How to create a strength-training plan!

I hate to cause a panic but in case you haven’t realized…


4 months till summer! Time to start!


I saw this on Pinterest yesterday and it cracked me up because personally, the fact that summer is just around the corner, has definitely had an impact on my motivation at the gym the last couple of weeks.

Speaking of Pinterest, if you check out my Fitness – Don’t Lift Like a Girl board, you will notice a LOT of  strength training pins (and that’s not even including my four other fitness boards!)

You may have similar types of fitness boards, and if you’ve read through all the different advice on how to get in shape, your head is probably spinning and you’re probably totally overwhelmed about where to begin!

After going through all my pins one night and weeding out the duds, I started to think about the simplest way to create a daily workout plan!

I decided that the most helpful, are the posters that show different exercises for each of the following muscle groups: 

  • Shoulders
  • Biceps and forearms
  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Abs
  • Stretching

Here are the posters.  I’m not sure where they originated but I found them all on sale at

Shoulder Workout

Shoulder WorkoutBicep and forearm workoutBicep and forearm workoutTriceps workoutTriceps workoutChest WorkoutChest WorkoutBack workoutBack workoutLeg workoutLeg workoutAbdominal workoutAbdominal workoutWeight Training StretchesWeight Training Stretches

Have you seen these? I think they are great! Since I have them all pinned on pinterest, I am able to refer to them from my phone at the gym.

So how can you use these posters to create a workout plan?

  1. Decide how many days per week you are going to work out.
  2. Decide which muscle groups you will work out each workout day.
  3. Choose exercises from each poster.  (There are about 8 options per poster. How many different exercises you will do per muscle group really depends on how much time and energy you have for each workout. )

And that’s about it!

I’m definitely not an expert but here are some things I think are important to remember when scheduling your workout:

  • If you are planning on working out every day, I personally believe that you should have a day of rest after working out a muscle group before you work it out again.  (Example: Don’t work your arms out every day! Give those muscles about 48 hours to rest and recover before working them again. If you work arms and chest and upper back one day, you could work your legs and lower back the next day.)
  • I also believe that you should work out opposing muscle groups on the same day to create balance.  (Example, on bicep day, you should also work out your triceps.  If you are working on strengthening your chest, you should also work on your upper back that day.)
  • Try to work out every muscle group at least two times each week.
  • Every workout should start with a warm up of at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stretch the muscles you worked out after every workout.  Stretching feels so good and I consider it one of the best post-workout rewards!

My weekly workout goal is to work out 6 days a week for about an hour and a half each day. Here is an example of how I schedule my workouts:

  • Monday: Chest, Back (upper), Cardio
  • Tuesday: Legs, Back (lower), Abs, Cardio
  • Wednesday: Biceps and forearms, Triceps, Shoulders, Cardio
  • Thursday: Legs, Back (lower), Abs, Cardio
  • Friday: Chest, Arms, Back (upper), Cardio
  • Weekend: I’m a runner so I like to take Saturday off for a rest day, and then do a long run on Sunday and possibly get a 3rd Ab workout in for the week.

If you can only work out a few days a week, there are other options.  For example, if you can only work out Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you could do a full body workout each day, choosing a couple exercises from each poster.  

You could also alternate each days workout between an upper body one day and lower body the next.  That type of schedule is good if you can work out 4 days a week.

There is a LOT more to say about strength training, cardio and running that I will cover in future posts.  The purpose of this article was to help you get started creating a workout plan that’s right for you.

Of course, there are also a lot more exercises out there. These posters are a good starting point.  They provide a good variety of different exercises that can be used by beginners and also people who know their way around a weight room.  You can always add other exercises to your routine later, to keep things fun and interesting.

Again, I am not an expert by any means.  These points are based on my personal experience.  You should definitely check with your doctor before you start any exercise routine and make sure your workout fits your personal needs!

Hopefully this article has shown you how easy it is to create your own workout.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Are you a fan of strength training and free weights?  If you have a current strength training plan, what does it look like? Do you have any questions or suggestions I may not have thought of?

Also, if you were motivated to create a plan after reading this post, please let me know and maybe even post a sample of your schedule in the comments!

I can’t wait to hear about your workout!

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  1. I particularly enjoy strength training vs. cardio. However, I never can seem to stick to it for very long! I hate making excuses, but it seems I always have one. And lately it seems like I just plain forget to get to the gym (I hate paying the monthly dues and then don’t go!). Thanks for the reminder!


    1. I hear you on the excuses! Which are the ones that seem to get you most?

      I go every morning at 5am. My goal is to go everyday, Monday thru Friday, but I have a hard time getting to sleep early enough so I’m usually exhausted when my alarm goes off at 4:15.
      My big excuse is usually that I just need my sleep!

      The fact is, though, that once I get into the bright lights of the gym and put some high energy tunes on, I feel a lot more awake!

      Confession: This was actually the first week in a long time that I went all 5 days! I think with the approaching of summer and this post I just wrote, I am trying harder to persevere! I want to see if I stay consistent if I will see some real results!

      As far as the gym dues… I totally hear you! I’m fortunate to have a community fitness center that only charges $150 for the year! You should see if you have a similiar option where you live.

      Thanks so much for your comment!!


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