How to Create a Workout Routine

This post is dedicated to Barsha from @rllystudying on Instagram, since she requested it.

So, you’re new to working out and you don’t know where to start in terms of creating a routine. In this post, I’ve gathered the steps and tips you need to create your own workout routine!

When: Pick a routine you can stick to.

If you can’t stick to the plan, then you’re just going to feel bad about what you’ve not accomplished, instead of focusing on what you have accomplished. Look at your work and general life schedule. For example, on the days where I have early morning classes, it makes no sense for me personally to expect that I will have already worked out by the time I head to class. Look at your schedule and see where you can fit in an effective workout (30-60 minutes is preferred, I usually shoot for 45 including the warm up and stretching afterwards). I touched on creating a realistic goal for yourself in my SMART Fitness Goals blog post. Pick the times that are realistic for you, and the days that are too!

     When pt. 2: Decide on Rest Days.

You shouldn’t just be planning that you want to work out 3 times a week, you should be planning the days you are resting as well. During rest days, make sure to still take care of yourself, as this is meant to give your muscles a chance to rebuild and grow stronger. Try to incorporate active recovery days, where you do very light exercise to keep moving but not kill yourself – this can be as simple as going on a walk, doing some light yoga, or even just foam rolling those sore muscles.

     What: Decide what you’re doing.

Now that you’ve planned when to get to exercising, let’s consider how to plan what you’re doing in the gym. When going into the gym, I like to know exactly what I’m doing, and you might as well. Common splits are doing a full body workout every time you go, which is great if you can only make it into the gym a couple times a week. Another good split that I like is push, pull, and leg days – one day you do chest & triceps, one day you do back & biceps, one day you do shoulders & abs, and one day you do legs. However you decide to split the muscle groups isn’t super important, as long as you’re getting your whole body (as able) and you are getting a good workout!

When you’re doing your workouts, make sure they make sense. Try to go for 3-5 sets per exercise, and if you’re doing light weight/shooting for endurance, do higher reps. If you’re doing higher weight to build strength, do lower reps!

     How (to be accountable): Track your workouts.

Make sure you keep track of your workouts – when just starting out, keep track of everything. You can decide whether or not you want to continue tracking everything later, but at the beginning, I highly recommend either writing your workouts, the weights/time/distance, and the exercises in a notebook OR in the notes app of your choice. Another way to keep accountable is by using a habit tracker – my boyfriend and I like to keep each other accountable by using the app HabitShare, but other good apps on your smartphone include Habitica and Momentum, and the easiest way to go about this is just to cross off days on a calendar or mark days off in a journal! However you decide to do this, keep track of your workouts and keep yourself accountable.

And with that, this is the end of the post! I hope you found these tips helpful, and I hope you can create your own awesome workout routine with this!

Krys Kestrel (@kryskestrel on ig)

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