HOW TO CREATE A WORKOUT PLAN IN 5 STEPS

You're ready to reset (or start) your fitness lifestyle and may have purchased a free challenge, hired a trainer, joined a gym after your New Years resolution, yet for some reason, you always end up not following through or giving up halfway.

& then, unfortunately, you repeat this exact same cycle over & over again when you get your "motivation" back.

The reason this happens =  you're not breaking up your goals into workable steps.

Unrealistic goals and a lack of effective time management are the 2 most common reasons most women are not meeting their fitness goals.

The first task I have my clients focus on when we work together is to create SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym for goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. 

Here's an example of a SMART Fitness Action Plan:

S - I'd like to lose 5 - 7 lbs over the next two months. (I need my pants to fit comfortably again!)
M - I'll take progress pictures every 2 weeks
A - I need to work out on my own in addition to our sessions and pay better attention to what I eat.
R - They say you can lose 1-2 lbs a week, so I think it's totally reasonable.
T - By summer I'll be back to my comfortable body weight! (I'm totally ok if I lose more too!)

#1 Create a Realistic Plan

“Complexity is the Enemy of Execution.”  - Tony Robins

I get these questions often: "Do you recommend going to the gym every day?" "Should you rest in between days?"

Before you make your choice, the first thing you have to do is decide that you're actually going to go regardless of your mood.

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The super fit chicks at the gym don’t just work out when they feel like it.

The difference between them and you is that they're disciplined enough to make a plan and follow through regardless of their mood.

Motivation is overrated and it's the one thing that's holding you back.

Here's the tea = NO ONE lives in a constant state of motivation, not even the fitness models on Instagram.

Motivation is temporary + external and depends on other stimuli to make you feel a certain way for a short amount of time.

Sticking to your one goal for an entire month will increase the likelihood that you will succeed and then continue to slay your other goals for the long hall.   Discipline is the bridge between Dreams & accomplishments. What you need is discipline, not motivation.

Research has also proven that writing down goals helps you achieve them.

Once you know what your goals are: WRITE THEM DOWN.

Write it in your phone, board or agenda. Record an alarm, tell mamí, your boyfriend, tía María and everyone else in your life about what you’re GOING to accomplish.

In one of my favorite books, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy writes, "success is not doing 5,000 things really well. Success is doing a half dozen things really well and then doing that 5,000 times. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or aren’t, you need to make up in hard work what you lack in experience, skill, intelligence, or innate ability. If your competitor is smarter, more talented, or experienced, you just need to work three or four times as hard. You can still beat them!”

Spark notes: What matters is CONSISTENCY.

 By your competitor, I'm solely talking about the "OLD you". Pick one goal to start out with and keep a laser focus on one thing at a time. Taking it slow creates a compound effect.

There have been too many times when you start on a goal but fail because you're trying to accomplish too many things at once. Instead of trying to focus on eating and on working out and on buying new clothes AND on trying a new gym — tackle one goal at a time in 4-week increments.

How to Use the Compound Effect in Fitness:

  • Goal #1: Go to the gym consistently for the next 5 days.
  • Goal #2: (After you've completed goal #1) Go to the gym consistently for the next 10 days. 
  • Goal #3: (After you've completed goal #2) Clean out my pantry and use Massi's Clean eating guide to re-stock my fridge. etc.

 #2 Schedule the Time

Consider “gym time” an important business meeting with your flyest self. CEO’s don’t cancel or skip vital meetings because they don’t feel like going and neither should you. 

Resist every urge to cancel on yourself & don’t call out. Put your big girl panties on, sign up and stick to it.Decide what the best time is for physical activity in your schedule. Are you a morning person? Do you like quick workouts? Do you like to exercise outdoors?

Sometimes we're so tired of trying to figure it out on our own and we just want someone to tell us what to do. Take the guesswork out and sign up for a challenge like the ones below:

#3 Partnership is Essential

Too many of ya’ll have been doing the same workout with the same wack gym buddy for months or even years and seeing zero results. 

It’s difficult to view yourself objectively, so you want to find someone (typically a close friend or family member) who's going to keep it super funky  with you.

Your workout partner/buddy will notice your improved endurance, strength, speed etc. and remind you how far you’ve come. This can help keep your motivation high and keep you going for the long haul.Us women, get too caught up in not wanting to look dumb, weak etc. & never ask for help.

BUT LISTEN YA’LL, IF YOUR PARTNER DOESN’T KNOW MORE ABOUT FITNESS THAT YOU DO — YOU’RE GOING ABOUT THIS ALL WRONG.

After the first few weeks, willpower can only get you so far and having the right accountability partner can take your body to places it’s never been physically.

Do you feel like you need that one-on-one care and accountability? Do you need someone to motivate you and show you exactly what you need to do?

A trainer or coach will teach you new workouts, habits and ways to get and stay on track.

They’re professionals and know how to help you target your problem areas. This person will keep you on your toes, give you company and help you when you’re feeling weak. 

After you choose what you’re going to focus on and made a plan go ahead and start doing your research.

Ask people you know to recommend someone who’s worked for them. Google is your friend & so is Facebook!

50% of my clients find me via social media (Instagram and Facebook) and the other 50% are through word of mouth.  & just like dating — sometimes you may need to go through a few bad fitness frogs until you find the right fit for you.

Research around your area, sign up for their free challenges, read their blogs, stalk their Instagram & Snapchats and then sign on with the person you vibe with the most and stop making excuses.

