The Ideal Workout Plan: Secrets From Your Trainer

You may know that working out helps with weight loss and improves your health, but do you actually know what types of workouts are best for you? If you’re not a certified trainer or a fitness coach, you may not be getting the most out of your time at the gym. You might have questions about what exercises and classes to do, how long you need to do them.  Our Fly trainers have put together a list of their ideal workout plan and their best secrets to getting more out of your workouts. Based in sound research, these are techniques that create a balanced yet effective weekly workout plan.

Plan it out. Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown, a certified trainer and sport psychologist says “the simplest way to get the most effective and balanced workout plan is to schedule out your workouts at the beginning of the week.” Every Sunday, she schedules her own workouts for the upcoming week to ensure they include a variety of classes that include cardiovascular training, large and small muscle groups (she loves cycle and barre, for lengthening and stretching), as well as yoga or stretching, and at least one rest day. Creating a balanced plan from the get-go is essential. “Not planning for rest days or exercising excessively every day will strain and potentially do serious harm to your body,” she says. She recommends alternating HIIT, high-impact workouts, or running with lower-impact workouts such as cycling or barre. Below are the three main components to consider when creating a fitness plan, straight from our instructors:


Cardiovascular exercise. Your spin class and running on that treadmill is where you get your heart rate up – that’s right, cardio exercise is a necessary part of your workout plan. Cardio is essential for your heart health and to maintain your weight. Jenni recommends 3-5 cardio workouts per week from anywhere from 20 minutes to up to an hour, depending on the day and depending on your current level of activity.


Resistance training. Lift, pump & feel that burn because your muscles need to be worked. Body weight exercises do count as weight or resistance training. According to Julie Toalson, our newest instructor of the flyburn series, “Resistance training can be especially important for both men and women as we age. Studies have seen increases in bone mass density when resistance training is added to regular exercise. This is one more fantastic reason to not be afraid to add some heavier weights as well as body weight training into your exercise regime!” She says that 2-3 days a week is sufficient and that your body will benefit from adding that extra weight to your workouts.


Flexibility.  Any kind of stretching on your own, foam rolling or yoga classes can be incorporated at any time in your fitness program. “Lengthen those end of the workout stretches by at least another five minutes if possible. Breathe deeply while you stretch to lengthen and soften your muscles,” Fly instructor Wendy Samson advises. “Strong muscles are amazing but tight muscles are not.” Wendy recommends you add at least one or two yoga classes into your routine each week.

Show up. Jenni says that when considering your plan, you have to think about how much time you actually have. What about those days you just don’t have 45 minutes or an hour? “Don’t just skip it,” she says. “Yes, an hour is definitely a workout, but so is 20 or 30 minutes.” She suggests that showing up on these days for even 30 minutes for a moderate treadmill & weights workout, you will see results and improve cardiovascular health. Plus, you’ll feel better and be more likely to stick with it.  (P.S. Fly has added open gym hours to our schedule where you can use our HIIT facilities to squeeze in these quick sweat sessions.)

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  There are going to be lots of times when we have to adjust our workout schedules. Life sometimes just gets in the way. Avoid black-and-white thinking such as “I’ve blown it” if you miss a workout or two. Research shows that the more flexible and less perfectionistic you are about your routine, the more likely you are to keep it up. “Determine a minimum and maximum number of days to exercise per week,” Jenni suggests. Then, if you miss a day, you won’t beat yourself up with negative self-talk and you’ll get right back to it.

This is all great in theory, but what does it actually look like? Jenni put together a plan to get you started for your perfect week. Remember, everybody’s perfect week looks different, so give it a try and adjust to what your body is telling you.

Jenni’s sample ideal workout plan: (determine workout time in advance)


Run, easy 50 minutes + 10 minutes of stretching or foam roller work (CARDIO + FLEXIBILITY)


Cycle, 45 minutes or barrefusion, 1 hour (CARDIO OR RESISTANCE)


Run, 1 hour + 15 minutes of stretching (CARDIO + FLEXIBILITY)


Rest day or barre class (RESISTANCE OR REST)


HIIT, 45 minutes or yoga, 30 minutes (RESISTANCE OR FLEXIBILITY)


Cycle, 45 minutes (CARDIO)


Rest day (REST)

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Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self. Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self.
Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self. Redefining fitness–to empower you to reach your strongest self.