Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

The Training Plan plan

“If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?”

– Basil S. Walsh

Samara_dec09_0543Continuing on the subject of the Importance of Planning (the 3rd “P” in my 5 P method of training for a fitness competition), Planning to Train is equally as important as the Meal plan. There is a 3rd element completing the trifecta – Posing & Presentation – which I will promise to go into at a later date.

You may be curious why I focus on Planning and not Execution (e.g. “doing the training”).  Two things: 1) I wrap execution up into “Perseverance” (the 4th P), which I’ll talk about later in this series. 2) Read quote above Smile.

Ok so onto my training plan.

Firstly, a couple of things about what my training plan entails:

1) My weekly day-by-day outline (agenda) of workout sessions. There are 15 total sessions in a 7 day week, with 1 day completely OFF. Breaking that down –

  • Monday – Friday is AM workouts: 5 lifting sessions (45-1 hr) + 5 cardio sessions (20 min). PM: 4 cardio sessions (30-40 min) on 4 days (only my Leg day has no follow up cardio session).
  • Saturday is the “sixth day” of training which is usually Yoga (for me). 15 total ‘sessions’
  • Sunday is complete rest. Maybe a walk with my dogs to stretch my legs.

2) A complete list of exercises for each lifting and cardio sessions. This is provided by my trainer. But having the list is not enough – I need to review each day and make sure I understand the notations, and know what each exercise is. The worst thing is to get to the gym and waste time doing a search on your phone for “what is a flat curl exercise” .

3) Music Playlists. I choose songs discriminately for either lifting (slower tempo) or cardio (faster tempo). Helps me focus.

4) Scheduling. I’m a busy lady with a full time job, kids, dogs, a social life and a fabulous partner with whom I love to spend time. So I live off my  Outlook schedule.  On Sundays, I schedule each workout in, making sure I have time to get to the gym, change if needed, and get home or elsewhere from the gym without stressing. I review the schedule with my hubby to make sure there are no conflicts.

5) Back up plans: For each of the 4 items above, I build in contingencies. What if the machine I need isn’t available? What if my music player/phone runs out of battery? What if I get called into a late unexpected meeting at work? You have to plan for the worst so you know what to do when the unexpected hits – and not let it throw you off track.


There are probably other things I do that are so routine I forgot them above Smile. The key is – taking the time to plan ahead saves you TIME, STRESS, and will keep you ON TRACK. If you plan properly, Execution is the easy part.

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This entry was posted on May 21, 2013 by in fitness.
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