I have been fairly active my entire life.
While I’m a big fan of doing whatever you love to stay active, if there’s one thing I’ve learned while studying for my personal training exam, it’s that it’s important to create a workout plan.If you want to achieve your goals, a workout plan is a must. Click To Tweet
It’s great to stay active, trying different group fitness classes, but, ultimately, if you want to see some changes, real changes, you need to have a plan.
Why It’s Important To Create A Workout Plan
I talk a lot about running on here. The funny thing is I have quite the love-hate relationship with running. I have really learned to love it- the solitude, the scenery, the excitement after a race. BUT, there are other times when I really can’t stand it.
I have a lot of family members and friends who are runners. My own wonderful cousin is an elite, competitive runner. I mean, you know that little tent where all the top runners hang out before a big race? Well, there’s a little tent in the beginning of the race where all the elite runners hang out, and the only reason I know there’s a little tent for those amazing runners is because my cousin is one of them. We even ran into each other one time while both out for a run. She slowed WAYYYY down and I was moving as fast as I possibly could before I breathlessly mouthed, “Please go on without me,” and collapsed to the ground.
I found myself wishing I was a faster runner.
I would check out friend’s times after they posted on facebook, and realize I was much slower. I would never post my own time out of sheer embarrassment.
While studying the cardiovascular fitness chapter, it finally dawned on me. The only possible way I was going to get faster is if I had a plan and practiced running faster. DUH! It goes back to all those important exercise principles.
The principle of specificity states that if I want to be a better runner, I need to specifically practice running… a lot. No amount of yoga, even yoga for runners, or weight lifting is going to make as much of a difference as actually getting out there for a run. Previously, I would head out there once, maybe twice a week and hope that would make a difference. NOPE.
The principle of progressive overload states that if I want to be a faster runner I need to gradually build on the amount of time and speed from week to week. Running at the same easy pace from week to week wasn’t doing anything for my time.
So, to improve my time and to become a better runner, I’ve written out a plan for myself. It’s right there in my calendar along with all my other To-Dos.
Now, how about you? Do you want to get faster? Or leaner? Or stronger? Do you want to lose 10 pounds or simply be able to carry those groceries more easily?
Make yourself a plan. Write it down in your calendar.
There’s nothing wrong with attending group exercise classes or heading out there for an easy run, but don’t expect major changes. And, I’m not knocking exercise classes. I still really enjoy going to them. Now, I just fit them into my workout schedule, along side my running and weight lifting plans. You’re more likely to see the results you want if you are armed with a plan.
If you need advice on designing a plan for yourself, feel free to send me an e-mail @firstname.lastname@example.org.
I plan on sharing more information on exactly how to get started with your own plan, but I thought I’d share this great article from Nerd Fitness that gives a brief overview of how to start weight training. For cardiovascular exercise, I really love the Couch to 5k program for running, but here’s a nice article about starting a cardio program from Very Well.