Workout Program Template

Workout Program Template

We’ve put together 2 really simple exercise program templates.

Workout program template

  1. The Australian exercise standards
  2. Intensity determines volume and frequency
  3. Planning your week around recovery

There are literally 1000’s of ways to put together a weekly workout routine with each having its own pros and cons. There is no shortage of workout program templates out there either. The best training program template is always going to be the one that works for you. The program should fit your schedule, keep you interested, keep you moving forward and of course keep you healthy. The article you are about to read is not going to be specific to you, it is going to be aimed at the average adult that is looking to stay in a good physical condition. The recommendations will be based on the Australian government’s physical activity guidelines, as well as current recommendations from leading strength and conditioning researchers. We’ve provided a few different exercise program templates below that you can use.

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The Australian Physical Activity Guidelines

The Australian government’s physical activity guidelines suggest that adults (18-64) should be active on most, if not all days of the week. This should include 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (or a combination of both). Moderate-intensity exercise can be anything from walking the dogs to swimming or cycling at a moderate pace. Whilst vigorous-intensity exercise refers to activities such as jogging or running, resistance training and competitive sports games such as soccer or basketball. 

Muscular strength is another key priority with the guidelines suggesting that all adults should be performing two muscle-strengthening activities per week. Muscle-strengthening activities are those that place high stress on the muscular system, causing muscle fibres to adapt and grow. Resistance training with bodyweight, free weights, resistance bands or machines, as well as dynamic exercise such as dancing, running and jumping can all be used to strengthen the muscular system. It is important to note that the muscle-strengthening activities listed can be extremely taxing on the body and therefore appropriate rest and recovery are required between bouts. We’ve taken this into account within our workout regime template below.

Planning Your Week With Recovery

The harder your workout, the longer it will take you to recover. That is a pretty simple assumption to make and one that is usually correct. When looking at the physical activity guidelines, there are at least two high-intensity muscle-strengthening sessions throughout the week. After a resistance training session, it will take between 48-72 hours for your muscles to recover sufficiently and therefore it is best to plan your sessions with 2 days in between. If you only wanted to spend 2 days on muscle-strengthening, the best option would be to do 2 full-body sessions with at least 48 hours between bouts. The other option you have is to segregate your muscle groups into different sessions. You could train your upper body muscles one day and lower body muscles the next. This will allow you to train more frequently at higher intensities. Many gym-goers will perform a 4-day split where they train upper body on a Monday and Thursday and lower body on a Tuesday and Friday, providing the muscles with sufficient rest between sessions. We’ve provided a workout program template for each option below.

Low to moderate-intensity exercise, on the other hand, can be performed every day. Those who are constantly on the move at work will already tick off their moderate-intensity minutes, but for those that find themselves in an office daily, it is suggested that you find time to get yourself moving. That might be an hour’s walk every morning or evening, or if you’re strapped for time, it could be a  30 minute, high-intensity bike session. Again, just be mindful that the higher the intensity, the greater the recovery required.

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Putting It All Together: Our 2 example workout program templates

Below I have provided two weekly workout program templates. The first is for those looking to improve their general health, whilst the second puts a focus on muscle development. It is important to keep your exercise interesting and fun. Remember that you are not limited to any particular type of exercise or regime, you need to find what works for you!

Workout program template option 1:

MONDAY: Strength day (1 hour)

TUESDAY: Walk (1 hour)

WEDNESDAY: Run/cycle/swim/sport (30-60 minutes)

THURSDAY: Walk (1 hour)

FRIDAY: Strength day (1 hour)

SATURDAY: Run/cycle/swim/sport (30-60 minutes)

SUNDAY: Walk (1-2 hours)

Workout program template option 2:

MONDAY: Upper body strength (1 hour)

TUESDAY: Lower body strength (1 hour)

WEDNESDAY: Walk (1 hour)

THURSDAY: Upper body strength (1 hour)

FRIDAY: Lower body strength (1 hour)

SATURDAY: Walk (1-2 hours)

SUNDAY: Run/cycle/swim/sport (30-60 minutes)

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