How To Design An Effective At Home Workout Plan.

April 18, 2020
A woman is working out on a yoga mat at home

Before you can design an effective at home workout plan, you have to master the basics. So, please refer back to Part 1 of this at home workout series, here (where we go through all of the basics) before continuing! Only once you have fed your mind with fitness material, mastered the basic bodyweight exercises, tried out different variations of your favorite exercises, chosen your designated workout area, bought the basic equipment, organized it, and chosen the amount of time and days you will workout each week, you can begin to design your very own effective at-home workout plan. 

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how to design an effective at home workout plan

STEPS TO DESIGN YOUR OWN AT-HOME WORKOUT PLAN:

1) DECIDE WHAT MUSCLES TO TRAIN.

You can either train a group of muscles, a few or all of the muscle groups listed below during the month. Remember, even if you do choose to focus on ONE muscle group every month, you shouldn’t train the same muscles everyday. You have to let your muscles rest in between! So, although your focus will be on one muscle group, you should still be training other muscle groups during the month. 

Here are the main muscle groups you can train:

  • Arm muscles
  • Chest muscles
  • Back muscles
  • Core (abs) muscles
  • Glutes muscles
  • Legs muscles 
  • Calves muscles 

TARGETING SPECIFIC MUSCLES 

Even though you can train as many muscles as you want, focusing on a couple at a time is more beneficial. For example, if you want to focus on your glutes this month to build muscle and strength, the majority of your workouts should target your glutes. So, you should train your glutes the majority of days you workout during the month, but still give your glute muscles a break in between. It’s always important to rest your muscles!

TIP #1:

Make a list of the TOP 3 muscles you want to train  (considering that the muscle group at the top of your list is the muscle group you are most interested in training this month!) For example: 

  1. Glutes – primary focus
  2. Core (abs) 
  3. Arms 

EX) If you workout 20 days a month:

You should spend at least 14 of those days (70%) working on the muscle you list as #1 (in this case glutes!) Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ll *only* work on your glutes during the 14 days. All it means is that you’ll include exercises for your glutes – regardless of the other muscles you choose to work on during those days. 

TIP #2

Write what muscles you want to train every day of the week (in the gray area provided for you in my workout planner)  

For example:

  • Monday & Saturday – full body
  • Tuesday – abs and arms
  • Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday – rest days
  • Thursday – booty and arms.

PS: You can download my workout planner later on in this post! (: 

2) CHOOSE A WORKOUT ROUTINE TO FOLLOW.

Once you have decided which group of muscles you want to train, you are ready to either create your own workout routines, choose workout routines to follow, or do both! So, I will walk you through the process of both creating your own effective at home workout routine and choosing to follow a workout routine that already exists.

NOTE: If you don’t feel comfortable creating your own routines, I would highly suggest that you consider following workout routines that are already out there! I definitely don’t want you to create a routine that won’t give you any results or one that will result in an injury! So, only consider creating your own workout routine if you are familiar with exercises, fitness, and have some experience working out. 

CREATING YOUR OWN WORKOUT ROUTINE. 

STEP 1:

Decide the kind of workout you want to create. Here are some ideas:

  • Arm workout
  • Booty workout
  • Abs workout
  • Legs workout
  • Cardio workout
  • Full body workout

There are so many kinds of workouts you can create. You can either decide to train one group of muscles or train two or more groups of muscles at once! 

STEP 2:

How long do you want the workout routine to be? Decide the length of the workout.

  • 5 minute (booty) workout
  • 10 minutes (arm) workout
  • 15 minute (leg) workout
  • 20 minute (booty and abs) workout
  • 25 minute (full body) workout

Since you can create a variety of workouts and combine them during your workout sessions, I would suggest that you only stick to creating 5-30 minute long workouts. 

STEP 3:

Decide what exercises to include in the workout routine.

Make a list of all of the exercises you want to include in your workout.

If you need exercise ideas, here’s a list of 100 bodyweight exercises!

STEP 4:

Decide the length and repetition of each exercise. 

How long should each exercise last? Personally, I like to measure the time I repeat an exercise with seconds & minutes (30 seconds of squats) rather than with repetitions (10 reps of squats) I find this method to be more accurate and precise. Here are some ideas:

  • 15 seconds
  • 20 seconds
  • 30 seconds *recommended*
  • 1 minute 
STEP 5:

Build the workout routine. 

Since YOU are in charge of creating the routine, it’s up to you to choose the sequence of the exercises. Think of it, sort of like an essay. Every essay needs to include an introduction, body, and conclusion. What exercises do you want to include at the beginning, middle, and end of the workout?

