Q:

How do you create a workout plan?

A:

Quick Answer

To create a workout plan, take four things into account: your schedule, your lifestyle, your fitness level and your goals. Set realistic expectations for yourself and customize your plan as much as possible.

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Full Answer

Creating a workout plan requires creativity and realism, so develop one you think you are likely to follow. If you have a strict 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work schedule, create a plan that fits in well with your mornings or evenings. If your energy level tends to be higher in the mornings, take advantage with an early-morning run. Take into account your lifestyle, being sure to avoid 6 a.m. spinning classes if you tend to stay up late every night.

Depending on your fitness level, adopt a plan that challenges you without overdoing it. Aim for at least thirty minutes of cardio five times a week, or sixty for the physically fit. Incorporate a strength-building routine every other day, alternating upper- and lower-body workouts. Be sure to have a rest day after strenuous workouts since part of muscle-building is allowing time for the muscles to recover.

Set realistic goals for yourself, such as a weight-loss expectation or achievement within your sport of choice. If you are looking to lose weight, never aim for more than two pounds per week. Be sure to document your progress as you go. If you have specific goals within your sport, build them small to large. If you are a runner, for example, first focus on mileage before speed and races.

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