leg workout

How Your Ideal Workout Plan Should Look Like?

Following a workout routine is a great idea. You’ll be regular and it’ll help you streamline your fitness journey. As much as it is important to have a weekly workout schedule, you cannot ignore the fact that sometimes it can be boring. 

Things to keep in mind 
3 things to keep in mind when chalking out your weekly workout routine

1. It should match your training frequency
An ideal weekly workout routine is the one that allows you to train each muscle group once/ twice/ thrice a week depending upon your fitness goal. Discuss your goals with your trainer and he’ll help you formulate the right routine for you. 

2. It should fit in your personal weekly schedule 
Assess how many days of a week can you actually workout. What’s the use of making an 
elaborate week-long workout routine and then missing training 2 -3 times a week? Also, it is important to know what time of the day suits you for a workout. Do you prefer an early morning run or are free post workout in the evening to hit the gym. Ask yourself – can I train all 7 days of the week? Do I need weekends off? Do I need an off day? 

3. It should align with your training preferences and fitness needs
Fitness means different things for everyone. For some it may be losing excess fat, for others,
it can be building muscle mass and stamina. Instead of workouts being boring and forced upon, you should enjoy what you do.

What each day should be like?
Most people train five times a day. If you’ve also decided the same then here’s what an ideal schedule should include – three days of strength training and two days of cardio followed by two days of rest. 

On the other hand, if you want to tone muscles, then you can cut one day of cardio and focus on strength training for four days. For those of you who want to improve endurance and build stamina, it is ideal to skip a strength training day and replace it with cardio instead.

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  • Strength Training 

We all know, the more muscles you have, the higher is the metabolic rate. It also strengthens your bones and joints. Strength training is indeed an integral part of your idea weekly workout routine. It should have upper and lower body movements and a balance between pushing and pulling movements. There’s a common misconception that strength training means you need to flex hard on the machines. On the contrary, you can also do an intensive strength training session incorporating bodyweight moves like squats, dumbbells, TRX suspension trainers etc. 

A 45 – 60 minutes strength training session with 5 minutes warm-up is ideal. On days dedicated to strength training, you can include various other elements like non-linear movement, coordination practice, and building flexibility. Incorporate these elements during warm up to bring variation. 

  • Cardio 

For an ideal workout, you must do cardio 2 – 3 times a week. There are plenty of options for a hearty cardio session. Run on the treadmill, go for an outdoor jog, climb up and down the stairs…the list goes on. It is recommended that you do 150 minutes of moderate to intense activity per week. Now it depends upon you, how you divide these 150 minutes into smaller sessions. 

7 Day Split Workout Routine 
If you follow the 7-day workout routine for a limited period of time, you’ll notice fabulous results. When you work out all through the week, your body starts to overcompensate by generating more energy by burning more calories. This means fat loss and higher metabolic rate, two of the most desired features for any fitness enthusiast. It is also a great way of shocking the muscles into new growth.

Image Source – Blueprint Fitness

Ideal Weekly Workout Routine

Here’s what your ideal weekly workout routine can comprise of –

Day 1 – Chest

  • Flat bench barbell press – 4 sets of 8 – 12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell press – 4 sets of 8 – 12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell flyes – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Push ups – 4 sets of 20 reps

Day 2 – Shoulders

  • Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Standing barbell military press – 4 sets of 10 – 12 reps
  • Dumbbell lateral raises – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell front raises – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • EZ Bar upright rows – 4 sets of 15 reps

Day 3 – Legs

  • Barbell Squats – 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
  • Hack Squats – 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
  • Leg press machine – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Hamstring curls – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Leg extension machine – 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Calf raises – 3 sets of 20 reps

Day 4 – Back and Abs

  • Chin-ups – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell rows – 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps
  • Wide grip lat pull downs – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Close grip lat pull downs – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Hyperextensions – 4 sets to failure
  • Barbell bent over rows – 4 sets of 8 reps

Day 5 – Arms (biceps and triceps)

  • Double arm dumbbell curls – 4 sets of 10 -12 reps
  • Skull crushers – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Overhead triceps rope extension – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Preacher curl machine – 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Triceps rope pushdowns – 4 sets of 15 reps   
  • EZ Bar curls – 4 sets of 10 reps

Day 6 and 7

Day 6 and 7 aren’t fixed for any muscle group and that’s what makes this workout session so much fun. You can focus on your problem area or the area that you think needs more attention and dedicated either both days or one day to it. For example, if you think your arms need to be more toned, repeat arms workout for Day 6 and for Day 7 do a cardio session.

Alternate Workout Routine

Here’s another alternative plan for those who like to mix things up a little. If you don’t like to spend all the time in the gym and want to do some outdoor fun activities as a part of your workout routine, then the following plan is perfect for you.

  • Monday

Upper body strength training (45 – 60 minutes)

  • Tuesday

Lower body strength training (30 – 60 minutes)

  • Wednesday

Yoga or low impact activity (30 – 60 minutes). The best rule is to follow a high impact training day with a low impact one. A low impact training gives your muscle some time to recover to recharge fully before you hit the high-intensity workout.

Image Source – Gaiam

  • Thursday

HIIT (20 minutes). It can include intensive dancing, cycling, or running, but make sure you do it for short intervals of time.

  • Friday

Total body strength workout (30 – 60 minutes). Focus on muscle groups like quads, chest, upper back, glutes, and hamstring. Try doing think planks, plank variations, bench press, hip thrust, and squats.

  • Saturday

Cardio – cycling, running, or brisk walking for as long as you’re comfortable.

  • Sunday

Rest day! Your body needs an off day as well. Give it time to recover, so that you can get back stronger.

Hope these weekly workout plans give your fitness journey a push in the right direction.