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How To Build Your Own Fitness Plan

Everybody’s different, and every body is different. While our workout schedules can guide you, a plan tailored specifically to your needs is the best plan to help you get the body you want.

To set yourself up for success, you need to build a fitness plan. The best place to start is at the end – only by giving yourself clear goals can you can work out the best path to achieving them.

So do you want to get toned, ripped or shredded? Establish some realistic yet challenging targets and then work backwards. These means you know what to expect from yourself, session-by-session, set-by-set, rep-by-rep.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when building your own fitness plan.

See what’s worked (and not worked) for you in the past

First off, listen to your body. Which exercises have made you keep going and which have made you think about giving up?

Maybe you prefer being on the weights to the treadmill. Do you need to meal-plan for the whole week, so you don’t get tempted by sweet treats? Or is it just that you need to get better at planning your visits to the gym, so your goals don’t get derailed after a busy day at work?

Be honest with yourself – and again, be clear about what you want. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, train for an endurance event or get a beach body, your end-game will have a huge impact on your fitness plan.

Set a time limit

Want to make maximum progress in minimum time?  There’s nothing like a deadline to spur you into action.

Giving yourself a time limit is like setting your fitness goals – it gives you something concrete to aim for.

While it’s good to think long-term when it comes to your health, breaking your fitness journey down into chunks will make it easier to reach your end goal – fast.

Don’t underestimate what you can achieve in six weeks. You might be surprised how much progress you can make in such a short time.

Review and adjust your plan

Your fitness plan is not set in stone. It’s not the Magna Carta – it’s a guide to helping you get a fitter, healthier body. If something’s not working, it’s important to fix it.

You shouldn’t be straining through every rep. You could be risking injury or exhaustion if you try to take on too much too soon. Be prepared for your transformation to take time.

Nor should everything be a breeze. If you keep doing the same exercises, your body will adapt to the demands you’re putting on it. When that happens, you’re not likely to see any benefits – and you might even find your own motivation starts to drop. Keep your body guessing by shaking up your routine.

Speak to an expert

If you need extra guidance and support, there are many qualified experts who can help you along the road to fitness.

Personal trainers will work with you to create a bespoke training plan that makes the most of every workout. Similarly, nutritionists can give you dietary advice based on your body’s specific needs.

With all this help available to you, you don’t have to go it alone.

Get some rest

Everyone needs time out – and so does your body. Smashing it in the gym tears your muscles, and they can only recover properly by resting. Think of your rest days as growth days, but don’t let your standards slip – or you could put yourself behind on achieving your goals.

Here’s how to plan your rest days:

  • Manage your intake with a decent helping of complex carbs, protein and water.
  • Do low-intensity cardio to keep the blood flowing through your muscles, accelerating the rebuilding process and keeping your metabolism high.
  • Stretch your muscles to improve your range of motion and make your body more flexible.
  • Get some sleep, which is important as your growth hormone levels are at their highest when you’re unconscious.

Develop a diet plan

To get lean, you’ve got to eat clean. The right nutrition will put you on the front foot to fitness. Balance is the watchword here. Mix fruit, vegetables, vitamins and minerals – as well as protein – to keep smashing your workouts.

Plan your intake around your gym sessions. Filling up on carbs pre-workout will give you the energy to perform at your best, while a post-workout meal full of protein will help your body repair itself after a hard session.

Daily protein shakes are a convenient way to get the nutrition your body needs, whether you want to bulk up or slim down. Impact Whey Protein is particularly good for your muscles after a workout, because it’s a convenient way to get the high level of protein you need.

Use our tailored fitness calendars

There’s a lot to factor in when it comes to building your own fitness plan – from knowing what to eat, to how to exercise, and when to rest.

Thankfully, our experts have plotted your way to success, so you don’t have to. They’ve drawn up a plan to put you on track to a fitter future in just six weeks. Download one of our tailored calendars – you’ll find workout schedules, exercise tips and meal suggestions that’ll take your physical performance to a whole new level.

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Arabella Ogilvie

Arabella Ogilvie

Writer and expert

Arabella has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from the University of Glasgow where she covered health topics ranging from the physiological effects of exercise and nutrition, to psychology and neuroscience. She has a lifelong interest in sport and fitness, including running, swimming, hockey, and especially rowing. At university, Arabella was a keen rower and competed in the first boat at events such as the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta, The Scottish Boat Race, and British University Championships, and won Novice Rower of the year in her first year. In her spare time, Arabella loves to train in the gym and practice yoga and meditation. She is passionate about the natural world and will take any opportunity to be outdoors, be it hiking in the Scottish Highlands or conducting scientific research in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. Find out more about Arabella’s experience here.

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