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How to Create a Workout Routine: The Ultimate Guide

how to create a workout routine

In recent years, nearly half of people living in the United States report having tried to lose weight in the last year. There are a lot of fad diets out there, coupled with crazy workout plans.

But do they work? The evidence is clear that getting the body you want comes down to exercise and diet. An active life combined with a diet that promotes overall health is vital.

The good news is that you don’t have to engage in over-the-top workouts to reap the benefits of an exercise routine. In fact, you can design your own effective workout that aids in weight loss, strength, and endurance. 

With that in mind, you might be wondering how to create a workout routine. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you might think. And the payoff will be worth the effort you put in. 

Use this guide to help you create the ultimate workout routine and get fit and healthy as you do. 

 

The First Step in How to Create a Workout Routine

Instead of jumping right into a new exercise routine, it’s important to consider a few variables first. This ensures success and helps you reach the goals you set for yourself.

Speaking of goals, this is the first thing to consider when you’re creating a workout plan. Whether you go to the gym, attend group classes, or work out on your own, your goals are the first step. 

Do you want an exercise routine that leads to weight loss? Do you want to get stronger? Do you want to lift heavier weights? Do you want to build your endurance? Once you decide what you want from the plan, you can create it. 

You’ve also got to consider your age, gender, current physical fitness status, and skill level. Other considerations include your preferences, schedule, and lifestyle.

 

How Often You Should Exercise

You don’t have to live at the gym to reap the benefits of exercise, but learning when to exercise is an important part of creating the ideal workout routine for your goals.

The best time to work out is when you can fit it into your schedule. Some people prefer an early morning session, while others can’t make it work until afternoon or evening. 

Once you’ve chosen when to exercise, you need to decide how often you should exercise. Current recommendations are 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio per week. 

You can also do a combination of the two. On top of that, you should include at least two strength-training sessions each week. Flexibility training is also important as it allows for effective cardio and weight training. 

If you prefer to work out at the gym, you can combine your cardio and weights on the same day. If you prefer working out on your own, walking, biking or jogging are great cardio choices. 

You can also use hand weights, a kettlebell, or resistance bands at home to cover your strength training workouts. 

 

Repetitions and Sets

When it comes to cardio, you can choose the exercise you like best and make sure you’re meeting the weekly quota of minutes spent. With strength training, you’ll need to pay attention to your reps and sets. 

If you’re new to exercise, you want to start slow so that you can build your skills without hurting yourself. The general recommendation is to include three to five sets of each exercise.

Each set should include eight to ten repetitions of each exercise. If you’re trying to build endurance, you can increase your reps to 15 with a lighter weight. 

If you want to burn fat and build muscle, you need at least 12 reps per exercise. For strength and size, six to 12 reps are adequate. 

If you can get to 15 repetitions without difficulty, you’re likely ready for a heavier set of weights. 

The general rule is to wait for one to two minutes between sets. This time will be longer if you’re doing fewer sets for gaining larger muscle. Rest between sets allows you to regenerate energy for more effective exercise. 

 

How Much Weight to Lift

You don’t want to use weights that are too heavy. This increases the risk of injury. It can also be frustrating enough that you give up before you reach your fitness goals

Starting small allows you to build muscle and endurance, setting the stage for increasing the load as you get stronger. Your weights should be heavy enough that you can feel the set, but not so heavy that you can’t finish the set. 

You should also keep your form in mind. If the weights are so heavy that they interfere with proper form, you should scale it back. This ensures that you’re getting the most out of each exercise and reduces the risk of an injury. 

This process requires a bit of trial and error. It may take you a few workouts to determine which weight load is best for you. In general, if you can do two extra reps with your current weight, you probably need something heavier. 

 

Length of the Workout

When it comes to cardio, you can use the above-mentioned guidelines to help you get the length. For example, if you’re doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, do five 30-minute cardio workouts each week. 

Your strength training routine should be between 45 minutes and one hour. That allows for a warm-up, the workout itself, and a cool down. If you can get to an hour and aren’t worn out, it’s time to increase the intensity. 

 

Getting the Most out of Each Workout

One of the best exercising tips we can offer when you’re learning how to create a workout routine is to choose what you like. If you hate your workout, you’re not likely to do it. 

Creating a workout plan that takes your specific needs into account is going to be the most effective. It’s so much better for reaching your goals than following along with someone else’s plan. 

If you need help or want to work out in a community that supports you, join today for access to our equipment and trainers.