Monday, May 3, 2010

How Do I Plan My Rotations?

My friend Megan requested I do a post on how I plan my workout rotations. As I was taking the pictures I thought, either they'll think I'm totally crazy or they will appreciate my creativity. Hmmmm....

First up, my workouts. I have a crazy amount of DVD's that I have collected over the years. These are the half that I use most frequently. I like to have them easily accessible.

This is my workout bible. I keep everything workout related in this binder. I would cry for days if I lost it.

This is my Rotation Planner. I just grab my binder and get comfy then I plan out my workouts. I plan out 5 weeks at a time. 4 weeks of intense workouts and 1 week of less intense recovery workouts. My recovery weeks are made up of lighter cardio and yoga. When I'm really worn out I'll make the whole week just yoga to get myself ready for another round of tough work.

Once I've erased and rearranged to my hearts content, I type out my set rotation. Everyday I just wake up, look at my Rotation and off I go.

I just finished up Cathe's STS program. This is one of the awesome workout cards she provides on her workout planning website. It is a fabulous tool to have. It makes keeping track of what weight you used and how you felt during the workout so much easier.

I also have every workout I own broken down into lengths, premixes, muscle focus, etc. This is a great tool to have when you are planning your workouts. It makes it easier to figure out what workout you need to work your body evenly.

I also have the workouts listed by cardio only, strength only, intervals, upper body only and lower body only.

For each of the strength workouts I have a tab that lists which exercise you do in each workout. This makes it so much easier to know which equipment you'll be using so you don't have to waste time retrieving it in the middle of your workout.

This is also a helpful tool for keeping track of your progress. I know if I need to go up or down in weight the next round by charting it. If you don't write your weight down you will miss out on seeing your improvements in black and white. Knowing you've become stronger is very motivating.

Now for those of you who think I have WAY too much time on my hands, I do..........NOT! This took me a while to make but it was so worth it. I just previewed each workout and broke it down. This was a lot of work initially but it saves me so much time now. Working out is much more efficient when you have a well laid out plan.

Do any of you have a plan when it comes to working out? Do you just pop in whatever fancies you that day? Do you plan your workout based on how you feel?

One of the best things about making my rotation ahead of time is that I HAVE to do the workout that is listed whether I like it or not. I don't want my body unbalanced so I plug away at it and in the end I benefit greatly from it. Before rotation planning I would workout based on my energy level that day. Eventually I was doing shorter and easier workouts. My planning snapped me out of that fast! Try it. See if you like it then let me know : )



Anonymous said...

Have I already mentioned that I absolutely LOVE your site! You are an amazing fitness inspiration!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Thank you mng355! I'm so glad you like it!


Megan said...

Thank you thank you THANK YOU for posting this! I just did a great crossfit workout with a friend and am super energized and ready to tackle this goal (planning workouts out...etc.)! You have a HUGE library of dvds! I have the insanity workouts and the it's time to get creative! :) thanks friend!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Oh, I'm glad it inspired you Megan : )

You could totally use the same basic principles I do but instead of DVD's you would just make a binder of workouts you want to do at the gym. It would look like the Pure Strength example I gave at the end. You can just take your little sheet to the gym so you can keep track of your weight/reps and such. Just title the workouts or number them and then make your rotation of of those. That's what I'll be doing come September when I return to my life as a gym rat : )

Take care,

shannonmarie said...

I wish I could be that organize. With Hayden around, I'm just happy to squeeze anything in at all. Lately, I alternate cardio with Pilates, and squeeze in a bit of yoga, too. Sunday I managed to find time for an advanced 45 minute yoga session. It was the best!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Hey Shannon Marie, all bets are off when you're a new mom! One day, maybe when Hayden's 5 or so : )

Pure2raw twins said...

What great tips for workouts. Thank you for sharing. I used to plan out my workouts, now I just go with what I am feeling. Probably not the best way to go, so I am trying to get back into a routine.

Katie said...

Can I just have a photocopy of that binder? No, seriously...

scrapwordsmom said...

This is great tool, Nicole. Love it!! I love binders...aren't they great:!

I sure do need to plan like this. It is so easy to just do something easy.

My goal this week is to do 6 workouts. I have been walking 4 miles 3 to 4 times a week. My goal this week is to add weights and abs back in the mix.

You have inspired me once again!!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Pure2Raw, I know just what you're talking about. I try to make my rotations when I'm feeling energetic. If I make it when I'm tired or sore, I tend to make an easy one. Needless to say I now make them when I'm all hyped up : )


TheFitnessFreak said...


I just went to a Cathe workout weekend and said to myself, "If I bring this I will be tackled"! If there are any pages you would really like I can send them to you. I try to e-mail them but my Mac doesn't like PC's, it's snobby like that : )


TheFitnessFreak said...


I'm so glad you liked this post. I was working on my binder today and thought that it might be useful to others. I'm so glad it was : ) I actually plan rotations for some of my friends. I LOVE doing it!


Coby said...

Thanks Nicole! This was really helpful - I know I need to get better at actually planning my workouts to, ultimately, get the most out of them. I'm really glad you posted this!

simpledaisy said...

Oh my gosh are you ever organized:)
I usually just do what I feel like doing!!! I'd probably get further along if I planned my workouts!! But mostly I don't like to be held down to a routine....i'm far to free spirited:)

TheFitnessFreak said...

Oh how I wish I was free spirited like you Heather : ) I am so OCD about certain things and this is one of them, oh my!


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