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Last week we began discussing at-home workout regimens, and specifically, how best to ensure you’re seeing the results you want for the effort you’re already putting in. But what about those of you who aren’t sure how to get started?

Let me help by revealing THE SECRET SAUCE.

Before you respond, “Kate, it’s just thousand island dressing,” let me first point out that program design can’t be squeezed out of a bottle as a one-size-fits-all solution, despite what a handful of popular boutique fitness studios may try to tell you.

In fact, I’ve listed 5 simple steps below to help get you on the right track, which are customizable for every person and every goal. These steps include a handful of design fundamentals that the training staff use each and every day at RallySport. Let’s get started!

 P.S. It is my hope that you’ll read this and feel empowered to ask your trainer more questions, to get more involved in the planning process, and to ultimately feel more accountable to the hard work you’re putting in each and every week

Step 1:  What’s the ask?

Specifically, what is your SMART goal. Write it down and put it in a place where you’re going to see it – regularly. When I’m training for a race? I put a note on the top tube of my bike in order to keep that goal top of mind. For the purposes of this newsletter, let’s use an example:

 Example: I want Michelle Obama arms.

 Step 2:  List your exercises.

The term “specificity” is one that you’ll hear trainers often use. Essentially, it’s a fancy way of saying that if you want to get better at something, you have to train “that thing” specifically. Yup – literally that simple. So, let’s make a list of movements that will help us hit our example goal of great arms:

 Key at-home movements:

– Bicep curls 
– Push-ups 
– Triceps Kickbacks 
– Lateral Shoulder Raises
– TRX/Band “Palms Up” Row
– Hand Plank

Step 3: Create your schedule.

How often can you commit to working on this and what times… specifically? And don’t tell me that you’re going to do push-ups on the floor while watching TV. Routine is important, and setting aside a dedicated, focused time is critical. I schedule my workouts on my appointment calendar around my regular personal training clients to make sure I hold a dedicated spot.

If you want to maintain current fitness, I recommend 2 times/week on non-consecutive days. If you want to make changes/improvements, I recommend 3-4+ times/week depending on experience.

Step 4:  What’s the plan?

You’ve picked your days/times, now… let’s breakdown what exactly we’re going to do.  Here are some example layouts based upon our goal:

2 Days/Week is fairly simple:

Tuesday

-All Movements

Thursday

-All Movements

3-4 Days/Week can have some variety. For Day 4 (not shown), I would personally add an additional “All Movements” Day.

Monday

Push-ups
TRX/Band “Palms Up” Row
Lateral Shoulder Raises

Wednesday

Bicep Curls
Triceps Kickbacks
Hand Plank

Friday

All Movements

Step 5:  The bits and pieces.

The bits and pieces are the training variables – warm-up sets, weight, reps, number of sets, recovery time between sets, intensity, and this list goes on… and on. But here’s what you should have learned from last week’s reading:

1. You must warm-up.
2. You should aim to perform each movement with your best available range of motion.
3. You need to occasionally lift to muscular fatigue (change comes from “good” stress!).
4. You need to occasionally vary your sets and/or reps and/or intensity.
5. You should do your research (Youtube is awesome for demos) or reach out to a Certified Personal Trainer at RallySport if you’ve got questions. We’re here to help!