How to Design a Weight Loss Workout Plan


Things You'll Need

  • Calendar
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Exercise mat
  • Light weights
Woman stretching
Woman stretching (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Getting in shape, for most people, involves losing weight and toning muscles. Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise should be incorporated at the same time, since each facet of the plan relies on the other for an optimal chance of success. Designing your workout plan for weight loss allows you to customize your plan to your own individual taste, schedule and needs.

Step 1

Decide how exercise will fit into your daily schedule. For weight loss, 250 minutes per week of exercise is ideal, according to This could be 50 minutes per day, five days per week, or 35 minutes per day on all seven days during the week. According to "Body for Life," exercising in the morning on an empty stomach will provide the most reliable and consistent weight loss results.

Person standing on scale
Person standing on scale (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 2

Plan to incorporate equal amounts of aerobic activity and strength training at every workout session. Schedule the aerobic portion first so that you will continue to burn calories at a higher rate during the strength training portion.

Step class
Step class (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 3

Identify the type of aerobic activity you prefer. Exercising along with a dance video, jogging, and using an in-home stair stepper or treadmill are all options for your aerobic exercise.

Woman doing sit up's in front of TV
Woman doing sit up's in front of TV (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 4

Create separate strength training plans for the upper and lower body; add abdominal exercises to each. You should have at least one strength exercise for each of the major muscle groups. For instance, bicep curls and tricep extensions work your arms, while squats and lunges work the glutes, calves, and thighs.

Woman doing squats
Woman doing squats (Image: JTPhoto/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Step 5

Perform eight repetitions of each exercise in order to determine how many sets of eight reps you can fit into a workout.

Woman exercising outside
Woman exercising outside (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Step 6

Alternate between upper and lower body workouts on consecutive days of the week. For example, if you do the upper body workout on Monday, schedule the lower body workout for Tuesday.

Woman doing sit ups with exercise ball
Woman doing sit ups with exercise ball (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • You can pick up some great ideas for exercises to include in your workout by checking out the fitness channels offered by your cable provider.
  • Writing down your workout schedule keeps you from forgetting the exercises and also motivates you to complete each step. Checking off your list is a satisfying process.
  • In order to avoid injury, make sure that you know exactly how to perform each exercise. Don't lift heavy weights without a workout partner.


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