Whether you are looking to customize your workouts, address your own particular weaknesses or you accidentally forgot your latest workout from the pages of Men’s Fitness at home, having the knowledge to design your own training program can really be empowering and make you feel like you know your way around the gym. All it takes is a little bit of thought and a willingness to follow some guidelines.
Set a Goal
First thing’s first. You have to figure out what your goal is. And just in case you forgot why you started training in the first place, it’s probably to accomplish one of three things—getting stronger, getting bigger or getting leaner. Are all these goals independent of each other? No. But it’s a good idea to put the majority of your efforts into one at a time.
Sets and Reps
Once you’ve decided what training effect you are after, it’s time to lay out a rep and set scheme. If getting as strong as possible is your thing, you want to keep the reps lower and add more sets. Think 6 sets of 3-5 reps. If getting bigger is your goal, the classic three sets of 8-12 reps will work very well. If you want your training to be more metabolic for the purpose of fat loss, think higher reps like 15-20.