Getting Started

Setting your Goals

After reading this article, you will have the knowledge of how to make a workout plan. You will also learn how to make a workout plan that is effective and will help you reach your own personalized fitness goals.

You must make specific short-term and long-term goals that are both specific and realistic before you continue on with the next steps.  

Keep in mind that healthy weight loss is usually about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Considering the Training Principles


Your personal goals will decide the number of workouts per week, number of sets per workout, and number of repetitions per set.

If you are a person looking to lose weight, it is ideal to engage in full-body workouts targeting all the major muscle groups. Focus on compound movements such as squats or bench press. As a person looking to lose weight, do the exercises at 12-15 repetitions per set. Choose a weight that when you reach the 15th repetition, it is a real struggle to complete it. 

If you are a person who is looking to bulk up and gain some muscle mass, the routine will look completely different. Someone looking to gain muscle mass can also use the full-body workout routines, however a more traditional bodybuilding split routine might be more ideal for packing on the pounds. A split routine may look something like:

Monday: Chest, Triceps, Shoulder

Tuesday: Rest/ Cardio

Wednesday: Back, Biceps, forearms

Thursday: Rest/ Cardio

Friday: Legs


These types of routines allow weightlifters to put more of a focus on each muscle group, stimulating more muscle growth and more strength development. These workout routines also make use of isolation movements such as biceps curls, or triceps extensions.

Progressive Overload

In order to see continual development in your performance or physique, it is important to continually be putting more strain on the muscles. This is done in a few ways; increasing the workout intensity, by reducing rest periods between sets, increasing the number of sets, performing more repetitions, or increasing the weight used on the exercises. 

Over Training

With any training routine there is a risk for something called over training. Some people may push themselves to the point of exhaustion every day, working the same muscles. This is a very counterproductive way to workout because you will actually end up loosing muscle mass, loosing strength, as well as putting yourself at a great risk for injury. 

It may seem tough to take days off, especially when starting an exciting new training routine, however these rest days a crucial for meeting your goals. Working out is simply the stimulus that will promote muscle growth, rest is when the muscles repair and grow. 

Ensure that you are not working out when you are sore, and are not training the same muscle groups on consecutive days to avoid over training.


Unfortunately, there exists a training principle known as reversibility. That is, if an individual stops training, they will begin to lose all the improvements they had previously made. It is important that you continue exercising and do not stop once you meet your short-term goals. Continue working out and improving yourself to prevent the reversing effects. 

Designing Your Routine

To learn how to make a workout plan that is effective, make sure you put a focus on exercising that target the major muscle groups. These include: Chest, Back, Legs. Design your workouts around the compound movements that target these muscle groups. It is important that your work these big muscle groups at the start of your workouts, followed by the smaller muscle groups.

An Example of a Chest, Triceps, Shoulders workout would be:

5 sets of Bench Press

3 Sets of Incline Bench Press

3 Sets of Dumbbell Chest Flies

3 sets of Dumbbell Lateral Raises

2 Sets of Cable Triceps Extensions

2 Sets of Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions.

An example of a full body workout would be

3 Sets of Bench Press

3 Sets of Bent-Over Rows

3 Sets of Dead Lifts

3 Sets of Squats

2 Sets of Dumbbell curls

2 Sets of Triceps Extensions

Putting Your Routine to Work

Now that you know how to make a workout plan, ensure you are not overly ambitious in the gym, and make sure you do not try to impress everyone by using too much weight. Focus on good form and not how much weight you use to prevent injury and maximize results.