If your budget is tight you can also get yourself a workout buddy. Creating a team aspect will give you some companionship, a sense of support, increased levels of happiness and accountability.

A friend or family member who you want to bring along for the ride should be someone who knows you well and who wants to support this change. If you tell said friend “hey let’s eat some pizza instead” and they agree… Sista’ you’ve got the wrong partner.

You can  also have more than one partner at the same time. If you’re into mixing things up.

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BUYER BEWARE: NOT ALL WORKOUT PARTNERS ARE CREATED EQUAL. BELOW ARE 3 TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORKOUT PARTNER TO GET YOU TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.

  1. Choose a partner who’s at a similar fitness level and has similar attitudes toward fitness and their personal goals.
  2. Choose someone who’s a POSITIVE influence in your life. The kind of person who wants to celebrate your big and small successes. This will help you skip the unnecessary frustration of having a partner who works out too much or not as much as you do. This also allows for greater exercise intensity and consistency. Your partner is not meant to be your competitor. 
  3. Sharing goals, knowledge, and successes should be the basis of your partnership. Remember that your workout buddy may be right under your nose. 

#4 Progress Pictures

Progress pictures is another way of saying before and after pictures.

When it comes to fitness, your own pictures are a highly motivational tracking method & a photo speaks a thousand words (even more than the scale!) 

Mirrors are important, but the naked eye cannot see the small changes in our own bodies because we're looking at ourselves every day. Because weight loss is often slow and incremental, many women can get frustrated with the perceived "lack of results" and then give up. 

A smart way to combat this is to take progress photos from start to finish.

Your weight on the scale might fluctuate, your friends might tell you that you look skinnier but girl progress pictures don’t lie. 

Take a picture the first day. Do this with a sports bra and shorts and good lighting. Take one looking forward, one of each side (right and left — raise your arms up) and of your backside.

Three weeks later, take that same picture in the same location, with the same clothing on.

Put the photos side by side and voila! What you won’t be able to see with your naked eye, you’ll now be able to view via this “Progress Picture.” If you see progress celebrate. If you don’t try to switch something up in your routine.

#5 Break It Down

Decide which body part you want to work on each day. Do you have great legs and want to make them stronger? An awesome backside that you want to get firmer? Do you have a trouble area (bat wings, double chin, cellulite on your butt) that won't go away? Or do you want to lose weight overall?

Too many of us try to take on goals that are way too big or overwhelming.

You didn't gain 30 pounds in 10 days and you won't lose it in 10 days. Back to step #1, make a realistic plan.

Take the 1st week to focus on choosing your plan and then break it up into little chunks. Your 2nd week, focus on your eating habits. Continue to go to the gym, on the days you’ve scheduled and go to the grocery store to restock your cupboard and fridge with healthy food swaps.

Begin to tailor each day as a chance to work on something different. Let’s say you want to lose overall body fat, you want to break down each day to reach your goal.

BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW I PLAN MY CLIENT'S WEEKLY WORKOUTS:

  • Monday: Leg/Glutes — deep hip stretching
  • Tuesday: Cardio
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Upper Body/Abs
  • Friday: Yoga
  • Saturday: Bootcamp/Cycling or another group fitness class
  • Sunday: Rest

Do What Works for You

NOT your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or your tía Juana. This isn’t about anyone else. When you copy others you end up messing up your own body and flow trying to keep up with something that wasn’t meant for you in the first place!

This is not a sprint. This is a marathon. If you go full speed at the start, you’re more likely to collapse before you get to the finish line. Slow and steady wins the race.

Extra Tips

Click here to take my free 8-day challenge:  Are you still struggling to see results? Don't know what to eat? Or what workouts to do? This 8-day challenge will address the biggest struggles you face when it comes to seeing results. Learn how to tone up, eat healthier, workout in less time + finally get resultsEach day there will be a video + email with 8 classes in 8 days to help you to #slay.

Try something local. Sometimes we waste too much time thinking about the perfect exercise instead of trying something new and just going for it. Join a group fitness class in your city. You can go to your local gym and ask them if they offer free classes for first timers or for guests of current members. If you live in or around Lynn you can try my Zumba® class or the KM Outdoor Bootcamp.

On a tight budget. Can’t seem to find something interesting? You can try searching via Groupon or Living Social. They give you discounted deals on food, travel, gyms and more. This is a great cost effective option.

Practice Makes Progress. Running, spinning, swimming, biking, jogging, group fitness, Bootcamp — running up the hill near your home. The World is your oyster. Pick one activity and go for it. Practice it consistently and I guarantee that you will improvement, over time.

How you feel about yourself is what matters most of all.

  • "I don't know how to use the machines."
  • "I have no upper body strength."
  • "The gym is intimidating."
  • "I’m not athletic."
  • "I hate running."
  • " What's the point? Every time I try I always give up!”

Any of these sound familiar?

Notice how the voice in your head will do anything to keep you from changing. 

You are the most important person in this equation. Don’t be shy to check yourself out. Use the mirror as a tool, not a crutch. To test it, use your reflection as a tool to help see progress throughout your personal fitness journey. Regardless of how small you perceive that change to be.

You have the power to change, to be unique and to reach your highest potential. Now go out there and get it done!

[Important]: I’d love to hear from you. What's one new tip you learned from this post that you're going to implement this week? 

The comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there! Much love and respect 💖 — Masiel Encarnación