How to create a workout plan you’ll actually enjoy

The New Year's rush of resolution motivation is officially gone. It's cold. Your bed is a lot more comfortable than the gym. You just want to hit snooze for just this one morning. But one morning is never just one morning. You hit snooze today and the next thing you know, you're hitting snooze for the rest of the year. The root issue here? You've started a workout plan you don't enjoy or the see the benefits from. The trick is to either join a community where you have accountability and friends, or know how to create a workout plan you'll actually enjoy.

Step 1: Think about what you've tried before

Chances are, this isn't your first experience with fitness. You've probably tried a bootcamp or a big gym such as LA Fitness in the past. Before you get into creating a workout plan, consider what you liked and did not like about your past experiences. Make a pro's and con's list for your prior fitness attempts. Maybe at the boot camp you liked not having to come up with your own workouts, but you didn't enjoy doing the same style of workouts every day. Perhaps at your individual gym you loved the freedom it gave you, but didn't actually like working out alone or having to figure out how to do the movements on your own.

This should allow you to narrow your list down on your next workout program. Your pro's list may have some themes in common which can give you insight into what workouts you like, and what you don't.

Step 2: Do some research

As a hypothetical, pretend your pro's list has a common theme of enjoying working out alone, but you don't want to think about making up your own workouts. You also already know the movements and feel comfortable without a coach.

With this in mind, you can narrow down the options for how to create a workout program you enjoy from literally thousands, to those that allow you the freedom to do your workouts when and where you want, but give you a program to follow along with. There are a bunch of online workout programs such as Street Parking, The Naked Program, and Brute Strength which have various levels of technical difficulty and needed equipment. Understand what you have access to - or can get access to - and research what programs may be a good fit.

Step 3: Take a trial period

Almost every fitness option has a free trial period. At Summit, that is a free week of classes, and for many online options you can have a sample week of programming to follow, as well. If you're looking into a big gym like LA Fitness you can simply get a day pass to experience the facility and overall vibe.

What you're looking for during this trial period is how well you believe you can consistently stick with this program, gym, or classes. Does it fit fairly well into your day? If you're at a class-based gym, do you like the coaches and other members? Do they take the time necessary to help you safely complete the workouts? If you're doing an online program, are you feeling great after you're done with the workouts? Do they appear well thought-out and effective?

There's no doubt a lot of questions to ask yourself while working on a new workout program. One you'll actually enjoy this time. One that won't leave you disappointed and feeling like health and fitness just isn't for you. Take your time to consider what matters most to you and evaluate your options through that lens.

Let's be honest - working out isn't always "fun"

It's the most fitness-fanatic thing to say how much fun working out is. The fact is, in the moment, it's hard physical work and you're going to be uncomfortable during any effective workout program. But, it should be rewarding. What you're searching for isn't fun and easy. You're looking for fulfillment and reward. At Summit, that reward comes from the community you're involved in and the relationships you make - and knowing that you're getting healthier and fitter along the way. Whatever workout program you end up working on, search for the reward in the process, and remember it may not be fun in the moment, but the results and improvements you will see in your life are very, very fun indeed.

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