1Life Blog

Creating An Exercise Plan

Posted by Paul Rayner on 03-Dec-2018 12:12:00
Paul Rayner

Person putting tgoether an exercise plan

We have all been there…trawling social media and seeing lots of ideas and inspiration when it comes to a fitness and exercise plan it’s important you carefully consider what you’re doing and what you want to achieve and avoid just rocking up to the gym and hoping for the best.  Before you hit the gym, it can be beneficial to spend some time putting together a detailed exercise plan and setting some SMART goals.  The plan will not only be a great motivator, it will also keep you on track and ensure you’re getting an effective, full body work out, as well as factoring in those all-important rest days.

If you’re really not sure where to start, the 1Life personal trainers at your local gym or club will be able to help and can work with you to design a personalised plan as part of your induction.  If you’d like to create your own, here are a few pointers to help get you started….

1. Consistency

Consistency in training is vital to see and feel the results of your hard work, which means training regularly.  One of the first things you need to consider when creating your plan is how often you can commit to exercising each week - the best workout plan in the world is useless unless you actually do it! 

With this in mind you need to be realistic and build a programme that is do-able for you, factoring in the right mixture of activity and rest.  Think about when is the best time of day for you to fit in your workout.  These are all things which mean you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plan in the long run.  The simplest way to do this is to first write down the days that you are able to exercise.

 2. Grab a pen

Get a piece of paper, and write the days of the week along the side, then choose what you’ll do each day - workout or rest? To begin with, plan to exercise at least three days per week, which can be added to once your body adapts to the increased activity.  The remaining days will be rest days.  For most people, this is enough to start seeing results over time, it’s also important to bear in mind that not every workout day will involve intense training depending on that day’s exercise.   

 3. Active Recovery

Once you’ve identified your workout days, you’ll need to turn your attention to your rest days.  When we say ‘rest’, this doesn’t meet laying on the sofa all day, think more along the lines of ‘active recovery’ from your more intense training days.  Gentle activities such as walking, yoga and swimming are all great examples.  Remember, the point of these days is to keep moving, repair your muscles and remain active. These active recovery days should also be built in to your weekly exercise plan.

 4. Variety

One of the reasons for putting together a plan is to ensure you’re carrying out a variety of exercises.  Ideally you want to avoid too many workouts that follow the same pattern – amount of reps, times, miles, weights and activities etc all need to be altered regularly to remain effective.  Try to cover all the main types of exercise on your planner such as cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance exercises.  By choosing several different activities across exercise days you are working the different muscle groups, which will help to avoid repetitive injuries as well as keeping your interest.   

 5. Challenge Yourself

To continue making progress with your fitness levels your workouts need to get gradually harder over time to avoid plateauing.  They should be increased very slowly to avoid injury, making sure that you’re still recovering adequately from previous workouts.

The balance you’re aiming for is to push yourself enough to see results but without risking inducing injury.  Ideally, you’ll want to train for four to six weeks at any given level of difficulty before trying to add more challenging exercises, and you’ll need to listen to your body throughout so you don’t overdo things too soon.

 6. Go for it!

If you’ve never created an exercise plan before it might take a few attempts and adjustments before you get it right and to suit your current fitness level, but stick with it – it’ll be worth it in the long run.

 One is the most important things to remember is to take things slow but remain consistent, just getting out and getting active is a great start and you’ll soon see and feel the results of your new active lifestyle.    

Here’s a template for you to print out and complete: 



Exercise or Rest

Exercise details























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