How to Put Together a Workout Routine

By on December 2, 2014
how-to-put-together-a-workout-routine

If you’re like most people, then you want to get the most out of every workout. We all live such busy lives that’s it’s important to us to exercise as efficiently as possible and get the maximum results out of every training session. It’s because of this desire, that it’s no surprise that one of the most common questions asked to trainers is how to put together a workout routine?

My answer to this question has been the same for over 13 years, mix it up. Variety is the key to continuously improving your fitness level without hitting plateaus. That’s why VimoFit is set up to automatically create a new workout for you each day.

Check out 6 tips to creating your own workout routine:

High Intensity Interval Training

H.I.I.T gets you more fit in less time, makes you smarter, and supercharges your metabolism. H.I.I.T. workouts usually include short bursts of intense exercise followed by short breaks to recover. These workouts generally use time rounds oppose to counting repetitions.

The routines can contain an unlimited variety of exercises including body weight training, Olympic lifting, plyometrics (jump training), weight training, and sprints. A Colorado State University study found that thanks to a boost in your metabolic rate, you can burn as many as 200 extra calories in the next 24 hours from only 150 seconds of intense exercise.

Lay Off the Machines

While machine training does have its place, there’s a reason why we try to avoid them in our customized workouts. Exclusively training on machines doesn’t challenge your muscles functionally. Machines take away the stability and balance function of exercise which can minimize the effectiveness. This results in less central nervous system firing and less calories burned per repetition.

Try using the dumbbell chest press instead of a machine chest press, barbell squats instead of smith machine squats, and lunges instead of leg extensions.

Body Weight Training

Your body is a remarkable tool and with the right know-how it doesn’t require any additional equipment to get a good workout in. Unlike machine training, bodyweight training forces your body to train functionally (the way our bodies work in real life). They also require large amounts of stability, balance, and coordination to perform.

Consider this, a simple squat using only your bodyweight requires that your legs press 75% of your bodyweight. For a 200lb male, that equates to 150lbs.

Mix up your sets x reps and load

It may sound difficult, but don’t let it intimidate you because it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Are you stuck in a routine where you do the typical 3 sets of 12 repetitions or 4 sets of 10 repetitions on every workout? This is overwhelmingly the biggest mistake I see in people who stopped seeing results.

Many are always looking for new and exciting exercises, but once they find those exercises they apply them with the same 3 x 12 or 4 x 10 formats. Most don’t realize that more important to changing up the actual exercises is changing the way in which they are applied. By mixing up the sets x reps the load (or weight/resistance) used gets changed accordingly, less reps means more weight and more reps mean less weight.

Here’s some ways to mix up your sets x reps and the effect they’ll have for your muscles. The more variety the better for a well rounded physique, but choose which are most important to you for your goals.

Strength Development: Applicable for everyone. Creates strength which is the foundation of all muscle contractions and lean, toned muscle. (Does not create bulk in women)
4 x 6, 5 x 5, 6 x 4, 4 x 8

Hypertrophy: Best used to increase muscle size.
4 x 8, 4 x 10, 4 x 12, 3 x 10, 3 x 12, 3 x 15, 2 x 15

Endurance: Best used to increase muscular endurance and burn calories. Does not have an effect on “tone” or “mass.” When performed in excess, it can cause muscle atrophy.
1 x 20, 1 x 25, 1 x 30, 2 x 20, 2 x 25, 2 x 30, 3 x 20, 3 x 25, 3 x 30

Length of Workout

The length or duration of your workout is one of the easiest things to change up. If you take the exact same exercises, sets, and repetitions, but simply change the time you take to complete it then your body will recognize it as being a completely different workout.

Here’s a basic workout example:

Dumbbell Squats 3 x 12
Dumbbell Chest Press 3 x 12
Dumbbell Bent Over Row 3 x 12

This routine could be completed as a circuit with no rest or slowly with a 45 second break in between. All you have to do is adjust the weight accordingly, more weight for longer breaks and less weight for shorter breaks.

Interval Sprints

If you’re used to doing long bouts of cardio exercise like running, biking, or elliptical then interval sprints could be just what you need to shock your body. Interval sprints utilize shorts bursts of maximal effort with longer periods of lower effort.

Instead of biking for 60 minutes straight, you would perform intervals for a total of 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes you could do 20 sets of 15 seconds of maximum effort peddling x 45 seconds of lower effort peddling at a relaxed pace.

Summary:

No matter what workouts you choose to do, the important thing is to mix it up. If you don’t want to worry about how to put together a workout routine, then let VimoFit do it for you.