How to plan the perfect workout routine

January 20 2015

It might sound daunting, but getting the perfect workout routine is essential to achieving your goals and making progress.

Not only is it important that you enjoy your workout (nobody wants to stick at doing something they hate, do they?) it is also vital that your routine consistently challenges you enough to make a difference.

With so many different pieces of equipment and exercises available, all promising to be the best for you, it can seem a little overwhelming trying to develop a routine on your own. If you are unsure of where to start we recommend having a gym induction before you tackle any of the equipment, so you can get a feel for what works for you. If you still feel confused after your gym induction then arrange a personal training session, as a personal trainer will be able to establish your capabilities against your goals and design a program that will work for you.

Trial and error

Everybody is different, what works for some will not necessarily work for others and while some people may enjoy one kind of activity, others may not.

The easiest way for you to discover what works best for you in the gym is getting in there and trying things out. It’s natural to want to hit the ground running and have a professional gym routine as soon as you begin, but the reality is when you first start you probably won’t find your feet for a few weeks.

While dabbling in different activities may seem like it isn’t helping your progress at the beginning, it is more beneficial for your progress in the long run to find something that you enjoy.

Should you do cardio and weights on the same day?

For the best results, a full workout should include cardio activity and weight training. However, there has been mixed debate as to whether the two should be performed on the same day and whether doing so can hinder performance.

While it depends on your goals, if you want to lose weight you should be performing moderate to high-intensity cardio activity for around 30-60 minutes for at least three days a week. It is argued that performing high-intensity exercise would impair your ability to be able to carry out your weight routine to an optimum level of performance, because your body would be physically too tired to do so after an intense cardio session.

In order to get the most out of your workouts, it might be best to perform separate activities on different days to guarantee that you are getting the most out of your time in the gym. If you are pushed for time, exercise classes that combine both weights and cardio activity will ensure you get a full body workout without sacrificing the intensity of either type of exercise.

Circuit training and Body Pump combine both types of exercises, one after the other, working on your fitness and heart rate while building strength in your muscles. Remember that your body needs time to rest, so always leave 24 hours between heavy exercise sessions to allow your muscles to repair and recover.