One of the most rewarding and beneficial things you can do before heading out to destroy your gym sessions is to have a well-designed workout split. This will not only help you stay on track, but it will also make your workouts exciting and fun. I learned the importance of splits from my years as a personal trainer and from training myself. Before you start planning your workout split, read these useful tips to help you create a program that works for you.
Set Short-Term Goals
Before you start planning your split, write down what changes do you want to see in the span of a month. Do you want to grow size in your quads, your glutes or your biceps? Are you trying to improve your resting heart rate? Do you want to increase mobility? Do you want to lose width in your waist area? Your goal should not be about a number on the scale. Focus on small increments you want to see change.
Write down the date, the body parts you are working on, the load, sets, and reps. You can quickly do this by bringing a workout log the gym (check out this log book from Amazon). Even using a gym tracker app. My all-time-favorite is gym hero for the iPhone.
Use Staples Exercises
No matter what your goals are, you have to always incorporate staples movements such as squats, deadlifts, or bench press. Always do exercises that you know works for you. For example, I cannot write a leg day split without incorporating a variation of a hip thrust because they work for me and I enjoy doing them.
Change it up
If you have been doing front squats for a long time, try to change to back squats. If you are doing horizontal leg press for a while, try vertical press. Changing it up doesn’t mean having to come up with different exercise for each muscle. You can change reps, sets, load, rest time, and time under tension. You can even switch your weights from barbells to dumbbells. Also, change your grip. For example, for a lat pulldown, you can graduate from a wide grip to a close grip.
Take Gym Time Into Consideration
When you are planning your split, you have to be realistic about how much time you will be spending in the gyms. Also, how many days per week you will be at the gym. For example, if you want to workout 30 minutes a day at lunch break, having too many exercises for different muscle groups might be ineffective. Take time into consideration when planning your load, reps, sets, and rest.
Focus on Progress
Make sure you are designing a program that helps you progress. If you are seeing that you’re recovering faster, getting stronger, and getting more flexible, add changes that will challenge you. For example, if you are getting good at stationary lunges, try walking lunges, or Bulgarian split lunges which require more balance.
I know it can be overwhelming, but always remember to focus on your personal goals and not what everyone else is doing for their workout routine. For more wellness topics, click here.