How to Plan a Workout Schedule? Quick Guide for Beginners

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How to Plan a Workout Schedule? Quick Guide for Beginners

To be successful and meet your fitness goals, you need to be consistent.

In order to stay consistent, you need a plan.

That’s where these ideas on how to plan a workout schedule come into play.

The first section is focused on creating a workout for weight lifting, and the second section focuses on creating a weight loss plan and workout schedule.


fitness and runing concept

How to plan a workout schedule for weightlifting

Hard Gainers

Workout Plan to gain muscle

Jeff covers a workout for Guys who have a hard time losing weight. He uses compound movements and covers all major muscle groups, while still keeping it simple.

His videos are full of excellent advice, he knows what he is talking about, walks his talk, and explains the “why” behind his recommendations.

Jeff also gives a sample workout, which is helpful.

6 Major Muscle Groups

A good workout plan should touch all major muscle groups, so have these in mind as you plan.

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Legs
  • Arms (Biceps and Triceps)
  • Core (abs)

Push/Pull/Legs Routine EXPLAINED For Building Muscle

Merijn explains what the Push/pull/legs split is, what the rhythm should look like, and how you should structure your plan. This is a video for intermediate to advanced lifters.

3 Areas of focus (one per day)

  • Pushing muscles chest shoulders, delts and triceps
  • Pulling muscles: Biceps, traps, rear delts and back muscles
  • Legs: Quads, hams and calves and abs or core work

His plan works on an 8 day cycle, so it will be different every day, and your rest days will change constantly. Its basically, 3 days on, 1 day rest.

  • Monday: Push workout
  • Tuesday: Pull Workout
  • Wednesday: Legs and Abs
  • Thursday: Rest Day
  • Friday: Push Workout
  • Saturday: Pull Workout
  • Sunday: Legs and Abs
  • Monday: Rest Day

Sample Plan

Push Day:

  • Flat Barbell Press- three sets of five
  • Over Head Press- Four sets of five
  • Incline Dumbbell Press- Three sets of five
  • Dumbbell Flys- Three sets of ten
  • Lateral Raise- four sets of ten
  • Skull Crushers – three sets of twelve
  • Triceps pushdowns- three sets of twelve

Pull Day:

  • Barbell Row four sets of eight
  • Pull Downs- three sets of ten
  • Dumbbell Row- Three sets of ten
  • Straight arm Pull down Three sets of ten
  • Hammer Curl- here sets of six
  • Barbell Curls-three sets of seven
  • Dumbbell Bicep curl Three sets of twelve

Legs and Abs day:

  • Standard Squats – fives sets of five
  • Barbell Hack Squats – three sets of eight
  • Hamstring curls three sets of ten
  • Leg Extensions three sets of twelve
  • Calf raises four sets of ten
  • Weighted decline crunches three sets of ten
  • Cable Crunches three sets of ten
  • Weighted plans three sets of 1 min each

Rest Day:

Rest. That was Easy!

How to plan a workout schedule for losing weight


Heidi lays it out here in this video on how to plan a workout schedule. She prescribes 3 days of lifting and two cardio workouts.

She outlines three goals:

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Muscle Building

From there she builds a routine of sets and reps based on your goal. Overall, she prescribes doing 2 to 4

Exercises per muscle group, regardless of your goal. She covers warm=ups and goes over exercises specific to each muscle group.

3 Days of Lifting

  • Day 1 Legs/shoulders
  • Day 2 Back and Biceps
  • Day 3 Chest and Triceps
  • 2 Cardio and abs days: Any Cardio, including Zumba, cycling, jogging, elliptical, badminton, ping pong, extreme Frisbee, you get the picture.

As for the abs, she recommends choosing two to four exercises.

Another thing I really like about Heidi’s workout is that it can be done in a gym or a home gym.

Creating this custom workout does not require a trainer, or any money to get going. If you are a student, on a budget, or workout from home, this is one of the best videos I have seen on how to plan a workout schedule.

Don’t neglect Balance!

I love Brenda’s Videos. Period. They are great. This video (below) she covers how to create a balanced workout plan that will assist with weight loss.

The reason I recommend this video is primarily because she emphasized balance so much, which is important, IMO.

Brenda breaks down her routine into 4 sections:

Each section has it’s own purpose. While Brenda’s plan is not as rigid as Heidi’s, nor as intense, it has a lot of value. Not everyone want’s a high intensity workout every day, or even 3 days a week. And that is OK.

It all depends on your personal body goals. If you have a trainer or instructor breathing down your neck to show up to class every day, but you don’t actually like the results you are getting OR the way you feel…

Guess what?

The routine is not working for you!

The 4 Quadrants: Sections

  • Strength and Muscle Building – Tear down and build muscle.
  • Cardio, speed, endurance – Heart, lymph, circulation. Like treadmill, agility ladder, jump rope, cycling, running etc.
  • Flexibility and mobility – Yoga, stretching, band workouts.
  • Recovery Days – Nurture yourself and relax, gentle yin yoga, tai chi etc

Brenda also prescribes zones, and says that you should try and vary zones, or intensities, as needed thru the week.

  • Zone 1 – gentle, relaxing recovery type activities, including tai chi, gentle yoga, stretching and other mild exercises.
  • Zone 2 – may break a sweat and raise heart rate, but still comfortable and maintainable. Think Zumba or light jog, easy bike ride.
  • Zone 3 – pretty intense. Circuit training, HIIT workout, you should be sweating and have an increased heart rate. This zone should be a challenge.
  • Zone 4 – Intense workout, heavy lifting or CrossFit style exercises. These are workout’s that are not sustainable for every day, but need to be included once or twice a week.

So there you have it. As you can see, there are many ways to plan a workout schedule to meet your goals. Try one out and let me know how it goes!