The most overused but underrated phrase in embarking on any new workout routine: “The hardest part is getting started.” Not all of us were meant to be gym rats. Nor chalk monsters at the CrossFit box. Or perhaps even marathon bunnies. Maybe we were destined to do a happy mix of all three with a dabble of rock climbing and a pinch of kayaking.
Working out, especially if it’s a new activity or even a change in routine is hard. Simplifying a lifelong journey is nothing short of daunting at best. But... here’s the secret: Carve your own path and stick to your own plan. In order to jumpstart what that might look like, I’ve put together a simple, 5-step Q and A to help you design a workout routine...and stick with it!
Tips For Designing The Right Workout Routine For You
Step 1: What is the Priority?
I’ve always started all my athletes on their fitness journey by making 100% sure they know what their priority is. And this isn’t a trick question...but it’s a simple and complex one with one correct answer. YOU. YOU are the priority here. YOU are allowed to be selfish with your goals and your dreams. YOU are #1. So shut the door on the haters and look out for the Chief of your own life.
Step 2: When Do You Have the Most Energy?
For me, it’s in the early morning. I haven’t always been an early riser, but it wasn’t until I played around with all different hours of the day that I found out I thrive most when I wake up at 3:30am, sip my coffee while stretching, and roll into my garage to embark on whatever heinous workout routine my coach has planned for me.
When I owned my affiliate, I always found myself working out from 1-3pm (our Open Gym time) however, I never really loved it. I’ve realized the later in the day, the less energy I have and the more I grow to dread my workouts. However, my coach is the exact opposite. Ask him to wake up at 6am and he’ll pitch a fit, but tell him there’s a team throwdown at 6pm and he’s warming up at 5pm, ready to hit a PR.
Point being--different strokes for different folks. You’ll never know what works for you until you play around with a few different times and situations. And don’t just be honest with what works, be selfish about what works.
Step 3: What Are Your Goals?
Weight Loss or Athletic Competition?
Simplifying the process is what it’s all about. So let’s boil it down into these two choices. Are you looking at losing fat? Or are you looking at being one heck of a competitor?
If your goal is weight loss, you might need to wrap your mind around cardio a couple times a week. A weight training routine is important as well. The goal here is to have a good balance between the two and not to go too overboard with either one. You don’t need to kill yourself in the gym, especially if your nutrition is on track.
If your goal is to be an athlete/competitor, you might need to evaluate how 1-2 hours (properly dispersed) fits in line with your daily schedule. The bar keeps getting pushed higher and higher, and the effort will always parallel the results. Remember that.
Step 4: How Much Time Do You Actually Have?
Let’s face it. Not all of us have, or even want to have, 2+ hours to work out every day, so evaluate how much time you have to workout, add in how much time you want to workout and then average the two. That’s the number you’re going to utilize when referencing Question 3 and as we move on to Question 5.
Step 5: What Do You Love To Do?
Do you enjoy putting your Beats in and zoning out on the trail? Does feeling weightless in a pool bring zen and peace to an otherwise chaotic life? Or does the pounding of the barbell in your local CrossFit box allow you to regain the strength in yourself that sometimes you lose sight of during your hetic lifestyle? Whatever it is be selfish in your pursuit here! Who cares if it’s rollerblading circa 1993! Is it active? Is it fun? Is it progressing you on your journey towards a more fulfilling and happy life? Then do it!
Where Do You Go From Here?
I’ll use myself as your template. (By the way, my name’s Elizabeth and I’m a quirky CrossFitter--nice to meet ya and welcome you to part of my life story.)
1. What is the priority?
Myself and my happiness. To be better than yesterday and to be proud of my effort each and every night when I lay head to sleep
2. When do you have the most energy?
I wake up at 330am, stretch while sipping my morning cup o’ joe, and hit the ground running at ~5am.
3. What are your goals?
At first it was weight loss. (Check out my write up on how I lost 20 lbs!) but it’s since turned to being a competitor. It’s okay, by the way, for dreams to change and life to twist and turn. This ain’t groundhog’s day, fam. Welcome the intricacies of life!
4. How much time do you actually have?
Since I work a 9-5 job in marketing, I only really have 1-1.5 hours to devote/ day, 6 days/ week. I make sure the dialogue is open between my coach and myself in order to ensure I understand the priority/stimuli of my workouts, and I always do my best to move with intention in the gym.
Sometimes there might be days where I need to make a second trip to the gym in the PM, but my coach knows my mood and energy levels are prone to going down the “wiz palace” so he typically makes those sessions few and far in between.
5. What do you love to do?
I LOVE me some CrossFit. I drank the kool-aid 4 years ago and haven’t looked back.
In a nutshell, that’s how you get started. You evaluate your truth. You become selfish in your pursuit for excellence. And you dive into those sweet details in life that keep your soul on fire. Once you’ve blueprinted your schedule/life/workouts, you’ll begin to see the options narrow down. The possibilities will expand. It’s a beautiful thing to witness when you’re on your way towards changing your life for the better.
Grab hold of your life. Be selfish. And get after it!
Need A Little More?
If there are any questions on how to design a workout routine, never hesitate to shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always an earshot/ email away and find the most happiness when positive change, in positive people, occurs.