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Fitness plans and programs are workout strategies based on a certain fitness goal. They can be broadly divided into weight loss and weight gain plans.
While they can be further divided by specialization, fitness programs typically aim to make you fit either by losing weight or by gaining muscle.
Female workout plans
Specifically designed for women, female workout plans can be split by objective. From getting toned to losing weight, these workout plans take women’s needs into account. One of the main differences in female workout plans compared to male workout plans is nutrition, specifically caloric intake.
Food & meal fitness plans
Food and meal fitness plans are specifically designed to nutritionally support an active lifestyle. From general lifestyle meal plans to specific meal plans for high-intensity training there are multiple options to consider.
Nutrition plays an important role both in weight loss and in weight gain. Most food fitness plans consider healthy foods as well as their nutritional value measured in calories. Those abiding by a meal fitness plan typically know the calories of each food portion. This helps quantify foods and help achieve goals such as weight loss or muscle gain faster.
Male workout plans
Male-specific workout plans are personalized by nutrition, resting time, and caloric intake. Men eat more than women and most plans mirror this higher nutritional need. Men also lift heavy weights to build muscle which can require extra calories, specifically from healthy foods.
Workout plans men can follow include variations of training routines, typically split into 3 or 5 days per week. Men train all major muscle groups in a given workout plan week.
Muscle building plans
Specific muscle-building plans focus on nutrition and strength training. These 2 elements play a crucial role in muscle gain. Higher caloric intake through recommended meals and strength training are combined for the ultimate muscle gaining plan. Some muscle-building plans also offer information on certain supplements. These can be considered when the daily nutrition needs to be supplemented to achieve a certain fitness goal such as muscle building.
Overall fitness programs
Some programs aren’t specific to weight loss or muscle gain. They solely aim for an active lifestyle where fitness is key to maintain weight or simply staying in shape. These are known as overall fitness programs and they cater to the needs of most people.
Workout plans for athletes are developed per sport basis as well. Footballers can follow a specific training program that trains certain key aspects of football such as speed, reaction, and endurance.
Sport-specific training can involve various fitness goals such as building cardiovascular endurance. For example, rowing training plans target cardiovascular endurance which plays an essential role in the sport.
Weight loss programs
Designed to lose body fat, weight loss programs are ideal for those who want to lose weight. These follow a strategy of weekly workouts. Good weight loss programs also prioritize healthy food intake. Some holistic weight loss programs also consider other factors that influence health such as sleep. From exercises to nutrition and sleep plans, weight loss programs tend to approach losing weight as a sustainable effort rather than short diet-like plans.
Yoga & Pilates plans
Those new to yoga and Pilates can follow a dedicated program to stay in shape, relax, and even improve mobility. Some plans target major yoga poses while others specifically work on stretching and mindfulness. General yoga programs are typically developed for beginners while specific yoga plans are normally considered by advanced practitioners.
How to Choose the Best Fitness Plan?
You can choose a fitness plan depending on your fitness goal. Each individual is different, so you need to define where you want to go before embarking on a fitness program.
- Define your short-term fitness goal
You need to choose a weight loss fitness plan if you want to lose excess body fat. A muscle building plan is recommended if you struggle to gain weight.
- Define long-term fitness goals
Short-term fitness goals are often different from long-term fitness goals. A fitness plan can also revolve around the idea of maintaining a toned physique. These types of fitness plans look neither to gain or to lose weight but to stay in shape in the long term.
- Which exercises do you enjoy the most?
You also need to think about the types of exercises you enjoy the most when looking to join a fitness program. Some people like training from home more than going to the gym, for example. This is where you can join an online class and start indoor cycling or rowing to lose or maintain weight.
2 Common Fitness Plan Mistakes
Fitness programs have a clear strategy that offers results.
However, some people are held back from their true potential by making one or both of the following common fitness program mistakes.
- Using the wrong weight
You can use a weight that is too heavy or that is too light in a certain program. This prevents you from mastering the right exercise technique or it might even lead to injuries in extreme cases. Tempering weight progress is crucial, especially as a beginner on a new fitness plan. Most fitness programs offer a system of tracking weights and weight progress to stay away from injuries that can happen when training with heavy weights without proper form.
- Skipping nutrition guidelines
Nutritional guidelines are likely to be skipped by beginners on a fitness plan. However, controlled caloric intake is one of the few quantifiable actions you can take in a fitness plan to get your desired physique according to the program.
A fitness plan is a tested method of getting and staying in shape. Training without a plan isn’t an efficient method of losing or gaining weight. Efficient workout plans tackle the 3 major aspects of a fit physique.
These are training, eating, and recovery. A planned approach is required in all these areas to reach a fitness goal.