Okay you finally realized that you should be working out. You did all the hard work to find the right gym for the right price. The workout gear has been purchased. But now what?
With so many workout plans available how the heck are you supposed to chose the right one for you?
First you need to remember that there is no fear or intimidation here. There is a learning curve about working out that everyone goes through. So dealing with all the standard emotions that occur when people are outside of their normal ‘comfort zones’ is completely normal. They key is to not worry about, put a smile on your face (because working out and getting a great body is fun), and just do it!
But first, let’s pick the right plan for you!
Picking a Program
There are a lot of factors that go into choosing any program. Now we aren’t going to tell you exactly which training regime is best for you. This isn’t an interactive article where you can answer questions and then we spit out an answer. But we are going to help you evaluate the important factors that go into the decision so you can then pick the one that best fits your needs. With so many programs available, there will be a few that will fit your needs perfectly.
So get out a pen and paper and start writing this down so you can narrow your choices down!
Wants vs. Needs
This ideology can be used in a lot of situations. There are things everyone wants, like winning the lottery, versus needing to eat food every day. When making your list it helps to be honest with categorizing how important something is to you by making it a want versus a need. I need to do cardio in a pool because of a knee injury versus I want to include swimming in my routine because I like the water.
Experience – How experienced are you with fitness and working out? Did you work out a lot but years before? Have you been working out off and on for the past few years? This is important because some programs are going to involve more intense workouts than those for beginners or intermediates. Generally speaking you should always start a program at or below your level and never overestimate your experience. If you start with a tougher program than you can handle it will affect your motivation and recovery ability. You can always ramp up to the next level if you find that you aren’t challenged after a few weeks.
Goal – What is it that you want to do? You should have a clear goal in mind and then find a program that is meant to accomplish that goal. “Get in shape” is far too general in most cases. It should be something specific like losing 20 pounds of fat and tone the muscle you have or gain 20 pounds of lean muscle.
Schedule – How much time do you truly have to dedicate to working out? If you only have 2 hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday then you obviously can only use a 3-day a week program that covers the whole body. This is a very important factor because many people get frustrated when they become over-scheduled or have to miss time at the gym.
Recovery – This factor needs to be considered with your schedule. Everyone’s body recovers at a slightly different rate. If you are going to push yourself then you need to include adequate rest time for the body to recoup. If your body requires two full days of rest after a session then that needs to be factored into your schedule. Working out before your body has recovered just leads to overtraining and that creates negative gains.
Preference – What do you like or want to do? This is another important factor because even the best program in the world does little good if you hate doing it. Why? Because then you will try to do anything possible to avoid it after a while. People who love what they are doing end up being more consistent and workout harder. In the long run that leads to better results. So if you love to do kickboxing make sure your routine includes it!
Options – What do you have available to do? Sometimes a program expects you to have certain equipment available. But if your gym doesn’t have any kettlebells then a kettlebell heavy program is out. Some things you just can’t substitute for easily. With so many programs around there is less of a reason to try.
So after evaluating all the factors you are now ready to look at various programs and see what fits your wants and needs.