The Importance of Planning and Adapting in Your Workout Journey

The Importance of Planning and Adapting in Your Workout Journey

When making a workout plan, the first step in planning to fail is not having a plan all the way to your goal. When following a workout plan, the first step in planning to fail is not changing the workout plan as you see signs you should.


Embarking on a fitness journey without a well-structured workout plan is like setting sail without a map. You might make early progress but eventually drift aimlessly, go in circles, and eventually, become disheartened.

On the flip side creating a plan and sticking to it rigidly without allowing for necessary adjustments can be equally detrimental. To truly succeed, it’s essential to have a clear roadmap to your fitness goals and the flexibility to adapt as needed. (Key word — “And”!)

I’ve dedicated the last 20+ years of my life to helping others achieve their goals through strength & fitness training, and I’m now writing here to do the same for you!


Step 1: Set Clear, Achievable Goals

The first step in any successful workout plan is setting clear, realistic goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Whether you’re aiming to build muscle, lose weight, improve endurance, or enhance overall fitness, having a well-defined objective gives your efforts direction and purpose.

In the world of fitness or athletics, PLEASE give this a measurement! “I will look better for my wedding” or “Have a bigger bench” aren’t really goals with specific data points, are they?

Example SMART Goals:

- Increase bench press by 20 pounds in three months.

- Increase my vertical jump by 3 inches in eight weeks.

- Run a 5K in under 25 minutes by the end of the year.

- Lose 10 pounds of body fat in two months.

Now, that being said, one of these is less important than the rest in the fitness world — time!

While many people think of fitness goals as being ready with ‘X’ look or ‘Y’ performance improvement by certain dates, the optimal fitness plan is for long-term effect. Focus on long-term improvement and favorable adaptation will come!

Example Goals WITHOUT the ‘Time’ piece (SMAR Goals?):

- I will bench press 225 pounds.

- I will run a sub-7:00 mile.

Still specific, no stress from the schedule!

Step 2: Develop a Detailed Plan

Once you have your goals set, the next step is to create a detailed plan to achieve them.

This is where many people get overwhelmed — where to even start!! I’m here to tell you there is a very efficient way to make this process simpler and more effective.

  1. Start with your goal in mind.
  2. Work backwards with specific steps.
  3. Fill in the details that will take you from step to step!

This plan should include the following steps in this order:

  1. Schedule — What kind of schedule is realistic for you to keep? Remember that with fitness more is not necessarily better — it’s about what you can adapt to and recover from. Start with the minimum you feel good about doing, and once you’ve established success, add if you want.
  2. Workout Routine — Specify the types of exercises, sets, reps, and rest periods.
  3. Nutrition — Outline your dietary requirements, including macronutrient ratios and meal timing. Just like the schedule, focus on what you will realistically follow and stick with to make a habit.
  4. Extra Recovery Considerations — Incorporate rest days and recovery strategies such as stretching, foam rolling, and adequate sleep.
Planning and adapting are keys to fitness success.

Step 3: Monitor Progress Regularly

Monitoring your progress is crucial to ensure you’re on track to meet your goals. Keep a workout journal or use fitness apps to track your workouts, diet, and any changes in your body composition. Regularly reviewing this data will help you stay motivated and make informed decisions about your training.

Trust me in this — I’ve met countless people who think they can “remember what I did last time”. No. No you can’t. Just keep track of it.

Step 4: Adapt and Adjust

While having a plan is essential, it’s equally important to recognize that no plan is perfect. Your body will adapt to workouts, and progress might stall. You may even think of something that didn’t cross your mind in the planning stages that could be more effective. Here are signs that it’s time to adjust your plan:

- Plateauing: If you’ve stopped making progress despite consistent effort and the plan isn’t scheduled to change soon, it may be worthwhile to make changes sooner. Could also be a case of under eating or overdoing it, and needing more recovery time or a deload.

- Injury or Pain: Persistent pain or frequent injuries indicate that your current plan may be too intense or not balanced correctly.

- Boredom: Losing interest in your workouts can lead to decreased motivation and consistency. Adding variety can re-energize you.

- Lifestyle Changes: Changes in your personal or professional life may require adjustments to your workout schedule or intensity.

Step 5: Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re unsure how to adjust your plan or if you’re not seeing the results you want, consider seeking guidance from a fitness professional. Strength coaches or personal trainers, dietitians, and coaches can provide expert advice tailored to your individual needs and goals from a scientific and experience standpoint.


Not planning, and not adapting, are both ways to plan to fail in your fitness journey. By setting clear goals, developing a detailed plan, monitoring progress, and being willing to adapt, you can overcome obstacles and achieve lasting success in your fitness journey. Remember, flexibility and responsiveness to your body’s signals are key to staying on the path to your goals.

Special Offer for My Readers

I’m offering a free discovery call to my readers. If you’re ready to transform your fitness and tailor a plan that suits your unique lifestyle, this is your chance.

Click here to book a FREE call to go over a structured plan for your fitness & training goals.

Squat Deep, Be Kind, Live Well.

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