At the beginning of any new habit, it can be hard to adjust. Let’s not sugar coat it., it’s hella hard. You have to carve in time for it, plan around it, get motivated for it and make some sort of sacrifice for the end goal. But what determines our success? What prevents our failure?
Creating a Fitness Plan that Works in 5 Steps
Let’s be real, thinking about planning your life around fitness can be stressful. So many fitspo’s are telling us to workout 6 days per week, eat clean 24/7, have crazy weekend cheat meals, 1+ hours every workout, eat nothing but protein, etc.. But this is unneeded stress. You can love your fitness plan & your results by following these 5 steps.
1. Create a Routine you can STICK TO
Think about your workout routine. What have you done in the past that you loved? If you are new to exercise, what is something you’ve wanted to try? Creating a workout routine that you enjoy and never get bored with is ideal but sometimes this takes trial and error. The only way to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t is just trying. Go to the group classes, try yoga, do barre classes, try HIIT, do single set strength training or circuit style, or even power lifting. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do SOMETHING that you love and that you know you can stick to.
2. Don’t start with overtraining
At the beginning of any fitness routine, we get excited! We want to go hard to see those results. But what happens when we start immediately with long training periods? We become less motivated, tired, and your workouts start to become less and less each week. Consistently showing up is what matters most, not how many days you made it this week but how many times you went because you wanted to. So if you are starting at no exercise, start with 3x per week. If you are going from exercising a couple of times per month, start with 4x per week (of course, this is not ideal for everyone- just an example). It’s important to not go hard in the beginning, or period, as it will increase your chances of injury. You can always progress later on, but it will be harder the other way around if you start with extremes.
3. CHANGE it up Periodically
When it comes to designing a workout plan, you probably already know the basics – compound lifts with accessory work. But it goes beyond this. Results come with changing up your reps, sets, tempo, types of workouts, and intensity.
Here’s a sample rep schedule:
- 1 – 3 reps = Increasing Strength (max)
- 4 – 6 reps = Strength
- 8 – 12 reps = Gaining Muscle – hypertrophy
- 15+ reps = Endurance
4. PLAN PLAN PLAN
When building any type of plan you know you can stick to, break it up into segments. What time is best, that you know you can give yourself at least an hour? When do you have the most energy? Can you make time (yes, you can)? Can you get support from someone to help out, if needed? How many days per week can you exercise? Will it be at home, or at the gym? Planning this all out before starting your routine is important. You will be able to see exactly what you can fit it and what you cannot. Plan to fail & you will fail.
5. Dial in Your Nutrition to See your Hard Work
The 80/20 rule isn’t just a saying you throw around, theres good reason for it. When you follow a dieting ratio of 80% whole foods & 20% “fun” foods. This means those two cookies you were looking at all day CAN fit. Don’t deprive yourself, enjoy these “fun” foods in moderation (15-20% of your daily intake).
Another important reminder is that no matter how much time you spend in the gym, if your caloric intake exceeds your caloric expenditure you will gain weight (meaning if you eat more than you burn daily). The goal is to ensure you keep movement and exercise and use food as fuel. Exercise should always be used to help improve health, not as a form of punishment.
In the end, this is what matters most
When considering the 5 steps above, it is clear that you cannot have a consistent & healthy fitness routine unless you LOVE it. It is important to remember that there is no ONE way to exercise. There is, however, only one way to stay consistent to avoid failure & that is by doing things that you love. Treat exercise as a way to see what your body can do, plan those PR’s (personal records/bests), & not as a way of punishing yourself for overeating. Focus on just you when you exercise, focus on the movements & what you are capable of not the total calories burned.
All in all, keep moving in whatever way you want while paying attention to what your fueling your body with & you will see results.
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