If you're someone who's bookmarked more workout plans than you care to count but struggles to actually get going when it comes to doing them, know this: it's definitely more common than you think.
While wellness steadily growing in popularity since the pandemic is undoubtedly a positive thing, it does mean that knowing where to start can feel like a minefield. Which PT's are actually good? How do you know which workouts you'll enjoy? And do you need to head into a studio, or can you get just as good a session in with a home workout?
All valid questions, which is why we've picked the brains of some of the UK's top PT's for their advice, plus their go-to workout plan for those of you wanting to build your consistency and fitness level from home.
FYI, home workouts can be as effective as gym sessions, according to our pros, if you know how to workout at home. That's where a workout plan comes in - something they believe is key to both success and consistency. "Home workouts have proven to be incredibly effective when designed thoughtfully," shares Gede Foster, personal trainer and Director of Fitness at leading fitness app FIIT. "By programming workouts correctly, you can achieve the desired results. Without needing traditional weights, you can still progress by enhancing your range of motion, experimenting with various time-under-tension techniques, incorporating drop sets, and much more."
Keep scrolling for their go-to weekly workout plan, plus top tips for building your own plan, if you’ve never followed one before. Don't miss our guides to the best cardio workouts, best arm workouts, and simple home workouts, while you're here.
Eager to find a beginner's workout plan you can do from home? Look no further
According to Foster, while this one-week training plan isn't high volume, it does include short, sharp bursts of cardio alongside strength and rebalance classes that will help maintain your gains.
So, what should you expect? Four workouts, ranging from ten to 30 minutes, with a mix of low impact strength training, cardio sessions, and stretching to boost recovery, too. It's suitable for all levels and promises to improve your fitness level if you're a total beginner or maintain your current level if you're someone who worksout more regularly.
Don't worry, you won't need any equipment but a workout mat might come in handy. Look forward to the following:
- Energy shot with personal trainer Sean Kazeb - 10 minutes
- Low impact Metcon with personal trainer Gede Foster - 25 minutes
- Full body stretch with yogi Ritchie Norton - 25 minutes
- Full body strength with personal trainer Chloe Whylie - 30 minutes.
What? A 25-minute long low impact session with Foster designed to work your muscles without putting stress through your joints.
How to? Simply watch the video below as Foster guides you through thre moves.
How long? 25 minutes.
Rest day. If you'd like to incorporate active recovery, head out for a walk or try cycling to work.
What? A full body strength session led by trainer Chloe Whylie.
How to? Whylie will guide you through all your need-to-knows in the video below.
How long? 30 minutes.
Rest day. As above, aim to hit your 10k steps or engage in some active recovery, if possible.
What? A delicious full body stretch guided by Richie Norton. Trust us - you'll feel good after this one.
How to? As with the other videos, Norton shares everything you need to know in the video - simply follow along.
How long? 25 minutes.
What? A short-but-sweet cardio session with trainer Sean Kabaz which will get your blood pumping and your heart rate up in just a few minutes. Be prepared to sweat.
How to? Kabaz will guide you through all your need-to-knows in the video.
How long? 10 minutes.
Why is having a workout plan so important?
The age old question - is having a workout plan really key to success, or is it easier just to listen to your body and do whatever workout you fancy each day?
In Foster's opinion, the former - because random workouts will elicit random results. "Following a well-designed training plan is your compass to success," she stresses. "Not only does it free up your own time, but it places expert knowledge at your fingertips. A structured training plan takes care of crucial aspects such as managing the training load, ensuring steady progression, and allowing for necessary recovery periods, including important deload weeks."
Do note, though: she stresses the importance of a deload week when you are following a set plan. This is simply to make sure your body is recovering adequately and can coninue to progress, rather than risking injury or burnout. "Within your workout plan, don’t overlook the significance of a deload week," she advises. "These breaks are purposefully integrated to provide your body with much-needed recovery. Deload weeks prevent overtraining, reduce the risk of injury and allow your muscles to recuperate."
Shop MC UK's go-to workout kit now:
This Energy bra is a firm favourite in Health Editor Ally Head's workout wardrobe rotation. It's flattering yet functional, offering support for intense weights sessions and cardio alike.
These shorts may be designed for yoga, but they sweat-wick well enough to support you through pretty much any workout. Spin? Weight lifting? Hiking? You're in luck.
What to look for in a workout plan:
Keen to know what to look for in a workout plan? The PT advises considering the following before you get started:
1. Be sure the plan aligns with your goals
Choose a plan that aligns with your specific fitness goals, whether it's fat loss, muscle gain, or overall fitness improvement, recommends the PT. There's no point following a plan purely focused on improving your muscle mass if you want to improve your running time, after all.
2. Read the user reviews
This one's a handy hack. "Pay attention to reviews from individuals who have already followed the plan," she advises. Also ask yourself - do you trust them and do the reviews feel genuine? Often a great place to start is word of mouth - if someone you know has followed a plan and loved it, it should be worth a try.
3. Check the credentials of the trainer
Trust is key when it comes to who you're working out with, as well as having the right qualifications to guide you through your workout.
Foster's advice? "Research the trainer and make sure you verify their experience." Similarly, be wary of influencers on social media who may not have the relevant credentials.
4. Aim for a realistic frequency and length
This one's important - because we've all likely made grand plans to follow a workout plan, only to realise a mere day later that we realistically don't have an hour or more a day to workout. "Consider the plan’s recommended workout frequency and session durations," advises Foster. "It should be realistic and manageable within your current lifestyle - because remember, overcommitting to training can lead to burnout."
Not only that, but it may also put you off doing your sessions. Start small and build from there - that way, the workouts will feel far more appealing.
5. Check the required equipment
Last but by no means least, check the required equipment for a training plan before you sign up or spend money - because trust me when I say, spending your hard earned cash on a plan only to realise you need to spend even more on equipment to actually do it will only end in frustration.
What are good workout plans?
In short, the best workout plan will be whichever one suits your lifestyle and that you can stick to it.
Your end goal is important, too - if you're looking to increase your strength, weight training is the way to go, yet if you're training for a half marathon, you'll need to aim for weekly runs.
At MC UK, we're fans of the workout plans on Fiit, a fitness app which provides individual and weekly, monthly and longer workout plans. There's a whole range on offer which can be tailored to suit your personal workout needs and requirements.
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Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
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