Workout Routines vs Workout Programs vs Workout Plans

The words you use to describe your actions reflect the mental image you hold of that action and your understating of it. Together, your mental image, your understanding, your words and your actions determine the results.

A workout routine is a series of exercises you perform routinely. A workout training routine trains you to do something, to expect something and to experience something.  None of that insures success or even attempts to reach success.

A workout training program is similar to a computer program; you enter data and create relationships between that data, and you expect to get certain results.  The result you get may or may not be beneficial to you personally.

A personal workout plan is the most focused and direct description of an action plan with very specific goals that are meaningful to you.

Let me give you an example of each.

“Jane” has a workout routine that includes Monday yoga, Wednesday 5 miles run and Friday’s an hour and a half with weights doing resistance training. She figures that Yoga is great for flexibility, running is going to improve her cardiovascular health and burn calories, and resistance training is going to give her the strength she needs and help her with bone density.

After a  few months, she realizes that she is neither more flexible nor has more stamina or strength. She had neglected at least a half a dozen physiological requirements to get results even though she had a workout routine she followed religiously.

“John” has a workout program  to build muscle mass. He has heard that he needs to focus on major muscle groups like lats, quads and chest and compound movements like squats, bench press and rows. So his program is focused  mostly on these exercises.

After a few months, John notices that his ankle, his knee and his shoulders are hurting. John had neglected the balance between the large muscle groups and the smaller ones that makes the body function well. He did not realize that squat variations destabilize the knee especially without hamstrings strength. And bench press variations destabilize the shoulders without building the small muscles around the shoulder girdle.

“Monica” had carefully studied workout plans and selected one that matched her goal of losing weight without aggravating her already torn Achilles tendon.

Her plan was in three stages over one year period.  Monica after her Achilles tendon rupture learned that her muscles develop strength much faster than her tendons, and she needed both muscles and tendon strength to perform plyometeric exercises. The painful memory of her surgery and recovery taught her patience.  She would return to plyometeric exercises that  burn a lot of calories, but this time she wanted to be prepared so that she did not damage her joints and tendons without adequate preparation.

She also knew that the muscle density means she would keep the fat burning muscle tissue  much longer, and muscle density also required time.

All parts of Monica’s action plan fit tighter without conflict. Every thing was written down, and she could measure her progress every week.

We’ll revisit the differences between a workout routine, a workout program and a workout plan again. Do you have a workout plan?