When To (and Not To) Stick to an Exercise Program
These days, many exercise programs come with detailed schedules that guide you day-by-day through the
workouts, as well as the meal plans.
This, of course, is great. You never have to worry what exercise to do or what to eat. It’s all laid out for
But do you always have to follow those schedules?
If you want to see results by the end of the program … yes. But, then again, not always.
The best rule of thumb is to stick with the program. They are designed by professional trainers, and they’ve
been tested on dozens (if not hundreds) of people.
Note: I wrote before on some tips for sticking with an exercise program.
But there are times when it’s okay to deviate from what’s laid out. Here are a few of those:
When Its Ok To Deviate:
– The diet doesn’t suit you. Sometimes what you get in the meal plan isn’t your thing. This is especially
true if you are a vegan or a vegetarian (although some programs now include separate plans for you plant-
lovers). If you need to adjust the meals, stick as close to the original as possible, especially when it
comes to the total calories and protein/carb/fat amounts.
– Your schedule is tight. If a program asks you to work out twice a day, but your job has crazy hours, you
have two options. Find another program that fits your schedule, or cut back on the workouts. If you cut back,
you might not see results as quickly. If you choose another program, look for one that’s more intense, but
with shorter workouts.
– You don’t have the equipment. That’s a tough one. Many workouts aren’t the same without free weights or
resistance bands. You can try improvising equipment (water jugs filled with sand or water for free weights),
or finding similar exercises that focus more on body weight resistance. Or even choose a low-equipment
If Time Is An Issue
One such program that I’ve talked about before is the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. This is one of those programs that has everything pretty much laid out for you—both exercise and meals—which is great.
But even better, the workouts are only 30 minutes long. So if time is an issue for you, this might be a good
program to look at.
This seems to be the magical number. I’ve been going through P90X3 in the last few weeks (since its big launch in December). The workouts here are tough but also designed to be completed in 30 minutes. Another program with 30-minute workouts is Focus T25, if you prefer Shaun T as your trainer on the screen.
Never before have workouts been easier to fit into a busy modern lifestyle. These workouts are all designed by professionals who have meticulously tested the results on hundreds of people from all walks of life. It has been proven that the most effective period of the workout is in the first half hour anyway, so take full advantage and try one of these modern programs out.
So whatever your dietary requirements or time restraints, you can tailor a solution to fit your lifestyle, and workouts like Jillian Michaels, P90X3 or Focus T25 are all great structures to build your own solution around.