How to Make a Workout Plan : Maxener Wellness

Part 1 Finding a Time and Place

Look at your schedule. Write down all your obligations in the calendar you use for scheduling, whether it is paper or electronic. Be specific and include everything you can think of: work or school hours, meetings, errands, outings, dates, etc. Add everything you know you need or want to do.

Determine any free time. You may have an hour between getting off work and meeting your friends for drinks, or you may be able to take an extra long lunch break in the middle of the day. See what will work for you, and remember it does not have to be the same time, or the same amount of time, every day.

Be realistic. You know yourself and your preferences better than anyone else. If you hate getting up early, don’t schedule a workout at 5 a.m. or your routine will likely fall flat before you even get started. At the same time, if you know you’re too tired after work to do anything other than lay on the couch, try to schedule your workouts for earlier in the day.

Choose a space. You may be, or become, a member at a local gym. If not, you may decide to workout at home. You can even exercise outdoors; walking or running on a path near your office may be the best fit for you. Alternating between these options will work as well, don’t feel as though you always have to exercise in the same place.

Part 2 Learning the Basics

Do some pushups. This exercise engages the front of your body in the arm and chest area. Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the ground underneath your shoulders. While keeping your back straight, lower your body and then raise your body by bending at the elbow.

Try sit ups. Strengthen your abdominal muscles with sit ups. Start by laying flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hands supporting the back of your head. Engage your abdominal muscles, exhale, and keep your neck and back straight as you sit up. Then, inhale as you lay back down.

Try squats. This exercise works your lower body. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend at the knees while raising your arms. You thighs and arms should be parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and avoid extending your knees past your toes.

Master the hip hinge. Hip hinges flex the hip muscles and also work the lower body, but in a different way than the previous exercise. Bend at the waist and extend your arms forward, palms facing down, straight over your head.

Tackle the rear lunge. While this does engage your leg muscles, it also strengthens your core. Step back with one foot and lower your back knee almost to the ground.

Go for the overhead press. This exercise will strengthen your shoulders, upper back, and the back of your neck. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold your fists just outside your shoulders with your arms bent, and then extend your arms straight up over your head while your palms face each other.

  • If you’re comfortable with it, do this exercise while holding a couple of lightweight dumbbells in your hands.
  • You can adjust your hand positioning in order to pull a resistance band and strengthen the same areas of your body. Turn your palms toward you while making fists and raise your arms straight up above your head.

Part 3 Choosing a Routine

Pick your equipment. If you decide to exercise at a gym, they will likely have everything you need. If you are going to exercise at home you may want to invest in some equipment: yoga mats, free weights, resistance bands, an exercise ball, or even an elliptical machine or stationary bicycle.

Start with a full-body workout. Experts recommend beginners start with a full-body routine two to three times per week. This will help you get in shape and get ready to move on to more challenging or centralized workouts.

  • Find a trainer to help you get started. Many gyms offer personalized workout routines and a trainer to help keep you on track.

Choose the exercises that are right for you. Many websites offer exercise regimens and step-by-step instructions. Check out for a wide variety of routines; see for a list of exercises based on experience level; or browse through exercises you can do from home at

  • Start with larger movements before moving on to smaller ones.
  • Do isolation movements to strengthen a single body part.

Do cardio. Cardiovascular exercise gets your heart rate up. This is best if you want to slim down. Cardio exercises include aerobics, running, dancing, and using the treadmill. Do about 1.5-2 hours of cardio exercises each week.

Lift weights. Lifting weights helps you gain muscle. It can also help you target a specific area you’d like to improve. Popular exercises include bench pressing, dumbbell presses, and curls. Incorporate these exercises into your workout twice per week to get the best results.

Rotate through major muscle groups. You’ll want to work out your arms, legs, and core area. You could set aside one day for each group, such as legs on Monday, arms on Wednesday, and core on Friday. The next week you could change the order to keep your routine from getting stale.

  • Leg exercises include: squats, lunges, wall sits, calf raises, and leg lifts.
  • Arm exercises include: pushups, pullups, and curls.
  • Core exercises include: planks, sit ups, and the superman flex.

Mix it up. To make the most of your workouts, alternate strength training and cardio. You don’t want to do the same routine each day for months. Your body will get used to the exercise and you may not see the results you are looking for. You could try a kickboxing class on Monday, do strength training on Wednesday, and swim laps on Friday.

Part 4 Getting Started

Start slow. If you are new to working out, don’t plan for a two-hour marathon session each day. Not only will you get burnt out, but you’re likely to hurt yourself as well. You could begin with 30-minute sessions every other day until you build up your stamina.

Rest. Not only do you want to take a short break between sets, but you should also rest between workouts. Your muscles need time to rest, and you actually build muscle during those breaks. Aim for 24-48 hours of rest between workouts.

Build your tolerance. Most exercises are a single movement that you do multiple times. Different numbers of repetitions (reps) give you different results. Build endurance and tone by doing 12 or more reps with 2-3 or more sets using light weight, build muscle size and strength by doing 8-12 reps in sets of 3-4 with moderate to heavy weight, and build muscle strength by doing 5-8 reps or 5-6 sets with super heavy weight.

  • Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps with light weight to start out. This builds muscle memory in the correct movement pattern and strengthens your tendons and ligaments without putting too much strain on them.

See what works. Don’t feel as though you have to stick with a routine you hate. If the time you’ve set aside for working out, or the exercises you’ve chosen, aren’t working out then reevaluate. Make decisions based on what is best for you and your schedule.

Part 5 Supplementing Your Workout

Drink water. It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated while exercising. This is particularly true if you workout outdoors, especially in the hot summer months. Water is the best way to keep hydrated. You could consider sports drinks as well, but pay attention to the ingredients: many are full of sugar and sodium.

Eat healthy. You won’t see much improvement from your exercise if you are constantly eating junk food. Eat a diet high in protein and “good” fats, such as fish, nuts, and dairy products. Avoid salty foods like potato chips, sugary snacks such as candy, and processed foods.

Consider supplements. It’s important to do your research and find out what ingredients are in your supplements, and if they will truly benefit you. Look for products with carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and essential amino acids. Be wary of products that sound too good to be true: they probably are.

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