STEP 6:

Test the workout routine.

Once you have your “rough draft” ready, it’s time to test your workout. Take some notes while you are testing your workout so that you can make adjustments if you need to afterwards. Here are some things to look out for:

1. Is the workout too easy?

If the routine is too easy, it’s probably not going to produce any results. Consider replacing some of the easier exercises from the routine with more intense exercises, or add more exercises to the routine and make it a few minutes longer.

2. Is the workout too hard?

You don’t want to create a workout that’s impossible to follow, either. So, if the routine you created is too hard, eliminate some exercises or replace them with exercises that are easier to do. 

3. Is the workout actually targeting the muscles you want to train? 

If you created an arm workout, make sure that you are feeling the burn in your arms. Otherwise, the workout won’t really help train your arms. Consider switching up exercises and including more exercises that target your arms. 

Play around with your workout routine (testing and adjusting) until you feel like it is fairly easy to follow, but intense enough to give you RESULTS

STEP 7 :

Make your workout routine official. 

1. Come up with a title for the workout routine you just created.

2. Create a document on Canva with the entire sequence

3. Print out your workout routine

This will help you organize your workout routines, access them easily when you workout, and also share them with friends in real life or online!

CHOOSING A WORKOUT ROUTINE THAT’S ALREADY BEEN MADE:

If you would rather follow workout routines than create your own, here’s how you can successfully choose workout routines to follow! 

STEP 1:

Explore YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Blogs. 

If you already follow some fitness influencers (as you should have in part 1 of this series!) look through their accounts, posts and videos for workout routines. Most fitness influencers either share their workouts through videos or share exercise sequences through photos! Here are a few tools to help you find workout routines:

STEP 2:

Once you have found fitness accounts you like, refer back to the “Choosing what muscles to train” section. Depending on the muscles you chose to train, decide what kind of workouts you want try during the month (arm workouts, leg workouts, etc) 

STEP 3:

After you have explored, followed accounts, bookmarked/saved pages, taken some notes (I’m a huge note-taker, so I take notes on everything lol), and decided the kind of workouts you want to do during the month, it’s time to choose the workout routines to follow! Make a list of the workout routines you want to follow. 

Factors to consider when choosing a routine:
  • The length of the workout.
  • Equipment. Do I have the necessary equipment to complete this workout?
  • The goal of the workout. What muscles are being trained during the workout?
  • Completion ability. Will I be able to complete this workout? (Set realistic goals)
  • The space used. Do I have enough space to do this workout in?

NOTE: You can either choose all of the workout routines you want to follow before the month begins or you can choose workouts daily. Whatever works best for you!

3) OBTAIN A WORKOUT PLANNER. 

Before you can physically design your own at home workout plan, you need to have a workout planner! I personally prefer using a physical planner! Which is why, I created a neat monthly workout planner that you can download and print.

4) SET UP YOUR WORKOUT PLANNER.

1. Label the days according to the month we are currently in! 

Once you have your workout planner in front of you, begin labeling it! You can use one color or multiple colors to label the month and all of the days in the month. This step is very important because by doing this you’ll know what day of the week each day falls on. By labeling your planner before the month begins, you will be able to plan your workouts around events or appointments during the month. So, no excuses! 

2. Label your workouts 

Make sure to refer back to the worksheet you filled in in Part 1 of this series to determine how long you can workout each day and how many days a week you can workout. Once you have everything set in stone, you can go about this in two ways. You can either fill in your planner before the month begins or you can fill it in as you go! Either way is fine, as long as you stick to it. 

Filling your planner before month begins vs filling during the month

Filling planner in before the month begins:

  1. Go through the list of workout routines you have chosen to follow during the month (with workouts created by you or by others) 
  2. Fill in the boxes with either the title of the workout routines you will follow each day or with the name of the muscle groups you are training each day.
  3. Label all of the rest days you will take during the month! Make sure to have at least two rest days every week – it’s important to give your muscles a rest! 
  4. Once your planner is filled in and ready, you are all set!

Refer to your planner everyday and highlight the days you complete. 

Filling planner in as you go:

  1. Only fill in the dates before the month begins.

Fill in your planner in each day after completing your workout. You can fill in the boxes with the name of the group of muscles you worked on or with the titles of the workout routines you followed that day!  

