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Perfect Your Gym Plan With These 5 Easy Tips

day planner with "workout plan" written at the top
Even the most brilliant plan is destined for failure if you can't remember it. Document your powerful new gym plan by writing it down.

by Autumn Jones

You've packed your duffel bag, filled your water bottle, and tightened the laces on your new sneakers in preparation for the gym. You're feeling (and looking) ready to exercise, but it's important not to overlook one of the most important elements of a successful workout: a solid gym plan!

Creating a gym plan before you head into a sweat session can help you get the most out of your time at your fitness club. With a personalized strategy in hand, you can set yourself up to not only rock your workout, but monitor your progress, be more focused, and discover what works best for you.

And don't stress if Plan A isn't the perfect fit — playing around with your gym plan is part of the fun! Discovering what works (and what doesn't) puts you one step closer to understanding your exercise preferences. Ultimately, planning ahead improves your overall experience and keeps you on track with the goals you've set for your fitness journey. Use these five tips to start making your plan today.

1. Make It Personal

Avoid the urge to compare your routine with the routines of your workout buddies and other gym-goers. When creating a plan, it's crucial to consider what's best for you — regardless of how much others are lifting or how long they're on the treadmill. Start with your goals, then pinpoint the activities that will best help you to reach those goals.

2. Schedule It In

Knowing how much time you're able to dedicate to sweat sessions each week helps you craft the most effective workout. According to Men's Journal, if you plan to visit the gym one to three times per week, you should strive to make each one a total body workout. If you're doing more than three workouts a week, divide up your days so you're working the upper body and lower body muscle groups individually (but equally).

3. Start Small

When starting new things, it can be best to ease in and test the waters. Apply this logic as you begin putting your new gym plan into action in order to avoid injury and burnout.

Start with a low to moderate intensity, keeping in mind that you can always add to your routine as you feel stronger and more confident. This also gives you a great benchmark for measuring your progress along the way.

4. Write It Down!

Even the most brilliant plan is destined for failure if you can't remember it. Document your powerful new gym plan by writing it down. Record the specific exercises you plan to do — or your time-based goal for cardio — and bring the list with you to your workout. This way, your plan is always at your fingertips.

5. Ask for Help

Of course, you can't document your gym routine if you don't have one! If you aren't sure where to begin when it comes to planning your workouts, don't hesitate to reach out to an expert. The PE@PF Design Your Own Program is a great option that helps beginner gym-goers build optimal fitness plans to reach their goals. And it's offered at no additional cost!

Making the effort to form a plan for your gym time means never feeling confused or lost while working out. Remember to be thoughtful in the creation of your plan, but also leave room for trying new things. After all, fitness is meant to be fun, and staying open to change in your routine can give you the boost you need stick with your plan!

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.