How do I build a workout plan?

You walk into the gym, ready to work out. You head over to the weight section, look in the mirror and realize you have no idea what to do, even though you know you’d like to be weight lifting. Sound familiar?

I’ve recently been getting lots of questions from women who are not super comfortable in the free weights section of the gym. Braving all the bros working their biceps leaves them feeling intimidated, not knowing how to approach the weight rack. That’s why I’ve decided to write a series on Mastering the Weight Room.

At the end of the series of blog posts, you’ll be confident in approaching that free weight section with ease.

Previous topics in the Master the Weight Room series include:

-Choosing your weights
-Building your workout routines

This week, I’m tackling the final topic in the series: building your workout plan!

How to build a weekly workout plan

This is how I program weekly workout plans for my clients to help them get results.

When you’re thinking about your workout plan, you’ve got two main variables to consider: workout and rest days.

Choose your workout split

Before choosing how many days to spend on leg day, you first need to decide how many day per week you’d like to workout. I generally start clients on a three days a week workout plan. This is a great amount of weekly activity to start seeing physical results and start feeling different in your own skin.

Because you don’t want to work the same muscle group back-to-back, this will influence how you set up your workout split. If you’re ready to bump your routine up to 4 or 5 workout days per week, the same principles apply! 🙂

Below are my suggested workout splits and plans for 3, 4, and 5 day workout splits!

3 day workout plan

Monday: full body weighted workout #1

Wednesday: cardio or HIIT

Friday: full body weighted workout #2

4 day workout plan

Monday: full body weighted workout #1

Wednesday: full body weighted workout #2

Friday: full body weighted workout #3

Saturday (or any other day!): cardio or HIIT

5 day workout plan

Monday: lower body workout #1

Tuesday: upper body + abs workout #1

Thursday: cardio or HIIT

Friday: lower body workout #2

Saturday:upper body + abs workout #2

Once you’ve planned each of your workouts, it’s time to consider the other part of your workout plan: rest.

Plan your rest days

Rest days are what allow your body to rebuild and your mind to chill until your next workout session. If you don’t get enough rest, you risk overtraining. Overtraining is essentially when you’ve worked your body so hard that it can no longer recover sufficiently before your next workout.

Side plank

My rule of thumb is to take a day off between each workouts. This is enough rest for most people, especially those new to high intensity exercise. For my clients, I generally suggest 2-3 rest days per week.

I hope this is helpful! What did I miss in this Master the Weight Room series?

If you have questions or things that confuse you in the whole weight lifting realm, let me know in the comments below!

What’s one thing about weight lifting that still confuses you?

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