Ever feel like you walk into the gym and don’t have a clue what to do? End up just doing the same 5 exercises every week? Bored of your workout sessions? Well, let me tell you, that time is now over!! Making a program or plan in your head is going to help you massively in reaching your goals. Personally, if I walk into the gym, not really having any form of plan, I have a bad workout. However, if I have a plan in my head, or on my notes I know I’ll stick with it. You can really be your own personal trainer! I’ve been talking a lot recently about making sure you have the right trainer and how to keep that motivation up, so I thought it would be useful for you guys to learn how you can program your plans yourself, and who better than yourself?! You know exactly what you want to achieve you just need to be focused on getting it!
There are so many websites online where you can find some form of workout plan to follow. But, these aren’t specific to you, your goals, your lifestyle or current gym experience. You can use these online plans as a guide to make your own program, ideas for exercises, but you really can do it on your own! That’s the only thing with these guides which people bring out. They aren’t targetted to individuals. What might work for someone else, might not work for you. Health and fitness is all about finding out what works for you as an individual, not what worked for your neighbour or friend.
1. Decide on how many days a week you are going to exercise, be realistic. If you know you can only get to the gym 3 times a week for certain, then use that for your plan. If you can get to the gym more often one week then that’s a bonus.
2. Split your workouts. There are many different variations to ‘splits’. People talk about pull and push sessions, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Let’s go on the basis you can exercise 3 times a week. One day you can focus on upper body movements (e.g. Pull-ups, Press ups, Shoulder press), next session will be more lower body focused (e.g. Squats, Deadlifts, Lunges), the last session can be a full body workout, making sure you hit all the muscles by doing different exercises which you haven’t done during your other sessions (Leg press, Rows, Chest press, Hip Thrust, Ab work).
3. Write your sessions down either in a notebook or on your phone. Do the same sessions for 4-6 weeks, trying to improve the weight you are lifting. Remeber to record your weight and amount of reps!
4. Research. When you are trying to think of your exercises, just have a look online and there are TONNES!! But, don’t always pick the exercises you like. Try and have at least 1 exercises in each session that you aren’t particularly a fan of. We all tend to avoid the exercises we don’t like or find hard, but these are the exercises that are going to help us improve and reach our goals. Let’s be honest, who wants to throw burpees into their workout?! Remeber, the more you practice an exercise the easier it’ll become.
5. Youtube is a great place for looking at the technique of an exercise. I’ve used it a lot in the past and still use it every now and again to check my technique. What I would recommend if you are unsure you are doing an exercise right, either ask a trainer in the gym or film yourself and compare it to an online video. This way you will see exactly what you are doing right and wrong.
Mixing up your sessions and changing the exercises every 4-6 weeks will help you to stay focused and motivated, whilst getting you to your goals.
If you have any specific questions about programming comment below and I’ll give you my best advice. Programming is so important and useful in getting you closer to where you want to be, but you have to be enjoying it as well!!