Whenever I am asked how to keep up with a regular weightlifting and cardio exercise routine, I always tell people the same thing – make workout charts for any kind of exercise you wish to perform.
I always start my workout program with weight training. I make up a chart with all of the exercises that I want to do in order to work out each of my muscle groups. Then I organize them into different days of the week.
What I have discovered is that workout charts really help you keep to task, and typically you start to see results within just a few weeks.
A friend decided to follow my advice, and told me that within a month he had noticeable muscle growth and had slimmed down as well. He had actually dropped a total of 15 pounds, and was pretty cut. He told me that keeping a workout chart really allowed him to see watch his progress, which made him want to challenge himself that much more.
I had another friend who strictly wanted to work on losing weight. She had gained about 20 pounds with a recent pregnancy, and was having a difficult time taking it off. I recommended that she create a workout chart that included a place for the number of minutes she exercised every day as well as her weight every morning.
While it is not part of most workout charts, I also recommended that she keep a food journal of everything she took in. She had taken off all of the weight she gained in about three months, and said having the chart to follow made her keep diet and exercise a part of her daily routine.
Workout charts can really provide a good incentive to stick with exercise and fitness programs. I believe that we as humans naturally want to improve ourselves, and if we can see something on a daily basis that shows us whether or not we are making improvements, we are far more likely to discipline ourselves than if we just sporadically run or lift weights a couple of times a week.
One big advantage of workout charts is that they provide an accurate timeline of what exercises you have performed, which can really help if you experience a plateau with weight loss or if you are no longer noticing the gains from weightlifting you once did.
It may sound like a very simple solution, but workout charts have been a part of my exercise regimen since day one, and I have never had a problem keeping up with my workout. It makes your routine more structured, you generally see better results and, for me, it gives a better sense of accomplishment.