not be willing to tell me. Plus, I don’t have time with my day job and trying to find new ways to better serve you guys (more than happy to take suggestions).
But I know someone that knows all that information and knows what you’ll enjoy…. You! As an added bonus you don’t have to tell me if you hurt your back a few years ago doing some crazy Karma Sutra shit with a one-night stand. (Well you can tell me that story anyways, seems pretty interesting.)
By reading Aesthetic Physiques you can pick up different ways to tweak your workouts, hell if you sign up for newsletter (to the right) I’ll give you 20 of them for just your email address.
But before you go a tweaking the shit out of your non-existent workout, get the foundation. You can get the foundations through this post and Building Muscle for Noobs.
You’re probably saying “WTF, I don’t know the first thing about working out. How can I create my own workout plan and it be worth doing?”
Creating your own workout plan is simple when you have some framework. And that is what I intend on teaching you today. Prepare to get learneded.
WORKOUT PLAN 101: THE BURGER KING APPROACH
MAKE EXERCISE STICKY
I mentioned a few posts ago in order for you to stick to something you need to be motivated. The easiest ways to be motivated to do something is to either make the opposite really painful (think: if I don’t lose weight I’ll die from an obesity related condition) or make it fun. Since everyone likes fun – that seems to be the path of least resistance. To stick to your workout, make it fun.
[Tweet “To stick to your workout, make it fun. “]
If you don’t like lifting weights, don’t lift weights. There are plenty of other forms of exercise that you might find more enjoyable. Here are a few. Don’t feel like you have to do one form of exercise. Do what you enjoy and you’ll stick to it without a problem.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE?
None? You’re a liar, you just have poor time management skills. There is always time, even if it’s 20 minutes a day. Have kids? Incorporate them. They’ll love working out with mom or dad. The first thing you need to do is determine how much time you can devote to exercise. Anything is better than nothing and I can show you how to cram a whole workout into 20-30 minutes later on.
TOO MANY EXERCISES, WHERE DO I START?
Short answer: Here.
Longer answer: Since deals like the 4 for $4 are making a killing in fast food, why not make a sweet deal like that for making your own workout plan. Like Burger King says “Have it your way” – Here is your workout menu:
Quads (legs)– squats, lunges, leg extensions
Hamstrings (legs)– deadlifts, lunges, leg curl
Chest – Bench, incline bench press, pushup, dumbbell fly
Back- pull ups, barbell rows, back extensions
Shoulders – Barbell Shoulder Press, Dumbbell lateral/front/reverse raises, shrugs
Biceps (arms)- barbell curl, chin ups
Triceps (arms)- cable pushdowns, dips
Abs/core – planks, crunches, hanging leg raises, ab roller
Cardio – walking lunges for time, running, jogging, burpees, mountain climbers, walking
BUILDING YOUR WORKOUT
This is where it gets fun. I’ll lay out a few scenarios and what you should pick.
2-3 days a week: Each workout pick 1 workout from legs, chest, back, shoulders, abs/core and cardio. Take at least 1 day between workouts since we are working out the whole body.
5 days a week: Each workout do all the exercises for that body part and 1 exercise from abs/core and cardio. Each body part gets a day, let it feel special. For example: for the leg day do squats, lunges, leg extensions, deadlifts, leg curls, maybe some crunches and a little jogging to finish things off.
Simple enough? No need to make it more complicated than it should be. This is really all you need, anymore and you’re getting into bodybuilder territory. Easy Teddy Broosevelt.
WHAT ABOUT SETS AND REPS?
I am a firm believer in starting slow and then ramping up. Start with 3 sets and if that becomes easy, do 4-5 sets.
What about reps? Again to keep it simple, keep the reps in the 8-15 range. This will give you a weight that both stimulate enough muscle growth and in turn ramp up your metabolism to help you burn fat. That’s what your looking for right?
Of course there is more than one way to skin a cat. Here are the different rep ranges and what they do to your muscles:
Reps in the 1-5 range build strength
Reps in the 6-12 range build a somewhat equal amounts of muscular strength and muscular endurance
Reps in the 12+ range build muscular endurance and size
This goes without saying, but as the reps get lower the weight goes up.
Now if you want to get fancy AF, you can vary the rep ranges of each workout. This works really well if you’re going 2-3 days a week.
Assuming a Monday –Wednesday – Friday schedule, it might look something like this:
Monday: 1-5 reps per set
Wednesday: 12+ reps per set
Friday: 6-12 reps per set
That’s called undulating periodization or non-linear periodization. Go ahead amaze your buddies with that knowledge bomb.
HOW LONG SHOULD I REST?
In order to get the most of your workout, especially the people in a time crunch, keep the rest periods in the following ranges:
1-5 reps: Rest 3-5 minutes
6-12 reps: Rest 1-2 minutes
12+ reps: rest 1 minute or less
The idea is to give your nervous system and muscles a little rest before you lift the weight again. More weight = more time to rest.
WHAT TO DO IN A TIME CRUNCH
These workouts are designed for someone with an hour to spare. So what to do if you have less time? Skip it? F that noise, we work faster.
45 minutes for exercise: Superset the workout. What that means is to do 2 exercises back to back, ideally they would be opposite muscles (like biceps and triceps) but if we can’t we can’t. In order to superset, you would do one set of an exercise and immediately do a set of the next exercise. Rest and repeat until all required sets are done. When opposite muscles are supersetted (new word I think) one muscle group is always “resting”.
Here is what that workout would look like:
Do one set of bench press then go right into one set of barbell rows. Rest 1 minute. Repeat 3 more times.
Do one set of squats then go right into one set of barbell shoulder press. Rest 1 minute and repeat 3 more times.
3 sets of crunches and be gone. Supersetting will be a enough of a cardio workout for today.
30 minutes of less: Don’t think you can get a good workout in less than 30 minutes? You have obviously never performed a circuit workout my friend. We are still going to follow the same amount of exercises but this time we are going to do one exercise right after another, rest, then repeat. Here is an example:
Do one set of pushups then pullups, then squats, dumbbell shoulder press and crunches. Rest 2 minutes and repeat 3 more times. That’s a full body workout in about 15 minutes. Talk about being effective and efficient.
In order to progress you need a baseline. In order to get a baseline, you need to track what your doing and how much your doing. Go old school and use a notebook and pen or go the modern hip approach and use an app. There’s a hundred, I use Gym Hero.
Variations are good to keep it interesting and avoid overuse injuries. Here are some good resources:
First, grab the Strength Training Anatomy book. I still use this every once in a while.
Remember keep it interesting, keep it fresh and you’ll have no problem sticking to it.
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