More Posts You May Like:

And after this long but fun two-post series, you should have hopefully created your very own at-home workout plan! It wasn’t that hard, was it? However, keep in mind that creating a workout plan will only give you results if you FOLLOW it. Don’t just create a plan and expect results without putting in the work daily. Please let me know your thoughts on this series – I tried my best to keep it as short as possible, but if you would like me to expand on some areas, I can definitely do that!

Until next time,

GABBY

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Comments (22)

  • Lisa

    April 18, 2020 at 10:58 am

    For me at least, planning is so key to success!! You know only achieve the actual thing, but also your plan Win-Win!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 18, 2020 at 11:21 am

      Yes, planning is so essential!

      GABBY

  • Angie

    April 18, 2020 at 11:03 am

    I love the planner, I definitely needed one! Hahah and love how you detailed it all step by step. Great content as always😊 https://angiewaves.com/

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 18, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Ah, yes! It definitely helps you be more accountable 😉 Thank you for your sweet words.

      GABBY

  • Chloe Lauren

    April 18, 2020 at 11:11 am

    This is awesome. I love working out. Obviously right now more than before it is important to keep as active as we possibly can. I also appreciate the recommended time of 30 seconds. That’s what I have been doing for my repetiotions specifically with planks! Keep going!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 18, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Glad to hear it! 🙂 Yes, there are exercises that are hard to measure with repetitions, like planks. I have been timing my exercises since I started working out and it works so well for me. Thank you for reading!

      GABBY

  • Lori

    April 18, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Great resource for developing a consistent fitness plan! A little work up front will lead to commitment in the future, because you don’t have to stop and think each day “what do I need to work on now?” Great, informative guide. Thanks!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 19, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Yes, that is the beauty of planning. It help’s you set yourself up for success. Thanks for reading!

      GABBY

  • Lyv – LifeWithLyv

    April 18, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Love this! So helpful!! I am seriously lacking when it comes to structuring my workouts… Definitely downloading your planner and going to start keeping better track of things!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 19, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      Yaaay! I hope my planner will help you plan and keep track of your workouts more effectively. Thank you! <3
      -
      GABBY

  • Sophie | Love and Literature

    April 18, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Wow, this is such an incredible post! I’m definitely going to save this one for later, it’s super helpful so thanks for sharing!

    Stay safe,
    Sophie | Love and Literature
    https://www.loveandliterature.co.uk/

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 19, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      I appreciate the comment. Thank you 🙂

      GABBY

  • Jaya

    April 18, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    I love how well this post lists the steps to creating an effective routine!

    I started with a preexisting routine and kind of altered a little here and there to suit my needs; twenty minutes a day has worked well for me over the past couple years but there may come a time when I want to step it up a little. And yes, make all the routines you want but you have to pick up those weights (or not) and just start working. 🙂

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 19, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      Love it! I like switching up my routines (altering them) from time to time, too. (: Whatever works for you, right? Thank you for reading!

      GABBY

  • Charity

    April 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    These are all such great ideas for a home workout plan. I need to create one as well and stick to it!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 19, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you! For sure. Creating a workout routine is the first step! Once you have your plan down, you can begin to execute your routine…….it gets easier, I promise. <3
      -
      GABBY

  • Nancy

    April 18, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    Oooh! I need this sort of thing to keep myself going with working out at home!! I am bad with balancing my whole body with workouts. I need to look into the arms! Thanks for sharing all of these useful insights! Love the planning process 🙂

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 19, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      Thank you, Nancy. Glad you mentioned that. I was the same way. I would always neglect my arms and just train abs & glutes. Having a planner helps you keep track of muscles you trained, are training, and want to train.

      GABBY

  • Geetha

    April 25, 2020 at 4:12 am

    This is a perfect plan especially when it is locked down and you do not have any gyms and parks around. I do cycling and jogging around the house but never planned for anything like this. The planner is great and I really need one to chalk out a daily workout session.

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 25, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you. I enjoy walking and jogging, too. However, it never hurts to add some exercise in. Glad you liked the planner.

      Gabby

  • The Newbury Girl

    April 26, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    As always, I’m so impressed by the thoroughness and detail in your workout guide posts. I love the idea of writing workout plans based on the areas you want to target and the style of work out (time-based vs. rep-based). Once my semester ends, I really want to take some time to plan out my life and get myself on a schedule. Adding a workout plan to my BuJo will really help!

    1. Gabby Abigail

      April 27, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Thank you, lovely. Yes, creating workout plans are not only fun to do, but they also help you train more effectively. I think it definitely helps when you are aware of what you are training and how you are going about it. Excited for you! Good luck with the rest of your semester <3
      -
      Gabby

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