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.

Image Source –

  • 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.

How Workout Improves Your Mental Health?

A healthy mind can only reside in a healthy body. Taking care of your health is a process – you need to eat right, meditate, workout, and practice positivity in general. It can be difficult to attain equilibrium at times, but the least you can do is give your 100%. People who exercise regularly have better mental health as compared to those who don’t exercise. Also, workout reduces the risk of mental illness. In simple words, it can be said that exercising helps to increase the volume of certain brain regions through better blood flow and increased oxygen delivery.

Here’s how workout improves your mental health-
We all know the benefits of exercise for our physical health. Weight loss and control, lower blood pressure, diabetes management, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and many more. But various studies have shown that regular exercise is great for emotional and mental health as well. Be it stress and anxiety management, fighting depression, handling mood swings, or eating disorders, exercising helps keep your body fit and active. 

Image Source –

1. Help For Anxiety & Depression 

An increasing number of people are affected by anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. Exercise is a scientifically proven way to alleviate mood and reduce signs of anxiety and depression. Physical activity of any form increases endorphin (feel-good chemical released by the body) levels. This chemical gives a feeling of happiness and bliss.
It is very easy to fall prey and succumb to the vicious cycle of negative thoughts. But staying in bed won’t help! Go out for a run, sweat it out in the gym, or cool off in a pool and your body will thank you. Doctors suggest that even moderate levels of exercise throughout the week will be greatly helpful. 
If you think that the panic attacks have become too frequent or anxiety is difficult to manage, we highly recommend seeking medical help. Talking to an expert will only make your journey smoother. With proper medicines and lifestyle changes, mental illness’ can be treated. 

2. Builds Self-Sonfidence & Self-Esteem 

Low self-esteem and self-confidence are the first signs of slipping into mental illness. When you don’t feel good about yourself, how can you give your best in anything else? Motivate yourself to workout and exercise and you’ll see what a big difference it’ll make in your life.
You can indulge in any form of exercise depending

upon your fitness needs. Whether you want to tone your muscles, reduce weight, increase stamina and endurance, or build core strength, there is an exercise for it. When your body starts sending you signs – a little inch loss, healthier looking skin, better stamina, you feel good about yourself and your self-esteem gets that much needed boost. 

3. Lowers Stress 

Lifestyle stress is a complimentary gift with our modern life. Be it job stress, traffic, or family tension, it all mounts to become a big ball of stress. To keep stress levels in check, doctors suggest to get some form of physical exercise. Do whatever you like – zumba, aerobics, yoga, brisk walk, or gym. 
Here’s what research says, increasing your heart rate can 

Stress-induced brain damage by stimulating the production of neurohormones. These neurohormones not just improve overall cognition and mood, but also help your mind stay balanced in stressful situations. Also when you exercise, the body’s central nervous system communicates with sympathetic nervous system and improves your body’s overall ability to fight stress. 

4. Boosts Brainpower

Human brain is such a complex organ. You cannot decipher the superpowers of your brain. One of the easiest ways to boost brainpower is through exercise. Regular workout improves mental health and brainpower. Studies show that exercise enhances creativity and mental energy.  

Various studies on mice and humans indicate that regular cardio exercise helps in generating new brain cells, improves brain performance, and helps with decision making.

5. Sharpens memory

Making exercise as a part of daily routine will boost memory and ability to learn new things. It also helps reduce cognitive decline and memory loss by sharpening the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. A recent study conducted concluded that running sprints improves vocabulary retention in adults. Hope this inspires you to go out and get moving.

6. Helps control addiction

Whenever you indulge in any form of pleasure – something as simple as delicious food, alcohol, drugs, or sex, the brain releases Dopamine. It is a kind of reward chemical which a response to pleasure. But unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and that’s how substance abuse starts (alcohol or drugs).

Exercise helps in addition recovery. Short exercise sessions prove to be a distraction for drug and alcohol addicts. Alcoholics say that they cannot fall asleep without consuming alcohol. But exercising helps to reset and reboot your body clock and helps you get back your sleep pattern.

7. Prevents Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline is an ugly truth about life. As much as we want to avoid or delay it, but as we age brain functions is affected and is slowed. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help delay and prevent cognitive decline that usually begins after the age of 45.

Make sure you choose an exercise suitable for your body needs and weight. It will boost chemicals in brain that prevent degeneration of the hippocampus (the part of brain responsible for memory and learning).

8. Better Sleep

If you’re someone who cannot sleep properly, or are insomniac, then exercise is the best bet. Physical activity of any sort – be it running in the park, cardio, gym session or cycling, increases your body temperature and this has a soothing effect on your body. Regular exercise also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, our bodies’ built-in alarm clock that controls when your body feels tired and alert.

Even though improved sleep is a psychological advantage of workout, experts recommend that you shouldn’t indulge in rigorous exercise close to bedtime.

Image Source – Message Magazine

9. Relaxing

Whether it is a good run or a swim, there is nothing more relaxing than burning that excess energy in something productive. Vent our your emotions in the badminton field, on the treadmill, or just lift weights and let go of all that stress on your shoulders.

A fulfilling workout session is so relaxing. You feel lighter, your mood is set, and you feel the power to conquer the negative thoughts.

How to get started?

While it is great to be inspired and be ready to hit the gym, but taking things slow is the best way out. If you haven’t exercised in a while and want to start again, here’s how to do it –

  • Choose any form of exercise that you like or have liked in the past
  • Get in touch with your doctor to know if the activity is suitable for your physical and mental health
  • Start slow and gradually build up your activity level

It is best to make exercise as a part of your daily routine. You’ll always be caught up in something or the other. Find the best time to exercise depending upon your routine and then stick to it. Get active by doing simple things – take the stairs, walk to the market, go for a long walk with your pet, dance to your favorite songs.

How much exercise?

If you’re confused and are thinking how much exercise to get, here’s the answer. A research says that three or more sessions of aerobics or resistance training per week; 45 – 60 minutes per session can help control chronic depression. Continue with regular exercise as the effects will be visible in around four weeks.

10 Easy ways to take care of your mental health

Some other ways in which you can take care of your mental health include –

  • Declutter your desk and your life.
  • Let go of negative people.
  • Find people who encourage you to bring out the best in you.
  • Don’t compete with others.  
  • Stop comparing your life.
  • Do more of what you love.
  • Find time to revive a hobby that somehow got lost in the struggles of life.
  • Take a break – go out with friends, solo trip, or just a heartfelt conversation with your parents.
  • Connect with a support group online.
  • Seek medical help if you think things are going out of hand.

Talking openly about mental health is no more a taboo. In fact, there have been so many campaigns where people from all walks of life have shared their experiences. If you’re suffering, know that you’re not alone. Taking that first step is the most difficult. Gather courage and fight it. Talk to someone you trust, seek medical help, and you’ll understand that no battle can be won without taking that one big step.