You already know that the food you eat plays a big part in weight loss, but having a weekly fitness plan is a critical factor, too.
With all the options out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Maybe you know you should incorporate strength training along with the walks you’re doing, but how often, and when? What about barre, Peloton, and those butt blaster YouTube workouts you love-hate?
What’s in your weekly workout plan depends on your goal. The strategy and routine differs depending on whether you’re training to run a marathon, hike the Grand Canyon, win a tennis match, or simply feel better.
For the purposes of this weekly fitness plan, the goal is general strength and fitness with a lean towards weight loss.
We’re not training for peak performance, we just want to get stronger, feel better, and lose a few pounds.
4 Workout Types in Your Ideal Weekly Fitness Plan
For a long time, popular opinion told us that hours of cardio was the best way to lose weight. We now know that mixing it up with strength training and high intensity training is essential for not only losing weight, but building strength, keeping your body working well, and staving off boredom.
Let’s face it, no one wanted to sit on the elliptical for an hour a day, anyway.
Basically, variety should be your number one focus because it continually challenges your body. When your body is exposed to different stimuli, it continually responds and adapts, giving you the best results.
Instead of doing the same thing every day, here are four main workouts to incorporate into your weekly routine:
- Steady State Training (cardio): 30-60 minutes, twice a week
- Strength Training: 30 minutes, twice a week
- High intensity interval training: 30 minutes, twice a week
- Flexibility Training: 30-60 minutes, 1-2 times a week
Together, these four workout types cover the five biomotor skills:
- Coordination + Balance
- Flexibility + Mobility
Each workout you do will develop a few different biomotor skills, rather than just one. When you do jumping jacks, for example, you’re working coordination, endurance, and balance.
Steady state training primarily works endurance, but can also develop coordination and balance depending on the exercise you're doing. Strength training develops strength, endurance, and coordination. High intensity interval training focuses on speed, endurance, strength, coordination, and balance. Flexibility training primarily develops flexibility, mobility, and balance.
Before I lose you, what you need to know is this. On a weekly basis, challenge your body in different ways: fast + slow, high intensity + low intensity, heavy weight + light weight.
Each of these workouts puts different stressors on your body (in a good way!), so the best weekly workout plan gives you rest from one style as you do the others. Essentially, the rhythm of the week should give you rest from your harder workouts with easier ones.
Here’s what an ideal week looks like:
Monday: high intensity interval training
Tuesday: strength training
Wednesday: steady state
Thursday: high intensity interval training
Friday: strength training
Saturday: flexibility/mobility training + steady state training (yoga/pilates or other fun adventure
This is the routine my fitness and wellness community does each week, together. The exercises and structure of each workout varies, but the style stays consistent.
On weekdays, I write and teach the high intensity and strength workouts live (with a recorded option too) and there’s a Wednesday Run Club. On the weekends, many of the women hike, bike, or do an online yoga routine from the list of our favorites.
[Interested in getting on board? Join the waitlist.]
Don’t go from zero to 6 days a week
If you’ve been thinking about starting a workout routine but are starting near zero, don’t go for 6 days a week next week! This is an ideal weekly fitness plan to work up to over the first six months.
In Week 1, start with your Wednesday steady state, which could be a 30 minute walk, and Saturday flexibility, which could be a 30 minute yoga routine. From there, start adding in a second steady state workout and a high intensity bodyweight workout once a week. From there, gradually move into strength training.
Your body takes time to adapt to workouts, so while it might feel slow in the beginning, you’ll be up to speed in no time.
In a sea of confusing workout advice, I hope this clarifies exactly what you should be doing and when you should be doing it. As always, stay well, listen to your body, and continue challenging yourself to reach a healthier, happier life!