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How To Build Your Perfect Gym Routine

Building the perfect gym routine normally comes with a lot of questions such as; 

How many days resistance training should I do? 

What muscle groups on what day? 

How many days cardio should I do? 

How many rest days should be in my weekly gym routine? 

Do I need a meal plan? 

There are a lot of answers and opinions online surrounding these very questions, some scientific, some experience-based, however, the perfect routine for you does largely come down to what you want to achieve and how much time you want to commit to achieving it. The bottom line is that without a routine you are unlikely to achieve your goals. Structure and knowing what to do, and what you are going to do at the gym are key.

Another point to consider is that if you are looking to gain muscle mass and strength is that you may not need to do strength training as often as you think. Having a gym workout routine that sees you at the gym seven days a week to get results is not necessary. It can, in fact, be counterproductive to strength train any more than 2 to 3 hours a week.

A nice balanced gym workout routine will come from 3 to 5 sessions a week with weights and less than an hour each session. Try Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for your weight training. This leaves Tuesday and Thursday for cardio training which, other than a warm-up, should be done separately from weight training and will assist greatly if you are also looking to burn fat. 

We have set out a very simple and straightforward outline for your gym workout routine that will be very effective for you in achieving your fitness goals. 

The key is to keep it simple. It's more productive to focus effectively on a few exercises and get your form and technique on point than it is to work out with a poor form, less intensity and on lots of different exercises. You should revise and edit your program every 8 to 10 weeks to include different exercises or a different pairing of muscle groups. Keep your routine simple and you will see great results.

Step 1: Creating your weekly gym schedule

From the following muscle groups, pick two that you will be working out each day of your weight training.

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Legs 
  • Shoulders
  • Biceps
  • Triceps

For example; 

  • Day 1: Weight Training (Monday). X2 Muscle groups i.e. Back and Chest
  • Day 2: Weight Training (Wednesday). X2 Muscle groups i.e. Legs and Shoulders
  • Day 3: Weight Training (Friday). X2 Muscle groups i.e. Biceps and Triceps

The idea here is to give yourself a day in-between weight training sessions so that you can include a cardiovascular session on your non-weight training days. Include at least 1-2 days off each week for rest and recovery purposes also.

Step 2: Select your exercises

Depending on which muscle groups you are training, pick 2-3 exercises for per muscle group. There are plenty of libraries online however if you are not sure then consider a Personal Trainer to assist you here and give you the initial instruction you need.

Step 3: Work out your Sets and Reps to pull it all together

Each workout should look similar to the following;

Muscle Group 1

  • Exercise 1: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise 2: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise 3: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Muscle Group 2

  • Exercise 1: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise 2: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Exercise 3: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Do only 2-3 heavy sets per exercise. You can do as many warm-ups as you feel necessary. For example;

  • 1st set-10 reps (warm-up)
  • 2nd set-8 reps (heavier warm-up)
  • 3rd and the 4th sets (heavier sets). 
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