For many people getting fit and healthy can feel like an overwhelming goal, especially when it comes to finances. Trainers can be expensive, so often getting set up with a workout routine isn’t the main focus. However, here are some tips to help you build your own home workout plan – no trainer required.
You should outline your expectations for getting fit and healthy before you begin to build your home workout plan. These expectations will allow you to build a plan that you can actually stick to.
Firstly you should consider what your goals are for working out. Are you looking to build muscle and lose weight? Or, maybe you are looking to increase your stamina to run a 5k or swim further? Whatever your end goals are, ensure you write them down with mini-goals to help you achieve them. For example, if you are looking to increase your strength, a mini-goal could be to do 12 push-ups without resting.
Consider how much time you really have to workout each week. For some people, this may be 45 minutes a day. However, if you have a long commute and children to look after it may be 30 minutes 3 times a week. You should ensure you create your workout plan to work with your schedule, even if it is just 2 days a week. Be realistic with your schedule and capabilities, you can always do an additional workout if you have extra time during the week.
The final step to setting up your workout expectations is to decide the where and how for your home workout plan. Will you only be exercising in your home? Or, will you be cycling, running and doing other physical activities outside the home? Maybe you have a large park nearby that you want to workout in. Once you decide the where, it’s time to decide how. The how includes if you want to use weights, resistance bands, wobble boards or if you will incorporate yoga or pilates. These are important decisions to make as they will affect what exercises you can incorporate into your workout routine.
Now that you have your expectations laid out, it’s time to start building your home workout plan.
First, select your workout activities. You should select your exercises based on the goals you wish to achieve. However, you should always try to incorporate these four areas into each daily plan; cardio, strength, flexibility and core. To create fun and interesting workouts you should aim to do a variety of exercises each time. When it comes to strength training, you want to avoid working the same muscles 2 days in a row. This means if you do legs one day, the following day should be arms, then chest and back on the next. This will give your muscles a chance to relax and repair themselves to avoid injury. Some exercise ideas to incorporate are;
- Cardio: running, skipping, cycling, rowing and swimming
- Strength: push-ups, pull-ups, dumbbell presses, squats, box jumps, leg lifts, and resistance leg presses.
- Core: un-weighted crunches, planks, abdominal rollouts, and sit-ups.
- Flexibility: side lunges, yoga, spinal twists and stretches.
Once you have chosen your exercises, you should decide how many of each you will do during the workout. Reps (repetitions) are how many of each exercise you will do before having a break. This would usually be 8-10 when starting out and will typically increase as you get stronger. Sets refer to how many times you will do the reps, this is usually 3-5 times and will be consistent throughout your journey. Your rest time should be how long it takes you to breathe normally while still having an elevated heart rate. This will usually be 30 seconds - 2 minutes and will decrease as you increase your fitness. Test how long it is for each exercise you wish to include and make a note. For each exercise you wish to include in your plan, you should also include any weight values for them. For example, your workout could include 3 sets of 8 1lb dumbbell presses with 1-minute rests, and 4 sets of 10 push-ups with 45 second rests.
When creating your base weekly routine, you should refer back to your expectations on time. Create your weekly plan to line up with what you know you are able to do, do not overschedule yourself. To keep your home workout plan fun, create a base plan that covers 2 to 3 weeks of workouts that you can then repeat. Ensure your schedule your workouts on to your Google or phone calendar so you have the time blocked out. Remember, missing a workout isn’t the end of the world, just focus on doing the next one.
You should make sure to record your progress. Not only will this help you keep track of your weight and goals but it will also allow you to see other improvements. You should record the reps, sets, rests, weights and when you workout. By having a record of each workout, you can go back and see your health and fitness improving weekly.
Once you have your home workout plan setup, all you have to do is stick to it. As you likely know, consistency is key when it comes to health and fitness. If at any stage you find yourself unmotivated – switch it up. You can change your workout plan to suit you and your lifestyle at any time.