How To Create A Workout Plan

Have you started your fitness journey but are still a little lost with your workout routine? Here are some insights into how to create a workout plan considering your goals, rest interval, and other vital factors that will help you to keep improving in your fitness journey.

It’s important to say that this is how I structured my workout plan, so this article has information purpose only. If you want an effective plan for your body, we highly recommend you look for a personal trainer or a professional who can help you to create an adequate routine for you.

You should never take decisions that may affect your help without talking to an expert.

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Is There Any Formula To Create A Perfect Workout Plan?

The answer is no. Several factors must be considered to create a workout routine suitable for your body: your health condition, availability, muscle maturity, flexibility, strength, and more. Either way, there is so much free content out there to inspire you, so it’s easier to understand how to create a workout plan nowadays.

Over the following weeks, we’ll be writing articles explaining a little more about specific muscle groups and what exercises can help you build muscle mass.

1. Identify Your Goals

This seems like a pretty simple tip, but most people don’t do it properly. When I started training, I didn’t have any strategies, as I had little knowledge about muscle anatomy. You can choose someone who has the body you want to achieve, take some pictures and start repairing what is missing in your body.

A little over a year ago, I noticed that I should focus my workout more on the Upper Chest, Shoulder, and Back, for example. I could only see that these muscles were underdeveloped – or asymmetrical – when I started taking pictures of myself and comparing them to other bodies. That’s not to make you feel bad, but to help you to have a clear strategy.

I’d suggest you look at some bodybuilders or high-performance athletes because it’s easier to identify each muscle. Find your weaknesses and make them your priorities! You will not stop working the other muscles; just emphasize those that need to be focused.

2. What Is Your Availability?

This is an essential question, so you must be realistic. How many times will you exercise during the week? You see, it’s not about how often you plan to work out, but how often you will.

Planning the frequency of your workout will help you distribute exercises in a balanced way, making you build muscles harmoniously. If you plan on going to the gym 5 times a week, you mustn’t skip any day – and if you miss, do the exercises you missed the next day.

Remember that you will only achieve your goals by being consistent. When you create a 5-day workout routine, and you only exercise on 3 of them, you end up having longer rest intervals for some muscle groups, and that makes you sabotage your gainings potential.

How To Create a Workout Plan – How I Structured my Routine

Once you’ve defined how many times you’ll exercise a week, it’s easier to develop an appropriate strategy. Remember that there is no magic formula or recipe for building muscle mass and that these workouts plans were created according to my goals. You can check below the last 2 workout routines that worked for me.

• 123 Workout – Push/Pull/Legs

Each of the three groups represents a workout day:

1. Push:

  • Chest (4 Exercises)
  • Shoulders (3 Exercises)
  • Triceps (2 Exercises)
  • Abs (Upper Abs – 1 Exercise)

2. Pull:

  • Upper Back (2 Exercises)
  • Mid Back (3 Exercises)
  • Lower Back (1 Exercise)
  • Biceps (2 Exercises)
  • Abs (Lower Abs – 1 Exercise)

3. Legs:

  • Glutes (2 Exercises)
  • Quadriceps (2 Exercises)
  • Hamstring (2 Exercises)
  • Calfs (2 Exercises)
  • Abs (Oblique – 1 Exercise)

How To Create A Workout Plan:

ThursdayOff – Swim or any cardio exercise

Pros: It’s an excellent workout for those who plan on training 5-6 times weekly, as you can exercise the same muscle twice a week. The fact that you have to train many different muscles on the same day makes the rest intervals shorter and the workout more intense, causing you to build muscle and burn extra calories.

This division also allows you to take advantage of compound exercises, which are excellent for increasing strength, improve muscle mobility, posture, and more.

Cons: Time is a real challenge in this kind of routine. I’m currently following this routine and, because of the pandemic, my gym session lasts only 1h15. The only way to do this routine efficiently, reaching all the muscles of the day, is to drastically reduce the rest interval between exercises.

Another difficulty I noticed with training a lot of muscles on the same day is that you will have to do fewer exercises for each group. If your legs are underdeveloped, for example, it may be more effective to do more legs exercises throughout the week.

• 12345 Workout – Chest/Back/Shoulders/Legs/Arms

Each of the 5 groups represents a workout day:

1. Chest:

  • Upper Chest (2 Exercises)
  • Mid Chest (2 Exercises)
  • Lower Chest (2 Exercises)
  • Inner Chest (1 Exercise)
  • Abs (Upper Abs – 1 Exercise)

2. Back:

  • Upper Back (2 Exercises)
  • Mid Back (4 Exercises)
  • Lower Back (1 Exercise)
  • Abs (Lower Abs – 1 Exercise)

3. Shoulders:

  • Front Delt (2 Exercises)
  • Side Delt (2 Exercises)
  • Rear Delt (2 Exercises)
  • Traps (1 Exercise)
  • Abs (Obliques – 1 Exercise)

4. Legs:

  • Glutes (1 Exercise)
  • Quadriceps (2 Exercises)
  • Hamstring (2 Exercises)
  • Calfs (2 Exercises)
  • Abs (Upper Abs – 1 Exercise)

5. Arms

  • Biceps (3 Exercises)
  • Triceps (3 Exercises)
  • Abs (Lower Abs – 1 Exercise)

How To Create A Workout Plan:

SaturdayOff – Aerobic/Cardio Exercise (Running, etc)

Pros: Of all the routines I’ve tried in the last few years, this one I liked the most. Although the rest interval to hit certain muscles are longer, you can work a muscle group with much more intensity (by doing more exercises).

That clearly increased my strength and my performance during the workouts. Coincidentally, it was the period where I had the most muscle gains. Obviously, this will also depend on your diet and rest, but it is an excellent workout overall. Another advantage of this routine is the longer rest time between exercises.

Cons: Because the muscles are worked over a more extended period, you will need to be very consistent with your routine. Missing a workout can mean almost 2 weeks without hitting that muscle, so your discipline will be a must.

This workout may not be effective if you want to focus on underdeveloped muscles, as there is almost 1 week to target the same muscle group again.

Final Considerations On How to Create a Workout Plan

First, master basic movements. Before you start doing complex exercises you are not used to, focus on what you already know – especially if you don’t have a personal trainer guiding you. Remember that you must prioritize quality when working out. Don’t think about increasing the load until you learn to do the exercise correctly. Save yourself from injury, and focus on working out efficiently.

Secondly: don’t get used to it. If you start to notice that your workout routine is getting easier, plan to change. I try to change my workout plan once every two months, but that’s something that works for me. Remember each body is unique! Therefore, when you’ve mastered all the exercises, start looking for more challenging moves!

Lastly: stop counting reps. Work out to failure! Forget 4 sets of 12 reps, or whatever. Remember that your body is individual, and there is no recipe for building muscle mass. Work the muscle until you no longer have the strength to perform the exercise. Try to break your limit every workout and gradually increase the load.

When you are training, think about the muscle you are exercising and that will help you hit it correctly.

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