June 09, 2023 3 min read

I've been working out for nearly 17 years ... and helping clients with their health & fitness for 10+ years.

And I get a lot of questions about fitness ... but I'd venture to say that I don't go a full day without being asked: What's the best workout plan to follow?

It's a great question, but when I answer it ... it's usually not the response that's expected. So, I thought today would be a good time to dive into what actually makes a workout program the "best" ... and how you can make sure you're following the right routine for your goals.

So ... what's the best workout program?

Well, like we talk about often with health & fitness ... the answer to that question depends.

Here's what you should consider before picking a workout program:

1) What's your fitness goal?

Are you trying to build muscle? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you training for a specific event? Do you just want to feel better?

All of those questions matter. Because if your current goal is to get in shape for a marathon ... you're probably going to need a stricter, more in-depth program than someone who just wants to drop a few pounds & feel better.

If you want to build muscle ... spending an hour on the treadmill or doing spin classes isn't going to get the job done. You'll have to lift weights to build muscle.

So, the first step to finding the best workout program ... is knowing what you want to accomplish.

2) What's your current fitness level?

If you're a beginner or maybe haven't worked out in a while ... make sure you're choosing a program that reflects that fitness level. Grueling 2+ hour workouts, advanced weight training, running multiple miles, Crossfit, etc ... are most likely a little too much for you in the beginning stages.

If you jump into advanced programs when you're not ready for them ... the chances you stick with it are slim to none. You'll get frustrated and burn yourself out. That certainly won't lead to great results.

3) Think about your lifestyle & schedule

If you have a busy schedule, maybe work & family life add up for you ... make sure you're choosing a workout program that fits those needs. Most likely, you're not going to want to do 2+ hour workouts or endurance training that requires ample time.

If you do have more time, and your goals require longer workouts ... then go for it! The point is to make sure you think about your current lifestyle & schedule before picking a workout plan.

4) Adherence & sustainability are most important

Above all else ... this is the most important aspect of a great workout program. You MUST be able to stick with your plan long-term. If you hate what you're doing ... you'll never continue doing it.

In fact, sometimes you may hate it so much ... that you just stop working out all together, because you think every workout program will make you feel this way.

So, dial in your goals, pick a plan that fits those goals ... and then make sure it's something you see yourself sticking with. This is CRUCIAL for your long-term progress.

5) Give your best effort

No matter what program you choose ... if you don't give it your all, it won't work. Period.

Going through the motions will never get it done.

This even goes for something as simple as walking. If you've decided to go on a 45 minute walk, 3x per week ... but you don't walk with intent during each session, you're not going to get much out of it.

If you're weight training ... but you're not pushing yourself to improve, get stronger, or keep the intensity high ... you simply won't make much progress.

Effort is a requirement when it comes to seeing the best results.

Now, to answer the question that we started with ... there is no "best" workout plan. 

Because what's best for me, maybe a horrible idea for you. And vice versa.

It depends on many different factors ... and now you have a good idea of what should be considered when picking the best workout program for YOU.

And we know, even with these tips ... that it can be tough to figure out what's best. That's why we're all N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainers ... and we're always happy to help you put together a plan that fits your needs & goals. Just stop by your local Supplement Superstores ... and we'll make sure you're set up for success!

*This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics. He's also a N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and N.A.S.M. Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.