Creating a new workout program can be quite intimidating, particularly if you are new to the gym. Most people don’t even bother. They just walk into the gym with a vague idea of what they want to achieve. In this article, we are going to take a look at exactly what you need to create your own four week workout plan.
The first thing you are going to want to do is decide what it is that you want to achieve. Is it weight loss? Muscle gain? Increased strength? Increased athleticism? Do you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness? If you are a complete beginner, then the good news is that you will see improvements in all of these areas after a few weeks of consistent exercise.
But more experienced lifters will have to pick one or two areas that are most important to them. It is very difficult for an experienced lifter to both build muscle mass while also losing weight for example.
Once you have made your decision you can then decide what sort of workout you need to perform to reach these targets. Here are some examples:
How can you establish how successfully you are following your program if you have no idea where you started? Before embarking on any training program, you should measure everything you can.
Write these measurements down in a notebook and then take a front-on and side photo of you without a shirt on. This will give you a visual measurement of your progress.
Please bear in mind that if any of this makes you feel uncomfortable, or you find that measuring stuff like this can affect your mental health then skip this step. While it can be very useful for some, for others the negatives may outweigh the benefits.
No matter what training split you choose (full body, upper/lower, push/pull, body part split) you still need to work all of your muscles during the week. Keep this in mind when creating your program. It can be tempting to avoid legs or skip deadlifts because you don’t like them. But doing so will hinder progress.
Remember, this is just a four week workout plan, so it is only going to be an introduction. Most workout programs should last between 12 weeks and 24 weeks.
You don’t want any excuses to skip your first session, trust us they are easy to find. “I forgot to sign up for the gym” or “I can’t go until my new order of running shoes arrives, delivery should be in 10 days”. Get your workout kit, sign up to a gym, familiarise yourself with the equipment, plan your route from home/work, and schedule in a time to go.
For new gym goers, particularly ones over 30, the first week back is going to involve a lot of sore muscles! This means that you are going to need to do everything you can to mitigate for this. Sleep 8 hours each night, take painkillers (sensibly) to deal with soreness, take Epsom salt baths, drink caffeine in the morning, and try to walk it off (increased blood flow can really help muscles recover faster).
Repeat this program for four weeks. After that, you can either change the program completely, or you can start to lower the rep ranges and increase the weights used.
40kg Barbell squats 3 x 15-20 reps would become 60kg Barbell squats 3 x 8-12 reps for example.