Design Your Own Fitness Plan!

Sep 25


“Skoog, why don’t you teach group fitness classes?” “Hey Jen, you should do a workout video!” “Yo, me and my friends wanna workout together. Can you send us a program?”

There are many reasons why I don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness.  Just like the world is made up of very unique and diverse people from all walks of life, so is my clientele. A session I teach to my a bride-to-be would be inappropriate for my blind client. It would be equally inappropriate for the woman with a fractured pelvis and the off-season triathlete. Every one of us has a different skill-set, goal, old nagging injury or motivation for exercise.

If I had a nickel for everyone who lamented about their knee injury from DVDs by Jillian Michaels (& others) or shoulder pain from Barry’s Boot Camp (for example), I’d have enough money to make us all rich. Proper form is KEY. A control freak trainer like myself would be a terrible group-fitness or video instructor. The few times I’ve made the attempt to teach more than 3 people, I’ve found myself so distracted by bad squats or caterpillar pushups that the entire class came to a halt so I could demonstrate proper form…frustrating all of us!

So tailor your workout for YOU. Take into account your specific goals, limitations, injuries, current fitness level and deadline to design your own program based on what YOU want.

Keep in mind the following FITTE principle as you embark upon your journey:

  • Frequency. How many times/week will you need to exercise to reach your goal? How many weeks will it take?
  • Intensity. How hard do you need to push yourself? Will you need to lift heavier? Run faster? Do you need a heart rate monitor? Check in with yourself each workout and ask if you could be working harder. Chances are, you have more in you!
  • Time. To accomplish your goal, how long will each workout session be? What’s your work vs. rest ratio like? Dedicate a realistic approach here. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Type. What mode of exercise will you embark upon? The treadmill? Rowing machine? Dumbbells? Kettlebells? Calisthenics? Each workout should be specific and include as much or little variety needed to reach your goal.
  • Enjoyment. Perhaps the most important and overlooked component, you should be reaping some satisfaction in it. For long-term success, finding enjoyment in what you’re doing will keep you engaged long after the excitement of goal-setting and promises are set.

If you’re still struggling to personalize your program, seek the advice of a professional. Ask them to teach you the ins and outs of program planning…a skill that you’ll use for rest of your fit life!

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