Nobody loses weight by simply declaring, ‘I want to lose weight.’ Losing weight involves a lot of discipline and a weight loss program to help you achieve your goal.
If all you do is to wake up early once in a while to jog around the streets (like most folks do), you may not make notable progress.
Mere wishes do not achieve weight loss; it requires a lot of work. If you desire to lose weight within a particular period or you desire to maintain a certain weight, there are different ways you can go about it. One such method is sticking to a ‘weight loss program.’
What Is A Weight Loss Program?
A weight loss program is a program that describes the activities you intend to carry out to guide you in your attempts to lose weight.
While you may think otherwise, a weight loss program is not for an elite few. Rather, it is for everyone who sets health goals and loves to look good. The goal of the program is simply to provide you with a list of what you are to do and when.
In this article, we shall be focusing on the workout plan (a significant part of any weight loss program) with emphasis on gym workout for beginners.
So, if you are new to the weight loss journey, you are in safe hands. Everything you will be learning from this article will be useful to you.
Why You Need A Weight Loss Program/Workout Plan
Here are some reasons you should have a workout plan:
1. You are better at a thing when it becomes your habit
You know how much you love to look good all the time, even though it is at a price? In the same way, it is not easy to be consistent with your exercises or workouts. This is where having a plan comes in.
A workout program will help you reach your goals by making your workouts become a part of you. Looking at it continuously helps you to avoid procrastination since every workout has a time and date attached to it.
If you follow the plan accurately, you will find out in no time that the workout plan has become a habit. This way, looking good and staying healthy will no longer be difficult because you will be meeting all the fitness requirements.
However, if you must create this habit out of your workout plan, you must ensure that the program fits into your usual daily activities. It has to be realizable and straightforward. We shall learn more about that later in the article.
2. It helps you to be consistent
The biggest problem with achieving weight loss goals is a lack of consistency with the workouts. Having a workout plan will help you deal with this problem. It helps you to treat your workouts as a top priority, which they are.
Also, you are not confused about what to do because every activity has its time specified. You are not bothered about being cumbered with a lot of activities because ample time is carved out for rest.
You will become so accustomed to it that even your body will remind you when it is time to exercise.
3. It helps you achieve the right balance
A workout plan goes beyond exercises. It includes other relevant factors that will help you achieve your goals.
For example, your workout plan helps you identify the calories you burn daily. With this knowledge, you will know the number of calories you eat to balance the equation.
A good workout plan also helps you track your hydration and rest. These two relevant factors must be balanced alongside your exercises.
Adequate rest and a balanced diet, together with the right workouts, will help you achieve your goals faster. And a good workout plan helps you to monitor all that.
4. It helps you take gradual steps until you finish
Although your target weight may look impossible, using a workout plan will help you break down your goal into small, achievable steps. In turn, you get to your ultimate goal by achieving these small steps one after the other.
You will notice that achieving one step becomes a motivation to go for the next one. Additionally, you will not be worried about what to do next because you will know what to do. You carry out the instructions you have written down one after the other until you get to the finish.
5. It removes the risk of under-training or over-training
Be honest, previous times when you tried working out without a plan, you did not make any progress that you are proud of. Did you? It is either you were under-training, over-training, or even spot training.
Correct? You do not have to answer that. Plus, you know spot training does not always guarantee results.
Having a workout plan will eliminate all those possibilities that will piss you off. Imagine performing random exercises only to find out that you have invested all that energy training one part of your body and ignoring other areas. Oops!
You will never run out of choices with a good workout plan. And remember there is also adequate time for rest, so in a situation where you feel you are too tired to work out, you are persuaded to do the needful knowing that you will still get your rest.
6. Having a weight loss plan keeps your goal before you till the end
A day-by-day workout plan will remind you of your ultimate goal daily. Every day you look at those instructions, you are reminded of your target. The workout plan becomes a goal in itself. With every progress, you will want to continue to the end.
7. It helps you measure your progress
As a beginner, if you are operating with a workout plan, you can easily estimate your growth and make adjustments where needed. You can check off every activity done and smile at yourself. This means that you will include a workout log to your plan.
In addition to boosting your motivation, your record will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your workouts.
You can then improve on what you have achieved and probably eliminate the ones that may be harmful.
Furthermore, it will help you commit the workouts and techniques to memory. You will be able to share your experience with others and possibly train interested persons on exercises you have successfully done.
Read Also: Amazing Tips to Lose Weight Fast
How To Prepare A Weight Loss Plan
Now that you are convinced on why you need a workout plan, let us proceed to prepare the perfect workout plan, you can use to realize your goals.
Take each of the following steps meticulously as they will guide you towards your target. Let us begin!
Step 1 – Self Fitness Assessment
Irrespective of the fact that you have an idea of how to fit you are; it is vital that you accurately assess your fitness level. This will provide you with baseline scores that will form the benchmark for measuring your progress.
