There is so much information available online about fitness, and it can be difficult to decide who to listen to. When it comes to picking a workout plan to follow, I would start by asking yourself a few questions:
What are my fitness goals?
Identifying specific fitness goals takes a bit more precision than finding your “why”. Do you want to improve your strength and build muscle, increase your speed and endurance, work on your mobility and agility? Are you interested in a specific activity, like bodybuilding, powerlifting or pilates, for example?
What do I want my physical activity to look like?
Would you prefer to workout in a weight room, in a class setting, at home, or even outside? What kind of equipment do you need for the activity you want to pursue?
Do I want to workout independently or with a coach?
The answer to this question is largely dependent on how much money, if any, you are willing to invest into your workout plan. Creating and following a plan independently is the most cost-effective option. You can even make it completely free if you workout at home and create a workout plan with your own research. I would say that the next step up would be to purchase a plan, or subscribe to a fitness app. Many online personal trainers have workout plans that they have created and sell for a set price. They are meant to be used for a specified amount of time, and they take a one-size-fits-all approach. Fitness apps typically serve the same purpose, but instead of being a one-time purchase, they offer subscriptions and tend to update the content of their plans more often. Classes can be a great way to get your exercise in, as they are structured, an instructor is available to help you, and cancellation fees can serve to help you stay accountable, or at least they do for me. Many fitness classes are quite expensive though, making them somewhat less accessible. The most costly option available to you is hiring a personal trainer or coach. That being said, if you are willing to spend the money, hiring a coach takes a lot of the mental effort out of fitness. They are trained to create plans based on your unique needs and abilities, and they know how to gauge whether a plan is working or not. Finding the right plan, app, or coach is completely dependent on what you identified as your fitness goals. Social media can be a great place to start! I found my current plan by following personal trainers who specialize in weight training, and once I consumed enough content to decide who’s goals and values aligned with mine closely enough, I purchased a plan. That being said, please be careful who you buy products from. I highly recommend only buying fitness-related plans and products from certified fitness professionals. This will help to ensure that you are investing in something that is effective, and most importantly, safe.