Having a workout plan before starting your workout is like going on a trip with a map. It'd be foolish to go to some mysterious country without any information on that country, wouldn't it?
I repeatedly see people walk through the gym doors, only to hop on a running machine or weight machine without any purpose. I applaud them for taking that first step. But I'm also worried that not having a plan will lead them to burnout from not achieving the results they want.
Many people think that workout plans are for professional athletes. They’re only for people who are "serious" about their workouts. The truth is, you need that seriousness to achieve the goals you have in mind. Think about how you summit a mountain. Sure, you can just keep climbing up until you reach the top. But you'll get there a lot faster and safer with an informed guide and a clear path, right?
Working out is the same. To see constant progress in the gym and achieve your goals, a workout plan is critical before you set foot in the gym.
Here are the top 5 reasons you need a workout plan.
1. Helps you avoid undertraining or overtraining
This is the most important reason for having a workout plan. Undertraining and overtraining are equally bad. They're also the most common hole beginners fall into. Both conditions make it challenging to perform at your desired physical fitness level.
The primary difference between undertraining and overtraining is:
Overtraining occurs when the body is subjected to too much stress or training without adequate rest.
Undertraining occurs when insufficient stress or training results in a lack of improvement to physical fitness.
Without a photographic memory, planning your workout and comparing it to your previous performance is the only way to prevent either situation.
2. It gives you clear structure and motivation
Whether your goal is to gain muscle or lose weight, reaching your goal is challenging. On your journey, the greatest motivating factor will be seeing results. Nothing is more motivating than seeing the progress of your changing body with your own eyes. Your workout plan is the best tool to help you to witness more dramatic changes. Monitoring progressive results with hard data will motivate you more than any quotes from the Internet.
3. It gives you a clear goal
The worst-case scenario is setting goals too high or too low when you begin working out. Both will drain your passion and lead you to give up easily. To establish an accurate exercise goal, it’s essential to look at yourself objectively. Measure your progress against your workout plan to view your workout more realistically.
4. It gives you a solid checklist
Checklists are powerful motivational tools. If you’re the type of person that loves checking things off a list, you already know the power of a checklist. It’s like giving yourself applause every day. Checklists are fabulous for motivation.
5. It helps you understand your workout style
Everyone has different lifestyles, so it’s natural they'll have different workout styles. Some might love to run for cardio, while others prefer HIIT cardio workouts. Maintaining your workout plan will help you understand your workout style. This will help you make the right decisions every time you walk into the gym.
I don't have a one-size-fits-all solution for you. Everyone has different goals and workout styles. But there are plenty of workout routines on the Internet, and I’d suggest starting there. Here are some excellent links to get you started.
Workout Plans | Workout Programs | Bodybuilding.com
Free Workout Plans & Spreadsheets | LIFT VAULT
Need an easy way to track your routines and workouts?
If you want to save yourself time and energy while logging your workout, check out BurnFit. It’s the most intuitive and straightforward workout tracker & planner you’ll find. It’s designed to help you get bigger, stronger, and more athletic. Whether creating your own workout plan pre-workout or following tailor-made strength programs, BurnFit provides everything you need to get better results from every workout.