If you can’t afford to hire a personal trainer to create a workout plan just for you, you can create your own fitness routines with just a bit of planning. Start with your health and fitness goals, then create the specific types of workouts to achieve those goals. You can learn how to correctly perform unfamiliar exercises for those types of workouts using simple online videos to maximize results and avoid injuries.
Consider your reasons for working out before you purchase equipment or videos
Decide What You Want
Before you begin creating a personalized workout plan, get specific about what your goals are. Health goals include losing weight, improving cholesterol, building bone density and improving heart function. Fitness goals include building muscle, improving endurance, increasing cardio capacity and improving sports performance. If you are new to exercise, older or have any injuries, you may want to perform low-impact exercises, which keep both feet on the ground or pedals while you work out.
Types of Workouts
General workout types include fat-burning, aerobic, anaerobic, bodybuilding and muscular endurance routines. Fat-burning is done at a pace similar to a brisk walk. These workouts help beginners or those with injuries or physical problems burn calories and improve heart strength and lung stamina. Aerobic workouts burn more calories, help with weight loss, raise HDL (or “good” cholesterol) levels and improve cardio function. Anaerobic, or sprint training, burns the most calories, trains your cardio system for high-intensity work and quick recovery for sports, and is best suited for well-conditioned athletes or those with a good cardio base. This is also known as high-intensity interval training. Strength training requires heavy weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, crunches, pull-up and chin-ups. Muscular endurance workouts help you use your muscles for long periods of time, such as during a sports activity. Circuit-training workouts are helpful for improving muscular endurance and aerobic conditioning.
Target Heart Rate
To create a personalized workout plan, calculate your target heart rate for different exercise. For men, this starts with calculating your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For women, you’ll subtract 88 percent of your age from 206. Multiply your maximum heart rate by .50 to .70 to find your fat-burning target heart rate range, multiply your maximum heart rate by .70 to .80 for aerobic range, and multiply by .80 and .90 to get your range for anaerobic workouts.
As an example, a 35 year-old woman wishing to perform aerobic exercise should multiply 35 by .88 to get 31. Subtract 31 from 206 to get 175. Multiply 175 by .70 and .80 to get a target heart rate of 123 to 140 heartbeats per minute for aerobic exercise. You can put your finger on your neck or wrist to find your pulse during exercise to see how many beats per minute you have achieved.
Creating Your Workouts
Once you have determined what type of health or fitness routine you want to do, check out the exercises using resources such as the ExRx.net, Sports Fitness Advisor or ACE Fitness exercise libraries. When you’re ready to begin working, begin each workout by warming up with simple movements such as jogging or skipping in place, jumping jacks or arm swings. Next begin your exercises. Monitor your heart rate to stay in your target heart rate range and drink plenty of water during your workout. Perform a cool down at the end of each workout by slowing your movements and lowering your heart rate below 100 beats per minute. Stretch your muscles after your cooldown.
Where to buy heart rate monitors.
Track Your Results
To learn whether or not your workouts are providing the benefits you’re aiming for, track your performance each week. Begin by measuring your performance during your first workout. For example, count the number of pushups or chinups you can do, how much weight you can lift, how many reps you can do during a circuit training workout, what resistance settings are comfortable on any machines you use, how much you weigh and how long you can exercise at a particular speed during aerobic workouts. Check these numbers each week to see how your personalized plan is helping you improve your health and fitness.