How to Start a Workout Plan and Routine

Women planking on yoga mat with her hair in a bun wearing a hairstrong scrunchie

Hello gorgeous. You’re confident, fierce and ambitious and it’s time to start your personalized workout routine. So where do you start? How do you start a workout plan? First step, tie your hair into a scrunchie bun and fill a bottle of water. It’s time to flex those core muscles, sweat it out and get your workout plan started! We are going to go over what to focus on (and it’s not only about looking cute in the gym with perfect hair), it’s about performance, endurance and discovering a workout plan and routine that works best for you. Figuring out the style of workouts you prefer will make starting this new habit much more enjoyable. 

4 Steps to starting a workout routine

Step 1. Sports & Hair - Focus on your performance, not your hair!


Be prepared with a scrunchie that will stay in place without readjusting like a sports hair band, and create a schedule of when to wash your hair and when to have sweatier workout days. Some women like to workout in the morning because it boosts their energy and gets them ready for the day, so they’ll workout before work, shower after and tie their hair into a high ponytail or scrunchie bun. If you prefer evening workouts, we got a tip for you! Get your sweat on after work and tie your hair up in a ballet style bun. When you’re done, you can simply let it down,  add some dry-shampoo and make your dinner plans on time! 


Step 2: Create a Workout Plan


Splitting your muscle groups up will be helpful when starting a new workout plan. Divide workouts into upper body workouts, lower body workouts, cardio days, and ab workouts. Start out light with only bodyweight workouts and slowly incorporate weights, and resistance bands as you gain more strength.


There are lots of free online workouts that offer training programs for beginners or youtube channels for women’s fitness. If you want to level up your fitness routine, look into hiring a personal trainer or join a fitness studio with different styles of workouts for you to try and work your way up to. 


It’s important to incorporate rest days or active recovery days where you walk and stretch. Rest days are key to giving your body time to recover from your intense workouts. Rest doesn’t mean weakness. Your body needs time to heal and form new muscles after all your hard work!


Step 3: Find the style of workout that makes it enjoyable for you


Weight training


Resistance training with weights and resistance bands is an excellent anaerobic workout to burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Plus you can target workouts for upper body (triceps and biceps, shoulders, back), lower body (glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves), and abs so you can focus on strengthening different muscle groups. Want to try working out with a buddy for abs exercises? You can find lots of workouts to do in pairs online, you can alternate each superset, and it’s way more motivating to workout with someone else and challenge each other to level up.


Yoga and Pilates


These two exercise classes are great low-impact exercises to do alone via workout videos or together with other members at a fitness studio. Yoga and pilates are gentle on your joints, are great for beginners and perfect for any body type as there are many adjustments for each pose and many varieties of classes ranging from 15 to 90 minutes in length. 


Yoga strengthens your body, and helps increase your flexibility and balance. This type of movement also adds elements of breathing and mindfulness throughout each class. Depending on the yoga class, you’ll either be at room temperature or a hot yoga studio and you will move through each pose like downward dog, cobra, tree pose and many more. 


Whereas pilates challenges your body’s strength and balance. Pilates classes will involve lots of slow and precise movements from planking to exercises to improve postural alignment or your trunk. There may be a mix of bodyweight workouts and incorporating light dumbbells. 


HIIT Workouts


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training workouts. These workouts have become very trendy as a quick way to burn fat and get a workout in during a busy on-the-go day! HIIT workouts generally involve this type of format. Perform exercise number one as hard as you can at maximum intensity for a brief period of time (60 seconds to 2 minutes), then pause for a predetermined interval (short period of time), then repeat the exercise four or more times. Then move on to exercise number two. Your workout may be as short as ten to fifteen minutes as you’re working out in bursts over a short period of time. Exercises in HIIT workouts are often a mix in strength training as well as lunges, squats and other body weight exercises. 


Cardio Workouts


Technically a cardio workout can be a 30 minute run, going for a quick row, or running during a soccer match, but we’re going to discuss cardio exercise classes here today! Cardio workout classes may include a mixture of skipping jump rope, jump squatting, jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, burpees or any exercise that keeps your body moving. There are even cardio dance classes which are a bundle of fun. The instructor is always upbeat, blasts your favourite dance tunes, and keeps you moving from 30 to 60 minutes with their workout programs. These workouts strengthen and tone your body and you barely feel like you are working out! (Seriously dance cardio is a treat! But with all the moving and shaking be sure to tie up your hair with a high quality scrunchie, so it stays in place and you can focus on your workout instead of your hair!)


Group exercise classes


If none of the workouts on our list sound like they are for you, then maybe a group exercise class will be the way to go. Group exercises classes are very specific and you can choose the type of workout you want to attend depending on the day of the week and the gym’s schedule. For example: maybe you want to strengthen your abs so you attend the Ab-Solute Workout Day. Plus having a group that you meet with every week is motivating, keeps you accountable and may be the perfect solution for you. 


Zumba 


For all the dancers, Zumba will be your favourite class! Zumba mixes in playful high intensity movements, latin dance moves (many salsa moves), and interval training. Zumba sometimes incorporates light weights and studios will call it Zumba strength. Classic Zumba is full of latin dance moves and a mix of slow and fast pace movements to tone and strengthen your body. 


CrossFit


CrossFit can be defined as a lifestyle, has multiple affiliate gyms all across the world and is known for  its enormous supportive fitness community. If you ever meet a Cross Fitter you’ll know because they are obsessed with the workout challenges and the amazing tight knit community! Workouts change every day and they can be adapted to your personal goals and exercise level. Don’t be fooled by their challenges, CrossFitters compete daily to finish each challenge in the shortest time possible and to be on the top of the leaderboard! 



Step 4: Join a gym - be part of a community that supports your goals 


There are so many gyms with different specialties to choose from and finding your fitness community is the best part of working out. Some gyms like Goodlife are known for their affordable membership prices, excellent variety of group fitness classes and stocked with lots of fantastic equipment like medicine balls. Many women choose to go to boutique fitness studios that specialize in the exercise they prefer such as a yoga studio like Yoga Shack, a barre and pilates studio like At The Barre London, a recreation centre like Western Recreation Centre where you can find multiple types of fitness classes or a Crossfit Gym like West London Crossfit. Fortunately, many gyms have adapted to virtual memberships, offer virtual classes, or offer classes outdoors during the summer months, so you don’t have to be physically in their gym space to get a workout in if you don’t feel up to it, just yet. 

 

Remember, working out doesn’t have to be a chore! Find a “sweat community” that you love, and start figuring out what workouts you like and dislike. No workout plan is set in stone. Focus on performance over having hair that gets in your way and hire a trainer if you feel it’s the right move for you! And when you need to pull your hair back and focus on your workout, tie up your hair with your adjustable sports hairband and keep your eye on the prize! 


Stay confident, stay strong and crush your fitness goals, we’re rooting for you!