The fundamentals for assessing your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition are:
- Measure your pulse rate before and immediately after walking 1 mile, i.e., 1.6 kilometers
- The length of time it takes you to walk 1 mile or 400 meters if you prefer. Alternatively, you could choose running 1.5 miles, i.e., 2.41 kilometers
- Note the number of half sit-ups, standard pushups or modified pushups you can do at any time
- How can you reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you?
- What is your waist circumference, just above your hipbones
- Your (BMI) range That is your Body Mass Index!
Step 2 – Draw The Plan
You may say you will exercise every day, but until you draw a plan for your workouts, you may not be to do anything.
You should have the following in mind when creating your workout plan:
1. Define your weight loss goals
Are you trying to attain a particular shape or look? Or do you want to lose some pounds; if so, how many? With a defined goal, you can better choose your workouts, monitor your progress, and remain on top of your game.
2. Create a balanced routine
The standard is to include at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise.
One right way to achieve this is to get about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. Then you should also incorporate strength training of all the major muscle groups into your plan for at least two days a week.
3. Start with the more straightforward exercises before you add the complicated ones
Your body will respond better if you start low and progress slowly. If you have an injury or a medical condition, please consult your doctor before drawing a workout plan. He can help you identify activities that will improve your range of motion, strength, and endurance.
4. Build activities into your daily routine
If you are the type to get engrossed with other businesses of your day, it becomes necessary that you build movement into your daily routine. Draw your workout plan in such a manner that your exercises are included as part of your regular appointment.
For example, you can watch your favorite show while walking on the treadmill, read while riding a stationary bike, or take a break to go on a walk at work.
5. Add different activities
Get rid of boredom in your workout plan by decorating it with various activities. What do I mean?
Cross-training, for example, will do you a lot of good. You can cross-train using low impact form of activities like biking or water exercise. This will also reduce your chances of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint.
Another way you can go about it is by alternating among activities that emphasize different parts of your body, such as walking, swimming, and strength training.
6. Add recovery time
Do not forget to include your recovery time. It is as essential as every other activity in your workout plan. Starting with a fire in your bones may land you in quick abortion of your goals.
You will find out that your muscles and joints will get injured due to prolonged and intense workout. So recovery time is non-negotiable if you must remain fit to meet your goals. Plan time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.
7. Put it on paper
You will do well to put it on paper. It will make you accountable as you will always return to check off what you have done and know the next lines of action.
Writing down your workout plan on paper encourages you to stay on track. How do you even plan to monitor your progress if you do not print it on paper?
Step 3 – Get Your Equipment Ready
The first item on this list is athletic shoes. Go for shoes that are most suitable for the activities you have in mind. I suggest you buy running shoes instead of cross-training shoes since they are lighter in weight and very supportive. You will also need a light workout gear.
Now regarding the equipment you should invest in, it is best to purchase the gear you love most so that it will motivate you to use it all the time. Go for equipment that is practical and easy to use.
Remember that weight loss is a tough job, so be sure to buy enjoyable equipment. As a beginner, you can try out different equipment like dumbbells, medicine balls, or Bosu balls at a nearby gym to help you chose the equipment to invest in.
Another choice would be to go for fitness apps or activity tracking devices. There are smart devices that can track your distance, monitor your heart rate, and even the amount of calories you burn. You can begin by investing in such tools.
Read Also: A Proven Diet Plan to Lose Weight in A Week
Bear This In Mind As You Begin…
As you commence your weight loss journey using the workout plan you have designed, I want you to bear the following in mind:
1. Slow and Steady Does It
Rome was not built in a day, so you can start slowly and build up gradually. Take your time to warm up and relax through gentle stretches and easy work.
After that, you should be able to increase your pace to last up to 5 to 10 minutes without becoming tired. As you make progress and build strength, increase your exercise time until you can work out for 30 to 60 minutes for most days in the week.
If you prepared your workout plan well, then it should be easy to perform the exercises one a time. The exercises should not be bulky, piled up, and maybe choking. You can even include an activity in between other regular operations of your day.
Note that short and frequent workout sessions have additional aerobic benefits. So, rather than dismiss an exercise session due to a long duration, break it down into smaller sessions that will work for you.
2. Spice Up Your Workout
Try to spice up your workout plan with other random but enjoyable activities. These activities should be targeted towards weight loss as well. Examples of such activities are cycling, rowing, weekend hike with family and friends, ballroom dancing, etc.
3. Listen To Your Body
While you are at it, burning off the fats and all, ensuring that you follow your day-by-day workout plan accordingly, try to hear what your body is telling you.
Feelings of pain, dizziness, shortness of breath or even nausea should not be ignored. At such points, it is paramount that you take a break.
I know that you are determined to meet your target, but do not push yourself too hard. Take it one step at a time!
4. Create Flexible Goals
If any goal must be met, then it must be very flexible. Peradventure your workout plan is not working for you due to other activities you need to attend to or your body is not taking it in so well; feel free to adjust the plan. I suggest seeking the services of a fitness expert.
