If you’ve started a fitness program and feel like you’re making progress, you’re probably thinking about increasing the intensity and frequency of your workouts. But too often, careers, family, and other life obligations can get in the way. The solution is to schedule your weekly workout routine, so that you make time to exercise, instead of trying to find time.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of creating a training schedule, and some tips for making it work.
Benefits of scheduling your training
Advance planning of your workout and rest days helps maximize your fitness progress. Here are some of the benefits:
- Motivation is easier to find – A workout schedule helps you integrate exercise into your daily life, minimizing the risk of procrastination. Soon it will be something you can’t live without, rather than something you need to talk yourself into.
- Fitness become more holistic – Scheduling your workouts makes it easier to find a balance of endurance, flexibility, and strength training every week. This ensures you don’t focus too much on only one type of exercise, eventually hitting a fitness plateau or getting injured.
- Workout quality improves – With a schedule, you know in advance you’ll have enough time to warm up, work out, and cool down. You won’t be trying to squeeze a workout into a tight schedule and end up with a training session that’s rushed and ineffective.
- Progress is easier to track – It’s an excellent idea to track your fitness by keeping a training journal or uploading data from a wearable device. Scheduling your workouts and rest days makes the tracking results more consistent and more informative.
- Rest days are guaranteed – Overdoing it is a common problem with training, leading to fatigue or injury. Muscles need repair after vigorous exercise and with scheduled workouts, rest days are planned in advance. This ensures your fitness improves as quickly and safely as possible.
- You have more time to do other things – Scheduled workouts make you more organized. If you know you’ll be committing specific days to exercise, you’ll be better able to manage your schedule on the rest days.
Factors to consider when scheduling workouts
- Set targets – Is your goal to lose weight? Build strength and endurance? Lower your 10k time? Master that pilates technique? A combination of the above? Whatever your objectives, make sure you schedule workouts that move you toward those goals. It’s the key to seeing results and maintaining motivation. If you are unsure how best to do this, consult with an expert.
- Be realistic – Determine how many days per week you are able to work out. If Mondays and Fridays are particularly busy for you, then choose slower days to exercise. If weekdays are hectic, workout on weekends and try for at least one weekday. You’ll be surprised at how easily the rest of your schedule adjusts once you get into an exercise routine.
- Keep it fun – Exercising should be something you look forward to. You’re more likely to make workouts part of your routine if you enjoy them. There are a wide variety of fun and engaging fitness programs you can join that will keep you excited and motivated to stay fit.