How do I Create a Weight Training Schedule?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

A weight training schedule is a great way to stick to a specific program to either build strength, muscle, or general fitness. In order to create a weight training schedule, it is important to first set out goals and to then develop a program that will allow for the realization of those goals. For someone looking for a weight training schedule that will allow for general fitness and weight loss, a program of multiple repetitions — 15 or more — of light weights is important. For someone who is looking for a weight training schedule that will build muscle, then training with heavier weights with five to ten repetitions is the way to go. Finally, those looking to develop a weight training schedule that will improve strength in existing muscles, lifting very heavy weights at just a few repetitions each time is the generally advised method.

Weight lifting and engaging in a healthier diet are crucial parts of weight training programs.
Weight lifting and engaging in a healthier diet are crucial parts of weight training programs.

Once the type of training, as described above, has been selected, a weight training schedule can be mapped out. When mapping out a schedule, one must schedule workout times that work reasonably around work, family, and social commitments. Scheduling workout sessions that begin at 4 AM on every other weekday is probably an unrealistic goal, except for people who work a night shift and get off work shortly before then or people who happen to get up in the early mornings every day. It is also important to allow for rest. For short periods of time, the muscles can be trained every day, but for year-round training, the muscles should be given a rest every other day at the minimum.

The key to effective weight training lies in the number of repetitions that are done.
The key to effective weight training lies in the number of repetitions that are done.

For those who want to work out every day, a split weight training schedule can be followed. This means that on one day a certain part of the body, such as the upper body, will be trained. The following day the upper body will be allowed to rest and the lower body will be trained. Even with this type of split training, it is a good idea to have at least one day of rest per week to allow the body to recover.

In order to stick to a weight training schedule and to chart progress, it might be useful to keep a daily log of which muscles were trained, the number of reps, and the weight that was lifted, pushed, or pulled. Some weight training programs even come with pre-packaged logs that will allow people following the program to track their progress. Personal trainers can also help in terms of maintaining these kinds of logs.

Calendars can help with the creation of a schedule.
Calendars can help with the creation of a schedule.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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