Create a Daily/Weekly Schedule


weekly planner

The importance of staying organized and scheduling your workouts in advance cannot be stressed enough. By creating a daily and weekly schedule, you keep yourself motivated, stay focused and are in a better position to determine goals and measure your results.

When people are successful in an aerobic training program, one of the primary reasons is that they used a daily and weekly schedule to plan their success.

You can be as detailed as you want when you create your own schedule. Be aware, though, that the more detailed you are when you plan your sessions, the more likely it will be that you are better prepared to achieve your goals.

If you keep an exercise log or journal, your daily and weekly schedule can be incorporated as an integral part of that log or as a separate journal in and of itself.

Why Plan Ahead?


There are several key benefits to planning your workouts in advance:

  1. Time: During your week, you may feel yourself a bit stretched for time. If you plan all of your workouts ahead of time, you will find that you are more able to fit them into your hectic schedule than you thought.

  2. Setting Goals: If you set an aggressive goal at the end of the month, your workout sessions should reflect the achievement of that goal. If you have a chart that shows exactly when you will be exercising and notice that there may not be enough sessions or time each session, you can quickly adjust your schedule.

  3. Staying Focused: By planning ahead, you know exactly what you would like to do and when you would like to do it. One of the worst things you can do with your workout program is to only exercise when the mood strikes you. A schedule can let you focus on your program.

  4. Staying Motivated: By adhering to a daily or weekly schedule, you may find that you are staying motivated between and during each scheduled session. Looking at a large portion of your schedule can help you to imagine what it will feel like to be at the end of the week with a solid week of exercise behind you.

  5. Working With Your Partner: If you do not set your exercise schedule ahead of time, working with and exercise partner can be a nightmare. Chances are that you and your partner's daily schedule varies greatly. By keeping your schedule and encouraging your partner to do the same, coordinating schedules can be made much easier.

When to Make Your Schedule


Ideally, your schedule should be made well enough ahead of time to allow for any other scheduling that you need to do but not so soon as to prevent you from a little freedom to change things up should another commitment arise. While you are in the midst of your first schedule, you should already be thinking of your next week's schedule. If you would like to begin your next week's exercise on Monday, consider scheduling the entire next week on the Saturday beforehand.

By waiting until the two days prior to your next week of exercise, you also allow for adjustments based on your performance during your previous week. You may have found that you did not feel challenged enough and should use longer sessions or an extra workout day. Alternately, you may find that your week was a little too ambitious and decide to reduce your schedule a little bit. Give yourself time to adjust but not too much time as to prevent other commitments from falling into place.

Scheduling Your Workouts


When you decide to sit down and plan your next week or exercise, try to incorporate as much detail as you can. However, your schedule is not the place to list each individual exercise that you will do. Save your exercise list for your exercise log. A schedule should be detailed enough to make sense but not so detailed that you cannot get the picture from just a glance. Provided here is an example of a 1 week schedule:

mountain biking

Sunday: Aerobic Exercise

  • Warm-up: 3:40 pm

  • Stretch: 3:50 pm

  • Session: 4:00-5:30 pm

Note: Pick up Tom (partner) on the way to the gym.


Monday: Aerobic Exercise

  • Warm-up: 3:40 pm

  • Stretch: 3:50 pm

  • Session: 4:00-5:30 pm


Tuesday: OFF


Wednesday: Strength Training

  • Warm-up: 5:40 pm

  • strength training
  • Stretch: 5:50 pm

  • Session: 6:00-7:00 pm

Note: Remember to bring knee wraps and weight belt!!


Thursday: Aerobic Exercise

  • Warm-up: 3:40 pm

  • Stretch: 3:50 pm

  • Session: 4:00-5:30 pm


    Friday: OFF


    Saturday: OFF

    When looking at the above schedule, it is pretty simple to see that the schedule is fairly well structured. Notice how the workouts are at the same time of the day except for Wednesday, which is only an hour behind. It is important, when you make your schedule, to schedule your sessions at around the same time every day to give your muscles and joints enough time to rest.

    The person in the above example decided to include a few notes about their workout as reminders. This is a great idea as long as they are short and to the point. In addition, the person in the example decided to use one of their sessions as a strength training session. This is an essential thing to include on your schedule so that you are prepared for the workout ahead.

    Making Your Own Schedule


    When you actually make your own schedule, make sure that it is:

    1. Designed for YOU. Do not try to use someone else's schedule as it will most likely create a conflict with your daily personal lifestyle and schedule.

    2. Lined up with your log. Your schedule should look like a summary of your log.

    3. Not too ambitious/easy.

    4. weight training log
    5. On paper. If you type your schedule, print it out and hang it somewhere visible.

    6. Open for other scheduling. You may need to change it later.

    Many people use a dry erase board on their wall to schedule their workouts. If you do not mind purchasing a few markers and a dry erase board, this can be a great way to keep your schedule without wasting paper.

    Just be sure that you also write your workouts in your log so that you do not forget when you exercised later in your program.