Here are 4 simple steps to building beginner workout programs. The best workout routines aren’t shaped out of a cookie-cutter ready to put into service by every single one of you. Workout programs will only be deemed a success if you get your desired results, and it’s not without variables involved.
It could be your goal, health condition, training age, physical and mental capacity, or availability, among others. All of these things matter when building a workout program that’s perfectly right up your alley.
With all these things up for considerations, you’d know that crafting a beginner workout plan isn’t the nicest thing to do, especially if you have no idea where or how to start.
If going down that route isn’t something you’re keen on doing, you can just hire a personal trainer to guide you from start to finish.
But let’s be honest: trainers cost an arm and a leg. If getting a trainer isn’t an option, or you want to take matters into your own hand, this article will help you understand the basic principles of building a beginner training plan.
To get you started, here are four simple steps to building a beginner workout program that’s right for you.
1. Define your workout goals.
Goal setting is an essential part of a workout program that most beginners often pay little attention to. What do you want to achieve with your workout program?
Is it to lose weight? To build muscle?
To increase strength? Whatever it is, you need to have a clear sense of your end goal because it’s the one thing that will direct you, motivate you, and give you the focus you need. Science has proven time and time again that plans without clear-cut objectives are likely to fail.
Whether it is to lose 60 pounds, to gain 40 pounds of muscle, or to get a ripped set of abs, having a specific end goal is also instrumental in the creation of a workout program that’s appropriate for your needs.
For your workout program to be effective, most, if not all, aspects of your routine will have to fit your goal as well as your physical and mental capacity. When the going gets tough, you have your goal that you can always go back to.
2. Set workout frequency, intensity, and volume.
Building a workout program has three variables — frequency, intensity, and volume. Workout frequency is how often you perform your workout. It can be high or low.
A high-frequency workout can be done at least 3 times per week or even more, while a low-frequency workout is doable 2 times per week or less.
Frequency works best for sensory adaptation, which is great if you want to build strength and skill or muscle. Workout intensity, meanwhile, is the level of difficulty of your workout typically measured by heart rate.
It can be low, moderate, and vigorous, each has different training effects. Lastly, workout volume is the amount of work done. It’s the number of exercises, sets, and repetitions you’ll work a muscle group or body part or do movement pattern.
The suitable workout frequency, intensity, and volume vary depending on your age, weight, and existing activity levels, just as the activities vary depending on your goal, whether it’s cardio fitness, muscle strength, fat loss, body composition, etc.
These variables are mutually exclusive. The more you increase one variable, the less you should decrease the other two. This is important for your recovery in between training sessions.
As to which should be higher, it all depends on your intent.
3. Choose a workout split.
Workout split is the schedule of your training sessions and specific activities that you’ll be doing in a week or month. Your schedule isn’t the sole factor when creating or choosing a workout split.
It’s also significant to choose a training split that suits your goals, training age or status, energy system requirements, and ability to recover. A lot of free sample training splits are available out there.
You can use these programs for a start and modify them later down the line as you see fit.
For instance, the total body workout split allows you to work on your entire body as a whole instead of its component parts, ideal for almost any goals.
The upper/lower body workout split allows you to devote your time to your upper and lower body on specific days, which is suitable for building strength or gaining size.
The body part training split dedicates laser focus on certain parts of your body, which could be your upper arm muscles, leg muscles, abs, etc.
For beginners, it’s highly recommended to attack a total body workout first. It tackles fat loss, general health, and pretty much everything.
Total body splits are time-efficient, too.
4. Decide on your exercises.
After creating a routine split, it’s time to decide on which exercises to include based on your chosen split. Just as previously mentioned, start with a total body workout that you can do for 3-4 times per week.
You could include in your routine at least one exercise for your core muscles (abs and lower back), one for quadriceps, one for your butt and hamstrings, one for your push muscles (chest, triceps, and shoulder), and one for your pull muscles (back, biceps, forearms, and forearms).
Core exercises include planks or hanging leg raises; quads include squats or lunges; butt and hamstrings include step-ups or deadlifts; push includes bench press or push-ups; pull includes pull-ups or chin-ups.
Pick only one exercise from each group of muscles and you’re guaranteed to work all your muscles. There’s a lot of exercises for each muscle group so be sure to explore your options.
Most beginners who are psyched up to hit the ground running tend to complicate their exercises. Know your training status and be honest with it.
Avoid pushing yourself too hard right off the bat because it might burn you out early on. Make sure to choose exercises within your range and keep it simple.
Once you get the hang of your workout program, you can always move up a ladder and try the more advanced movements.
Before heading out, you have one more assignment that’s equally important as your workout program — diet plan. No matter how well you laid out your workout program or how consistent you are, your efforts would essentially just go down the drain without eating the right food.
Like your workout program, your meal plan is highly dependent on your goals, so plan it ahead or seek the help of a dietician.
Finally, keep track of your progress. Jot down accomplished time, mileage, load, etc. Take a photo of yourself after each training. Set a personal best every time. All these things will help you to be inspired and to keep moving towards your goal.
We hope this article shed some light on building a workout program. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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