Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Creating Your Home Workout Plan

Congratulations! You've taken the first step and decided to add exercise to your lifestyle. Starting any new workout plan is a challenge, especially if you are working out at home. Without a trainer and expensive equipment, it can be difficult to know how to approach a new fitness plan. What exercises should you do? How hard should you work? When will you be "done?" The good news is that your home workout plan can be just as safe and effective as the gym without the expense an inconvenience of a membership. Before you make your workout plan, consider these five questions to help you make the plan that is most likely to help you succeed.

1. How much time do you want to devote to your workout?

An effective workout takes time, but not as much time as you may think. Historically, people looking to lose fat and gain fitness have spent hours pounding away on the treadmill to reach their goals. However, this is a very inefficient approach to fitness. With interval training, incorporating bursts of high-intensity exercise with lower-intensity rests, you can achieve your goals in a much shorter time. If you don't want to spend an hour or more every day on your workout, this approach is for you.

2. Are you willing to alter your diet?

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you work in your home gym, to get the results you want, you will need to eat right. If your goal is to lose weight, 70% of your results come from your diet. Make the commitment to yourself to fix your diet and eat lean meats, fruits and vegetables, a little good fat, and no sugar, and your results will come much more quickly.

3. What equipment do you have available?

It is completely possible to get a great workout using only body weight exercises. If you have weights or other equipment at home, feel free to use them, but they are not strictly needed. If you don't have gym equipment in your home, a few inexpensive items like a stability ball, a kettle bell, or resistance bands may prove useful. Design your home workout plan around what you have, and add pieces of equipment over time as you find that you need them.

4. Where is your starting point?

Are you semi-athletic and carrying a few extra pounds? Quite athletic and looking to take your game to the next level? Have you been sedentary for years and are starting from zero? Take this into account when you plan your home workout. If you are a fitness newcomer, start with cardio and scale your workouts so that you are working at high intensity but not hurting yourself. If you are already an athlete, consider adding weight or increasing the intensity of your work.

5. What are your goals?

Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or look better naked? Do you feel the need to finish a 10k race or a half marathon? You will want to design your workout with an emphasis on general fitness, and then add the types of cardio and strength training that will make you better at the things that are most important to you.

Keep all of these questions in mind as you plan your home workout. For more guidance to help you take the guesswork out of building an effective, efficient home program, visit You don't need the gym when you are committed to your home workout plan.


Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise program, you should consult your physician.