You can also take one day or two days off; then you can start again.
5. Do Frequent Fitness Assessment
To measure your progress, I advise you to carry out another fitness assessment six weeks into your weight loss plan. That way, you can determine if you are meeting your goals or not.
And as earlier stated, it will also help know the perfect adjustments to make on your workout plan if there is a need.
Sample Day-By-Day Workout Plans
In drawing a workout program, we have includes two templates of day-by-day workout plans that you can introduce into your weight loss program below. You can use them as inspiration for drawing up yours.
Sample Workout Plan 1
Monday – Total Body Strength Training
Do these exercises:
1. 15 reps of Bodyweight Squat
How to do it correctly:
- Place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with your heels glued to the ground
- Hinge your hips back but do not let your kneels extend further than your toes
- Extend your arms in front of you for balance while trying to keep our spine in a neutral position
- Looking straight ahead, keep your chest lifted
- Now you are ready, squat, stand, squat, stand, and so on.
2. 12 reps of Dumbbell Bench Press
How to do it correctly:
- Lie flat on a bench holding a pair of dumbbells directly above your chest. Place your feet flat on the floor
- Keeping your elbows close to your body, lower the weights slowly to the sides of your chest
- Pause for 10 seconds before sending the masses back up
3. 12 reps of Dumbbell Row on each side
How to do it correctly:
- With a dumbbell in your right hand, place your left hand and your left knee on the bench to support your body weight.
- Now, pull the dumbbell upwards without rotating your torso
- Finally, lower the dumbbell gently to your start position but maintain a flat back and retracted shoulders
Quite easy, right?
How to do it correctly:
- Start with your hands and knees on the floor and shoulder-width apart too
- Push your feet back by lifting your feet off the ground
- Keep your hips raised and press your palms into the floor underneath your shoulders
- Keep your entire body engaged and hold for 45 seconds
Tuesday – Sprint it away!
- 12 reps of 30 seconds of full out sprint
- 12 reps of 60 seconds of moderate pace jog
Wednesday – Foam Rolling and 12,000 Steps
Foam rolling and 12,000 steps serve as a break from the intensive workouts of Monday and Tuesday. Instead of doing nothing the whole day, you get to rest and also do some work.
For foam rolling:
- Lie on your back with the roller under you
- Interlace your fingers behind your head to support your head and neck
- Now, use your feet to drive the movement and inhale as you roll-up. Stop at the top of your shoulder blades
- Then exhale as you roll and massage down the spine.
For your 12,000 steps;
I suggest you wear a tracking device for this and then walk till you have completed the steps.
Thursday – Total Body Strength Training
Repeat the workouts listed under Monday
Friday – High-Intensity Group Fitness Class
Here are two suggestions you may find useful:
- Take your friends to an indoor cycling studio
- Sign up for a boot camp class
Saturday – Total Body Strength Training
Repeat the workouts listed under Monday
Sunday – Rest Day
Note: This workout plan can be used for a four weeks stretch and then you can change workouts for the different days.
Sample Workout Plan 2 (most recommended for beginners)
10 to 30 minutes of cardio
Total Body Strength and Core Training
10 to 30 minutes of cardio
Full Body Strength and Core Training
Walking or leisurely bike ride
As you make progress, you can include more challenging workouts, preferably after the first three weeks. For example, you can add upper body training on Monday and a 45-minute treadmill workout on Tuesday.
Always bear in mind that the workout plan should be tailored to suit your needs and help you meet your target. Try to follow the recommendations given for how to prepare a workout plan earlier in the article.
You can seek the help of a fitness expert to design your customized workout plan.
How To Make It Work
Paint a big picture for your goals for your weight loss program using your workout plan. Take your time to plan your workouts and ensure to define your weekly and monthly goals. Always place your workout plan where you will see it and be motivated to get to work.
Seeing your big picture all the time can be a strong driving force to help you meet your target. So, paint the picture well.
Make a detailed explanation of what is needed for every workout: weights, reps, sets, etc. This will help you avoid unnecessary repetition of exercises. It will also help ensure that you are doing the right exercises and at the time they are required.
Additionally, it will help you make adjustments where they are needed as you check your progress and listen to your body.
Take your workout plan to the gym daily and record what exercises you perform. Remember, I mentioned earlier about having a workout logbook? It will help to put you in check so that you will not slack in achieving your weight loss goals.
Furthermore, you can find a partner. Having a friend with similar goals with you can be a huge source of encouragement. Set up a meeting and prepare a workout plan that will work for both of you so that you can have a gym buddy.
You may also consider registering for a class at a fitness center. It is a good start for you as there will be instructors who will put you on your toes. This should help you make reasonable progress until you are confident to continue by yourself.
A weight-loss journey can be very overwhelming, and a day-by-day workout plan for your weight loss program may seem difficult to maintain.
Not to worry, as I advised earlier in the article, take it slow and be patient with yourself. The most important thing is to be consistent with your workouts, and in little or no time, you will reach your goal.