How to Make an Effective Workout Plan – 3 Examples Based on Lifestyle
Anyone can combine exercises and call it a "workout plan". But, will it be effective? For a workout plan to be effective, both your lifestyle and your goals have to be considered. There are thousands of exercises. How do you know which ones are right for you?
To be honest, there aren't really exercises that are "wrong" for you. It can be debated that as long as you're exercising and doing the exercises with good form and intensity, you've accomplished more than most people. If you agree with this train of thought, that's OK! The purpose of this blog is not to convince you otherwise.
I understand you're busy and exercise may not be top of mind. Therefore, the little time you have should be used efficiently. If you put a little more thought into the exercises you choose for your workout, you'll get the most out of your hard work.
By the end of this blog, you'll have a better idea of how to achieve this.
Our Goals Have Changed
I’ve been involved in the health and fitness industry for over a decade and, in that time, I've witnessed a change in the health and fitness industry. Today, those who exercise to achieve an exaggerated level of physique and aesthetics, i.e. 6-pack or "big booty", now represent a small population. Nowadays, most people who pursue health and fitness have goals of making their daily lives easier and feeling better. To read more about the benefits of exercise, click here.
Assuming you're one of these people, a random selection of exercises may help you achieve these goals. But why leave it to chance? It's not that difficult to put together a workout plan, based on your lifestyle, which gives you maximum value for your hard work. This means a plan which considers the things you do every day and the things you love to do. In the health and fitness industry, we call this an "individualized" or "customized" plan.
Let's learn how to create a customized workout plan for yourself.
What is the Goal of an Effective Workout Plan?
Your body, the human body, is designed to move and allow you to do things. On a daily basis, you do thousands of different things and the things you do will be different from the things other people do. If you're exercising to make your day-to-day life easier and feel better, the goal of your workout plan should be to help you get "better" at the things you do day-to-day.
Therefore, an effective workout plan is one which develops and promotes YOUR everyday movements so that you can do things better. "Better" in this context simply means easier, more efficient, with less effort, and with a lower risk of injury. This logic applies whether you're a mom who pushes her child in a stroller or an athlete who swings a bat and runs bases.
Without getting too "sciencey", the foundation of the exercises included in an effective workout plan must mimic or replicate movements that you use on a daily basis – practice makes perfect!
The Life of Denise
Close your eyes and imagine Denise…
Besides being a director at a large oil firm, Denise is the mother of two young, active children. After work, she loves preparing dinner for her family. She also loves being an active participant in her children’s lives and drives them to all of their activities. On top of all this, she also captains her volleyball team. So, she's a very busy woman!
Denise might seem like an everyday superhero. But, she’s not. You live some version of this life – busy and full of movement.
Let’s Look at Her Daily Movements
Every single day of her life, she performs hundreds, if not thousands, of movements – whether consciously or subconsciously.
Let’s walk through a typical day in the life of Denise: which of these movements can you relate to?
- Before leaving for work, she lunges down to pick up her children, presses them high overhead, and in a very controlled manner, puts them back down for a big hug.
- At work, she runs from meeting to meeting. When she returns to her desk, she’s conscious not to plop down into her chair. Rather, she squats down into her chair – workplace safety!
- After work, she quickly prepares dinner to ensure that her kids aren’t late for their activities. She twists (rotates) to the right and turns on the stove. She twists (rotates) to the left and fills her pot with water. She reaches straight overhead and grabs a stack of plates. She squats down and grabs tomatoes on of the crisper.
- Later that evening, after her kids are tucked away, she races off to her volleyball game. Often during her game, she holds a low squat, ready to absorb that giant spike. At other times, she squats down low, jumps high into the air, and reaches high overhead for a crushing block.
As a result, Denise's life is not only full of movement but full of movements that require her entire body and spectacular core strength. Yes, Denise is an amazing woman, but she's no superhero. If she is, so are you.
Substitute your daily activities with Denise's and you live a version of her life – full of full-body, core engaging movements.
A Workout Plan for Denise
Now that we've had a close look at Denise's life, her lifestyle, and the things that are important to her, we can put together a workout plan that will make her even better at the things she does on a daily basis. An effective workout plan for Denise will include these exercises:
Can you match the exercises with the movements in Denise's life?
See? It's not that difficult to create an effective workout plan. You just need to consider your lifestyle and select exercises that mimic or replicate movements that you use on a daily basis. As a result, you'll maximize the benefits of your hard work.
3 Sample Workout Plans
1) Mothers who are always pushing themselves off of the ground, carrying their groceries in one arm, running up and down the stairs, and chasing their kids around:
2) Construction workers who are always reaching over head with one arm, picking things up off the ground, turning from one side to the other, and balancing on a ladder:
3) Athletes who are swinging golf clubs, jumping for rebounds, cutting from side-to-side to evade tacklers, and climbing mountains:
Can you use one of these plans for yourself?
The exercises demonstrated above were done on an Evolution Training System. If you don't have an Evolution, you can do a variation of these exercises by anchoring (attaching) your bands to a solid foundation. To learn more about the Evolution or get your own, click here. To see more exercises you can do on the Evolution, head to our exercise library.