The Importance of a Fitness Plan
Quick question, if you had to drive to a place you’d never been before, would you use a satnav/GPS? Or would you just start driving and hope for the best? Similarly, if you had to climb a mountain, would you map out your route beforehand? Or would you just get climbing and hope you make it to the top? Unless you’re a little crazy, you’d take the first option both times, right?
The exact same thing applies to your health and fitness goals. You’ve got a destination you want to reach (healthier, fitter, leaner, stronger, sexier) and it makes WAY more sense to have a plan to get there. This article looks at the 3 major reasons why fitness plans are important as well as how detailed your plan needs to be. It also includes some practical examples of fitness plans.
How Detailed Does My Fitness Plan Need to Be?
When most people hear the phrase ‘fitness plan’ they start thinking about 8- and 12-week programs with every exercise, set and rep scheme planned out. And whilst that might be great for some people, it might be completely overwhelming or inappropriate for someone else.
Fundamentally, a fitness plan can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be.
If you’re just starting to exercise for the first time in your life then a good fitness plan might sound like “I’m going to do some form of exercise for 30 minutes, twice per week, for the next month.” Really simple, really flexible, and easy to stick to. On the other hand, if you’re an olympic level athlete your fitness plan might be meticulously planned into multiple excel spreadsheets that track your exercises, intensities, performance levels and a whole other bunch of stuff over days, weeks and months.
Many of us are somewhere in the middle, in which case a somewhat detailed fitness plan which articulates the types of workouts and exercise per week can help keep you heading towards the goal with repeating the same exercise routine too many times.
Why Is It Important to Have a Fitness Plan?
1) Your Fitness Plan is Your Map
As we mentioned at the start of the article, your fitness plan is essentially your map towards where you want to go. If you want to be 1 stone lighter, your fitness plan lays out the general steps needed to lose weight. If you want to be 50% stronger, your fitness plan lays out the general steps to build strength.
With the right fitness plan in place, you know what you need to be focusing on each week in order to move forward. This stops you heading off in the wrong direction and losing sight of your end goal.
2) Fitness Plans Let You Track and Increase Your Progress
The great thing about fitness plans is that they can also be used to track and record your workouts over time, which allows you to properly plan your progressions in order to improve, rather than having no idea what to do next. For example…
Let’s say that you didn’t have a fitness plan and decided to start running in January. You ended up really enjoying it, and now you want to improve in February. The problem is you don’t actually know how many times you went running in January. Was it 4 times? 6 times? You also don’t know much time you spent running each session. 20 minutes? 30 minutes? Nor do you know how many miles you covered each week. Could it have been 5, 10, maybe even 15? With no plan in place and no data recorded, you’ve no idea how to improve.
On the other hand, let’s say that you had a fitness plan, and you know that you ran for 30 minutes twice per week, for a total of 6 miles per week. You could now make a new plan for February, saying something like…
- You will run for 40 minutes twice per week, for a total of 8 miles per week.
- You will run for 30 minutes three times per week, for a total of 9 miles per week.
- You will run slightly faster for 30 minutes twice per week, for a total of 7 miles per week.
So you’ve given yourself loads more options of ways to improve.
3) Fitness Plans Provide Some Accountability
One of the biggest issues most people face with their health and fitness is a lack of consistency. They’re switched on for a few weeks then off for the next. By writing a fitness plan you’re taking the ideas in your brain and making them a reality. You’re saying to yourself that this is exactly what I’m going to do for the next week or month. This gives you some personal accountability.
*Plus, to really supercharge your results, we recommend sharing your fitness plan with friends, family or fellow exercisers. Having other people hold you accountable is a great way to increase your adherence to a training program.
Fitness Plan Examples
Since we’ve already talked about running type fitness plans, let’s go over an example resistance training fitness plan. For this plan, we’re just going have one resistance workout that you aim to improve on each week.
- Bodyweight Squats: 15 reps
- Press Ups on Knees: 15 reps
- Lunges: 20 reps (10 each side)
- Plank: 30 seconds
- Sit-Ups: 15 reps
Week 1: Perform 2 sets of every exercise once per week
Week 2: Perform 3 sets of every exercise once per week
Week 3: Perform 4 sets of every exercise once per week
Then after you’ve completed your three-week fitness plan you can create your next plan. Some ideas for progression include…
- Performing 3 sets of every exercise twice per week
- Performing more reps for each exercise
- Choosing harder exercises like jump squats or full press-ups
Alternatively, since all of these exercises are found in the Kemtai exercise database, why not let Kemtai do the hard work and planning for you? All you need to do is start by selecting some easier workouts like ‘The Daily Essentials’ (8 minutes long) and then when they get too easy, moving onto harder workouts like ‘Full Body Strength’ (22 minutes).
Whichever option you choose, just remember the importance of having a fitness plan and sticking to it.