Goals? Got ’em! But you need a plan to reach your goals.
Planning workouts can be difficult. Most of us just show up at the gym and do whatever seems like a good thing at the time.
Moving and burning fat are great, but it might not be enough. We’ve broken down the workout basics here to show how to design your own workout today.
Design Your Own Workout
The Warm Up
Always warm up before jumping into a workout. Warm-ups help raise body temperature and get the blood flowing. It also gets you in the game mentally.
When you design your own workout, always allow a few minutes for warming up on a favourite cardio machine. Start at a slow pace and build to a steady pace by the end.
If strength training by lifting heavy weights, warm up by doing a few reps of each exercise. Alternatively, dynamic stretches are a great way to warm up and stretch the body for activity.
Workouts can vary widely, depending on your goals and your interests. I’ll use strength training as an example, since most people don’t understand how to design strength workouts properly. The various theories and styles you can use to design your own workout and achieve your goals can be confusing.
As a starting point, for specific goals, like a bodybuilding competition, talk with one of our personal trainers today for a specialised training plan. Trying to design your own workout for such an advanced goal could end in disaster. For the Average Joe, this article will help with the basics.
To stay active and fit, schedule full body strength workouts three times a week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are good (don’t forget the music!). Remember though, muscles aren’t built in the gym. They are built while resting and recovering. Try to leave 24-48 hours between strength workouts to allow muscles to recover and grow.
Focus on a full body workout instead of body-part specific workouts. Aim to work quads, hamstrings, glutes, chest, back, arms, and core. Here are some suggestions for exercises:
- Quads: Squats, lunges, box jumps
- Glutes and Hamstrings: squats, dead-lifts, hip raises
- Push (Chest, Shoulders & Triceps): push-ups, dips, overhead press
- Pull (Back & Biceps): Pull-ups, chin-ups, dumbbell rows
- Core: Planks, crunches, mountain climbers
Now, to design your own workout, the big question is: how many reps and how many sets?
A set is how many rounds of the exercise you do. Repetitions, or reps, are how many of that exercise in one set. For example, for just about any exercise, we recommend doing 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps. If you can do over 15 reps of one exercise, it’s probably not difficult enough. Add more weight!
If you’re looking to build size and strength, then lift heavier weights. But, as you add more heavy weight, reduce the reps. If lifting close to your max, aim to do 5-8 reps per set.
As you’ve probably found out the hard way, you can’t do all your sets in a row with no break. Take a rest between each set so your muscles can recover. If lifting heavy weights at low reps, rest for 3 to 5 minutes. But, if lifting lighter weights at higher reps, rest for 1 or 2 minutes in between sets.
The Cool Down
Don’t forget the cool down. A cool down helps slow down the heart rate to prevent muscles from tightening up and becoming sore. Take a short walk around the gym and shake out the legs.
Don’t forget to stretch! Take a few minutes and stretch out your legs and arms. Your body will thank you tomorrow!
There you have it! The basics you need to design your own workout. Remember, take advantage of our personal trainers and get advice from them relevant to your goals and current fitness level. Include some variety in your workout and have fun.