Committed to a gym membership? If you're new to working out it can feel slightly intimidating and daunting, however putting a workout routine together is the best way to make sure you're A) getting your money's worth and B) sticking to a clear, consistent set of exercises which will allow you to see progress over the coming months. Seeing your own progression will also help keep you motivated and spur you on to achieve your fitness goals. Read on for our run-down of how to put together a proper workout schedule to follow.
How To Start A Gym Routine
What are your fitness goals? Where can you fit the gym into your daily life? These are some of the things you'll have to consider when putting together your workout routine.
Decide On Your Fitness Goals
Before you can make any plans to workout, you need to decide on what your goals are.
Do you want to lose weight? If so, how much? Do you want to tone up? If so, what area would you like to target?
If you're just starting out, it may well be the case that you're looking to do both. With this in mind, you'll have to incorporate cardio exercises and weight lifting exercises into your routine. Lots of people like to start their workout sessions by running before moving on to weight training, but it's up to you in which order you want to do it. We'd suggest switching the order around for your next two gym sessions and seeing which one leaves you with the most amount of energy in order to actually complete the full length of the exercise.
Decide On Which Days To Workout & Rest
The next step in creating your workout schedule is deciding what days you're able to fit in a work out and how much time you can allow.
We all live busy lives so, don't worry if you cant allocate as much time as you would like. Typically gyms are at their busiest on Mondays & Tuesdays after people finish work, so if you're new and fancy going at a quieter time it's worth waiting until around 7:30pm onwards. Otherwise, keep in mind that if you're heading to the gym during peak hours, you may not always have access to the equipment you need straight away.
You should also consider which days you will use as your rest days to recover. It's good practice to do one day on, one day off.
Decide On What Workout You Will Complete Each Day
This will differ from person to person as everybody has different goals they want to achieve. We recommend you have some variety in your routine so that you're not working one muscle group too hard. Keep these exercises realistic, whether it's a simple exercise or something more complicated, remember -- consistency is the most important thing.
Example Workout Routine for Beginners
We'd recommend trying to workout 3 days a week minimum if possible, though once again this does depend on your fitness goals. For example, if you're looking to tone up or increase your strength, here's a good weekly model to start off with:
Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Biceps & Back | 20 Minute Run
Wednesday - Rest Day
Thursday - Triceps & Chest | 20 Minute Run
Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - Shoulders & Legs | 20 Minute Run
Sunday - Rest Day
By focusing on two muscle groups each gym day, you'll be able to consistently train these areas each week. To start off with, we'd recommend picking three different exercises for each muscle group.
Using this model, you'll be able to squeeze in other workouts you don't necessarily have to do at the gym, such as core, abdominal and cardio exercises. If you've got the energy levels, you might be able to fit in a 20 minute run or perform three sets of sit-ups and crunches into your daily routines, to really ensure you're targeting as many areas of your body each week.
Track Your Progress
Keeping track of your progress will enable you to see if you are on the way to completing your goals, it will also allow you to see what is working and what isn't so you can adapt your plan accordingly.
There are a number of things you could be tracking:
- How many sets and reps you are completing.
- How much weight you are using for each exercise.
- How long it takes to complete an exercise.
Over time, you'll likely find that the exercises get easier to complete, so it's best to start upping the weight you're lifting, adding an incline to your runs, or exercising for longer.
If you're looking for some motivational songs for your workout then checkout out our list of Motivational Songs For The Gym.