Having a written workout plan is like going for a hike with a map. It would be foolish to head into the forest without direction, wouldn’t it? In order to continuously progress in the gym, it’s critical to have a written workout in place for the following three reasons:
The Big Picture
A written workout plan not only provides a layout for the day, but it also sets up the big picture for weeks or months to come. In other words, an established plan dictates the work that must be done in order to reach the goal.
On the contrary, it’s a common scenario for most people to head to the gym without a plan. They may have a general idea of what they will do for a workout, but then again, maybe they will decide once they get there. Or maybe they do the same workout all the time.
While the above strategy may work for some, the bottom line is that without a plan in place, progression is tough. If exercises, weights, reps and sets all remain the same, progressive overload won’t take place. No progress will be made, and the desired results may be hard to achieve.
This one falls in line with seeing the big picture. The great thing about having a plan is that there is a goal in place, something to work towards. Goals are fantastic to have because they give purpose to the workout, which can be very motivating.
Without a goal in place, it can be easy to adapt a nonchalant attitude toward working out. It doesn’t matter as much if a workout is missed or if exercise takes place on the lighter side because there is nothing to work towards. Thus, having a written workout plan is important.
Another positive of having a plan in place is it allows for number tracking in terms of weights, reps and sets. Without a written plan, it’s really tough to remember what weights, reps and sets were performed in the gym. Therefore, it’s really easy to accidentally perform the same weight for multiple days in a row and hinder any progress.
Another great reason to track numbers is to see the progress being made. It can be easy to sometimes feel like very little progress is being made. However, the great thing about writing everything down is it’s undeniable proof that progress is indeed being made. This can be very gratifying and encouraging to see.
The first step to having a written plan is to write out the immediate goal or goals. Once this is compete, it is easy to work backward and lay out the plan over the next few weeks or months in order to reach the goal. Bring the written plan to the gym each day and make sure to record weights, reps and sets that were performed or if anything needs to be adjusted.
Jason DeHenzel has trained some of New York’s most prestigious clients, including high-profile lawyers, advertising executives, movie producers and musicians. Sophie DeHenzel is a Pn1-certified nutritionist and former downhill ski racer. The pair founded DeHenzel Training Systems to develop customized fitness plans for clients of different abilities, experience and commitment. Find out more at dtsnova.com.