With so much going on, it is no wonder that I always opt to be training for something than not. With a training plan, that’s exactly what it is – a plan – and this plan is usually created for you or crafted by yourself after doing your research and applying previous experience.
The weeks become predictable and you know what to expect. You just add the already created plan to your calendar and look up what you need to do each morning. There is an end goal and then you start over again. A nice cycle.
I had a friend ask me how do I plan out my workouts. The more I thought about a response to her answer, the more I began to realize that going in with a set purpose to a workout is so crucial and establishing a goal for yourself is key. This is the difference between the aimless and the efficient gym go-er.
But then I kept thinking and it occurred to me that it is more difficult for me to plan out workouts that are not running based. Take me out of my element and I become the aimless gym go-er. And I don’t want that! Time is SO so precious to me after work and there is nothing that bothers me more than wasting it, especially at a gym.
The past few weeks I’ve been dabbling with strength training. I posted an example workout week and it is obvious that I prefer splitting up my workouts. Why? Because right now it is rare that I have an hour and a half of solid free time unfortunately. So I decide to split up what I want to do for a day with usually something before and after work, if I can. Also, I get bored with some workouts, besides running, that goes more than 25 minutes.
Here are some tips that have worked for me when planning out your own workouts.
First, establish a goal. What do you hope to accomplish from your workouts? Stress release, strength, and injury prevention are at the top of my lists.
Second, with that goal in mind, what workouts do you know from past experiences that works for you? Core routines, cross training, and weight training have been suggested to me and so far, they are working!
Third, take a look at what type of time commitment do you have and what do you have access to? I usually assess my planner to see how the week looks – work, meetings, after work commitments, fun events!
With that information, running is always first, so I add my runs in that I want to do. Since the only evening this week that I am free to run after work is Tuesday (Lululemon fun run!), I know I will have to man up and run in the morning if I want to get my miles in. [This week is a little different because I am challenging myself to run in the AM every day even if it is only 20 minute..eek before the time changes and it becomes super dark again!]
Next, I look at my new iPhone app called GymGoal that I sought out to help me plan my weight training workouts better.
Using some of their routines, I can plan out a week of weights to make it a full body workout. Obviously this app is a luxury, and before this I used some websites to plan out weight training, such as http://www.exrx.net/ to demonstrate proper technique and beginner routines. I switched around my original plan because it called for Thighs on Tuesday. Last time I did leg work before running, my legs felt like cement. Ask Tara. Ha.
I moved things around to be flexible for the week. Finally, I add what I want to do to my planner. If things come up during the week, then I am not bound by anything. I try my best to meet my original goals and then change things around for the following week if it didn’t work out.
Although it looks like a lot, the time I spend at the gym does not exceed 35 minutes, including changing. This will be the first week that I am trying out specific muscle groups each day. Add this to the run I want to do in the morning, and we only have about an hour and change of workout time.
How do you plan out your workout week?