One of the best ways to ensure great results with any kind of fitness program is to make certain of four things: 1) the program easily fits-in with your current lifestyle and schedule, or can at least be realistically incorporated, 2) it’s something you really enjoy and look forward to, 3) the workout itself addresses your goals, and 4) you benefit both mentally and physically. Finding that perfect custom-to-you workout routine can take some time and experimentation, but once you’ve found it you’ll be set up for success!
First, look at your weekly schedule. When do you work? When do you have free time? How much time are you willing to commit to working out? How many days per week do you want to workout? These are all crucial questions to ask yourself when starting the process of finding your ideal workout schedule. If the workout doesn’t work cohesively with your schedule, it is highly improbable that you will stick with the regiment and achieve your goals.
What are your goals? This question is a really important one, because it will be the main driving factor of your workout routine. For example, the goals that drive my workout routine are that I 1) want to be stronger, 2) want to aide my mental health, and 3) want to be happy with the way I look. As you can see goals can vary: they can be aesthetic, they can be performance-based, they can be health-based, they can be whatever you want them to be. Identifying and focusing on goals helps us to stay motivated throughout our workout routines and remain committed, and also helps to serve as a guide when choosing the components and style of the workout.
Next, what kind of workouts do you enjoy and are intrigued by? This is where you may need to do some experimentation.
If you’re interested in studio settings (such as boot camps, barre, Pilates, yoga, spin, etc.), ask about free trial classes so you can try them out first before committing. Because these kinds of workouts can be pricey, you definitely want to make sure you really enjoy them and are convinced you will commit to attending. Another important note is that some studios may offer classes that fit right in to your schedule, but some may not.
Maybe studio-type classes aren’t for you and your more interested in a gym-based program. Or you want to mix-and-match your studio classes with gym time. Gyms are great because they offer lots of cardio and lifting equipment, often offer their own classes, and have long hours. Like with a studio, be sure to take advantage of free trials before signing up. You want to feel comfortable and confident while in the gym. Also take notice of offered amenities, extended hours, guest policies, cleanliness, foot traffic, and overall “vibe”.
Let’s say you join a gym that you really love, but aren’t quite sure what to do once you get there. Most gyms offer a free consultation with a personal trainer for new members, so you can ask them lots of questions, and they can give you more information about personal training services and classes offered.
Not all workouts need to be done in the gym or at a studio- you may be more comfortable working out at home, or love being outdoors. Tune in to your likes and dislikes. HIIT, bodyweight, and Tabata workouts can all easily be done at home or outdoors in your yard or at a park. Hiking, trail running or walking, cycling, swimming, etc…these are all great forms of exercise that can be incorporated into your routine.
Assess the time you have to commit, what your goals are, what you enjoy, the resources that are available to you, and the knowledge that you have.
This last point, assessing the knowledge that you have, is one of the most important. In any kind of exercise, there is always potential for injury. Fun fact: injuries are the #1 reason for individuals to cease a workout program. It’s important to recognize what knowledge you do have and what knowledge you don’t have, so that you can seek out individuals and resources to help guide you. There is nothing wrong with asking for help! Doing so will only benefit you and your ability to achieve your goals. There are endless resources out there in the form of books, blogs, podcasts, forums, journals, and professional trainers and coaches.
If you have any questions in regards to your workout, need guidance working around your schedule, would like help finding resources, are interested in personal training or wellness coaching, or even have really specific questions about a single exercise, please comment below or send me a message (contact tab) or email!