Go into the gym with a plan

I was at the gym this morning and overheard two guys talking as they were walking out onto the floor.

"What do you want to lift today?" the first guy asked his friend.

"I don't know. Arms?" his friend responded with a shrug.

I have no idea how their workout went, or if they even ended up working out arms. I went back to my own business, but that short exchange made me pause and think about how important it is to go into the gym with a plan.

Look, many guys I know who have struggled to find time to get into the gym have done so because they were not diligent about planning out what they would do once they actually got to the gym.

For many of my personal training clients, this is one of the greatest underlying reasons for why they signed up to work with me in the first place - they wanted a detailed, thought-out plan that they could follow. By not having to come up with their daily workout plan themselves, it become one less hurdle they had to overcome on their way to creating a fitness habit.

But if you don't work with a trainer, be sure that you put in the time and effort to create a plan for how you are going to use your time at the gym. Think about things like:

  • What are my goals?
  • How much time do I have?
  • What exercises do I want to do?
  • What body parts will I focus on?
  • What will make me feel like I got in a good workout.

I often hear the cliche phrase, "The only bad workout is the one you didn't do."

I get the intention behind this - that the act of simply getting in the gym and moving and being active is better than not doing anything at all - but I refuse to subscribe to the logic that simply showing up is acceptable. You should approach each and every workout with intentionality, with a goal in mind, and with a desire to make improvement over the previous day.

By going into a workout without a plan, you risk wasting time and undermining your progress.

You want to be a fit dad? Be intentional about the effort you expend. Don't use up the precious energy you have on a wasted workout.

Have a plan. And plan for success.

Need a plan? Try my free eight-week muscle-building guide, Project Size.