GET A WORKOUT PROGRAM, YOUR FUTURE WILL THANK YOU
You look up the brunch menu hours in advance - we don’t need to preach the merits of having a plan to you. Whether it’s your meals or moving your body, you’ll always perform better with a clear plan, and when it comes to the gym, a workout program will help lifters of all levels be at their best. From beginners about to hit their first rep, to bodybuilders wanting to revamp their routine - we’ve laid out our best tips to help you create a workout program that works for you.
1. SET A CLEAR GOAL
See the strongest person in the gym, coated in chalk dust looking every inch the Olympic athlete? You can bet your last scoop of protein powder that they followed a program with a clear goal to get where they are today.
Everything about your workout program should be connected to a clear and specific goal. Going with the flow won’t get you far in the weight room, without a goal you’ll most likely end up like a stray animal wandering the squat racks. Also remember to emphasise the specific part - wanting to lose weight or get bigger is a desire, but not specific enough to be the goal you base your entire training program around. Goals need to be measurable, have timeframes and make sense within the context of your life - we created a guide on how to set goals for you here.
It’s also worth remembering that you want training & fitness to be a lifelong habit, not something you dread doing, so make sure your workout program is fun (one of the most underrated fitness goals) and continually gives you that sweet endorphin rush.
2. DO YOUR RESEARCH
You’ve set your goal, now it’s time to pick the exercises to get you there. While plenty of internet blogs and bodybuilding forums will tell you to build your program around compound movements (squat, deadlift, bench press ETC), programs should be more individualised than that - there’s no sense training like a powerlifter and risking injury if you’re aiming for aesthetics. We recommend consulting with a coach to pick your lifting lineup.
3. VOLUME, FREQUENCY, INTENSITY
Frequency: How often you plan on training
Intensity: The load on the bar, or how difficult the set was
Volume: Your total workload per training session. You can calculate this by total weight lifted, sets or
These are the three tenets you should build the rest of your workout program around. Pick two which resonate with you the most, and limit the third to avoid burnout and becoming overworked. For example, if you love hitting sweat sessions every day of the week and like to train with all-out intensity, then keep your volume on the lighter side and keep your workouts under 45 minutes.
Alternatively, if you only have time to train a few times a week, then up the volume and intensity when you can make it into the weight room!
4. CHECK YOUR GYM INVENTORY
This is one of the more underrated tips. To get the most out of your workout program, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the equipment available first! Do a recon of your local gym and make sure you’re not planning to do sled pushes without a sled in sight. Also, you’ll be able to avoid things like scheduling complex circuits with multiple pieces of equipment, at a time when your gym is busiest - after all, you don’t want to get a reputation as the local equipment hoarder.
5. LEAVE TIME FOR FLEXIBILITY, MOBILITY & RECOVERY
It’s not all about the weights. It’s vital that you make space for flexibility and mobility exercises in your program. Unlike a lot of exercises which can be quite specified, flexibility and mobility are two habits which have a direct positive transfer to all of your fitness goals, whether it’s getting stronger, leaner or more athletic. Consistently working on your range of motion will decrease your chance of injury, improve your posture and improve your strength & overall wellbeing.
Your rest is just as important as your reps, so you’ll also need to leave time for recovery (after all, this is when the real gains take place). Whether it’s a weekly rest day or a deload every two months, building recovery into your program will help you create a training plan that sticks. For a deeper insight, we wrote an entire blog about how to get the most out of your recovery within 24 hours.
HERE’S WHAT IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE
Courtesy of our in-house sports scientist & Ryderwear athletes, we’ve created a few beginner programs for you to lose, based on the steps we’ve provided. Check out these workout routines for fat loss, muscle gain and booty building (hold down on the image to save them to your phone)
FAT LOSS: MAYA BASSE
BUILD BOOTY: GIORGIA PISCINA
BUILD MUSCLE: JACO DE BRUYN
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