Selecting the right workout routine is crucial for reaching your goals. People who don't choose the right plan are setting themselves up for failure. Here are our top 8 tips for selecting a workout.
1. Select a workout routine that's designed for your experience level. Seems simple right? Many people who are just getting started lifting still choose workout plans that are designed for experienced lifters and pro bodybuilders. You will get much faster results from a plan that suits your experience. If you're just starting out, find a beginner workout.
2. Be clear about your goals. When we polled our readers and asked their main goal the highest response was “build muscle and lose fat". Unless you're a beginner or taking steroids, this is extremely hard to achieve. Think about your goal before selecting a workout routine. Do you want to build muscle or lose fat first? Do you want to improve your sports performance? Do you want to increase endurance? The clearer you are about your goal the easier it is going to be to find the right plan and the better your results will be.
3. Think about your lifestyle and select a workout that fits. Don't try and fit a 5-6 day workout routine into your already busy lifestyle. You'll skip days, not recover properly and ultimately fail. You would have been better off with a workout plan that only requires 3 days in the gym. Think about how much time you can realistically put in working out.
4. Choose a workout routine you know you'll be able to stick with for the full duration. Most workout plans are designed for a set period. 8-10 weeks for example. You're not going to get the best results if you only follow the routine for 4-5 weeks. This is something you should definitely look out for in periodization routines as the workload often increases as you progress through the workout.
5. Know your body type before selecting a workout plan. Most new lifters don't understand how body types affect results. For example, a 6'2" man with a thin build often gets totally different results from the same workout than a 5'5" heavy set man. It's important you understand your own body type and what workout to use to maximize results.
6. Have realistic expectations. You've seen the magazine covers and fitness models on Instagram. Don't expect these results in the first 3 months of training. If you set your expectations too high you're bound to lose motivation and give up. These people have often been working out for over 10 years and do this as a full time job. So set small goals for improving your physique and don't compare to others.
7. Pick a plan you can do with a workout partner. Motivation is key to long term results in all aspects of fitness. Training with a partner is awesome. Workouts are more fun and you can keep each other motivated. Choose a workout partner that is slightly better than you. Meaning, if your goal is fat loss, they're slightly leaner. If your goal is muscle building then they're slightly bigger and stronger. This will bring out your competitive spirit as you try and match them when you're training.
8. Read reviews/comments on workouts before trying them. Our workouts database has over 25,000 comments. Often people will talk about the results they have got after using a plan. Read these comments and see if the comment author has similar goals to you.
Remember, nutrition is more important that your workout routine. You can have the best plan in the world and if you don't back it up with the fuel you need for your goal you will not succeed. Use our BMR calculator to calculate your calories then check out our fitness nutrition section for diet plan, articles and recipes.