Daily Workout Schedules

Exercise daily to form a habit

Daily workout schedules are a great way to make sure you stick to your exercise plans. Having a fitness routine that becomes a daily habit is usually more thoroughly reinforced and successful than workout plans that only call for exercise two or three times a week. Working out everyday also allows you to exercise for a shorter amount of time than if you worked out fewer times per week. Exercise also gives you energy throughout the day and by working out daily, you can maximize this effect to your benefit.

Sample Daily Workout Schedules

The key to creating a daily workout plan is to keep in mind your fitness goals. Here you will find daily workout schedules for those who want to lose weight, bulk up or just maintain general health.

Weight Loss

Working out to lose weight requires a different strategy than working out to bulk up or maintain general health. There are two main types of workouts that you'll need to engage in: strength training and cardio.

Strength Training

  • When to Train

The American College of Sports Medicine dictates that muscles need at least 48 hours of rest in between workouts. This gives your muscles time to recuperate and grow bigger from the stress of the previous workout. Since your muscles need this rest, you should only engage in strength training three times per week, with at least 48 hours in between workout sessions.

  • How Much to Do

For fat loss, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing one to three sets of 10-12 reps. It's also very important that you use enough weight so that by the end of your last set, your muscles are fatigued. After a while your muscles will become used to the amount of weight you're lifting and you then must increase the weight accordingly.

  • Types of Exercises to Do

You'll want to do at least one exercise per major muscle group, which equals about eight to ten exercises. Here are the major muscle groups and some ideas on how to exercise them:

  1. Chest - Bench press, chest press machine or pushups
  2. Shoulders - Overhead press and lateral raise
  3. Back - One-armed row, seated row machine or back extensions
  4. Triceps - Tricep extensions, dips, kickbacks
  5. Biceps - Bicep curls and hammer curls
  6. Abdominals - Crunches, reverse crunches, oblique twists, pelvic tilts
  7. Quadriceps - Squats, lunges, leg extension and leg press machines
  8. Hamstrings - Deadlifts, lunges, leg curl machine

Another general rule of thumb is that you want to work the larger muscle groups first before moving on to the smaller ones. For instance, you'll want to exercise the bigger leg muscle groups, such as the quadriceps and hamstrings, before exercising the smaller arm muscle groups such as the biceps and triceps.

Cardio

A big component of exercising to lose weight is cardio. Cardio workouts burn calories and help you shed pounds in addition to being very healthy for your heart. You should do cardio a minimum of three times a week for at least 30 minutes. However, it's preferable that you do a cardio workout at least 30 minutes every day that you do not strength train. There are many ways to get in cardio, including:

  1. Walking, jogging or running on a treadmill or outdoors
  2. Biking
  3. Aerobics classes
  4. Kayaking or canoeing
  5. Yard work

Muscle Building

Your daily workout routine will have to include more strength training if your goal is to build muscle and bulk up. In general, you'll want to strength train every 48 hours, just after your muscles have recovered from the last workout. Also, instead of just doing one exercise per muscle group, you'll want to strive to do at least two or three exercises per group.

Most importantly, you'll want to only do three sets of six to eight reps. Although this is less than what's recommended to lose weight, the key here is to do less with more weight. You should barely be able to finish your last set and as soon as your muscles become adjusted, you should use even more weight. This is the best way to build up muscle mass. If you're seeking to bulk up, you should still do cardio at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes to maintain heart health.

Maintenance

If you're completely satisfied with your physique and only want to maintain it, then you should strength train by doing one to three sets of 12 to 16 reps at a weight that is challenging but comfortable to you.You should also continue to do cardio workouts at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes, as it's essential for heart health.

Using Daily Schedules

Your next step is to sit down and create a daily schedule that incorporates these guidelines and your goals. It will take some getting used to, but after a few weeks working out can become as much of a daily habit as eating breakfast.

Daily Workout Schedules