If you’re trying to get into a regular workout routine, you might wonder how to set up a schedule for yourself and make it a routine. I talked about Balancing a Running and Weight Lifting Schedule once upon a time, and shared a mock schedule of an average week of workouts with what my focus was each day. Since running isn’t exactly a big part of my fitness routine these days (due to lingering IT band frustrations), I figured I would post about how I structure my workouts these days. If you’re not a fitness fanatic, you might not know what muscle groups to workout each day, and I totally get that.
Even though I love talking about fitness-related topics, I’m not a professional fitness instructor over here. I basically just try to abide by the following rules:
- Workout 4-6 days each week for 20-60 min, preferably the latter
- Don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row, to aid in muscle recovery
- Balance both weight lifting- and cardio-focused routines for different types of training
I am a firm believer that, even if you aren’t proficient in exercise science, you can still be fit. Even though I’m not super knowledgeable about all the fitness things, I feel like I know what I’m doing, for the most part. The way I create a weekly workout schedule is to focus on upper body, core, and lower body, balancing each in a cardio and weight training schedule. If you look at my workout page, you can find a plethora of treadmill, bike, and elliptical workouts, as well as weight training circuits – all covering a wide range of muscle groups.
When it comes to my overall training, I keep things fairly vague by focusing on large sections of the body, not necessarily triceps vs. biceps or hamstrings vs. quads – more so upper vs. lower body. I find this so much simpler and user-friendly. Now don’t get me wrong, I admire those who have the intense workout schedule that focuses on each and every muscle – I’ve just never taken the time to figure it out or regularly plan it. Although my way of doing things might not be as specific as some people would like, it works great for me, and I think it’s sufficient for getting a toned, healthy physique, as long as you do a variety of exercises and continue to mix things up.
To give you an idea of what a week of workouts looks like for me these days, here’s what I might do in a week:
Sunday: Full body circuit, focusing on upper body (arms, shoulders, and/or back), core, and legs/glutes (e.g., Dumbbell Circuit)
Monday: Running or cardio-focused circuit (e.g., Pure Cardio HIIT)
Wednesday: Running or cardio (e.g., Get Your Run On Treadmill Circuit)
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: Running or cardio (e.g., Get Fired Up Treadmill Circuit)
To be honest, I haven’t been able to do a legitimate run in over two months, but I’m trying to very, very slowly get back into it, praying to God my IT band will allow me to do so. So the above schedule I follow for the most part, except I do more circuit-based cardio, instead of running or machine-based exercises (I don’t have access to a gym of any sort at this point, so all exercises either include dumbbells or my body).
While I’d prefer to get outside and be active in a more organic way, at-home routines are crucial for me to actually stay semi-fit. And to be honest, I think people stress too much about what exactly to do for exercise. Sure, you might want an idea of what to do each day to be consistent (which is why I shared my average week above), but I don’t think you necessarily need an intricately crafted schedule to see results. If you’re trying to enter a body building competition, then sure, look into how to tone each little area of your body – but if you simply want to get healthier and tone up your bod, then I think simply sticking to a workout schedule is a huge part of that. Not every little detail needs to be stressed over – it seems to just complicate the bigger picture for some people.
It’s so easy to get discouraged by all the little things instead of the general goal of making fitness a part of your lifestyle. You learn as you go, people. What works for one person might not work for you. My advice is just to start working out several days a week – even if they’re not all stellar, make it a routine. Focus on different areas of the body, and just try new things. Even if you don’t see significant results right off the bat, it’s a rewarding process, and you’ll have so much to be proud of, regardless of how long it takes to reach your fitness goal.
What’s your main fitness focus? Running? Weight lifting? Randomness?
What do you struggle with most in a workout schedule?