Thursday, August 10, 2017
Why Planning Your Workout Ahead of Time Sets You Up For Success
The value is often overlooked, but planning your workout before you head to the gym can greatly increase your success. When you plan out what muscle group(s) you are going to train on a given day, as well as planning out which exact movements you will do, and set/rep scheme, you have a vision. Having this vision is important, because your mind starts to prepare for these exact movements before you even step foot in the gym. Of course there will be times where you will have to modify your pre-planned workout; whether it be specific machines, weights, and/or benches are being used when you need them, or you realize a specific muscle is bothering you once you start to train, etc. But for the most part, you should be able to execute your plan.
Another benefit of pre-planning your workout is intensity; you are more likely to hit the weights with more intensity and focus when you know exactly what your plan of action is. While it is OK to train "instinctively" at times, I only recommend this style of training for seasoned lifters. For most people, when you go into the gym without a plan, you are more likely to spend too much time thinking about what you are going to do, exercise after exercise. You are also more likely to run into the problem of specific pieces of equipment already being used, especially if you train at a busier time of day. Certain routines will allow you to occupy a single bench or machine for several exercises in a row, thus diminishing the chances of something already being occupied.
To take it a step further, don't just plan your workout ahead of time in your head; actually write down your plan. Once you put your plan on paper, it becomes a tangible thing that you can see and envision. Of course it is OK to modify that plan when needed, and you are not locked into it just because you have written it down. Along with being able to visualize your workout, logging your sets, reps, and poundage used will allow you to gauge progress! This has a two fold benefit in that a) you won't have to always try and remember what weight you previously used, and b) when you see yourself getting stronger through the numbers, it can be one of the greatest motivators. If you are getting stronger, you can be assured that your body is changing, because this is how the muscles adapt to the increased load being placed on them. So the next time you plan on working out, plan that workout ahead of time for better success!
Train hard and enjoy the journey!