I’ve been working out for a couple of years now and I’ve tried different types of workouts. I’ve tried several workout videos such as P90X, Turbo Jam and Hip Hop Abs. I have tried custom made workouts such as those that were given to me when I was still working out at the gym and some that I have made up myself. Most of these exercises have a schedule which means that there’s always a particular type of training depending on the day of the week.
For example, I perform arm exercises on Mondays then aerobics or cardio workouts on Tuesdays and so on. And these programs usually have schedules that have time tables to reach the goals. Some of them take 3 months, 6 months and so on. However, there are also free-form workouts that do not follow a schedule or a plan of some sort. You just simply think of what type of workout you’d like to do for that day. If you’re currently choosing between having a workout schedule and doing free-form workouts, let me share some their advantages and disadvantages.
Obviously, a scheduled or planned workout program is much easier to follow. You already know what you’re supposed to do for a particular day. You can even plan your other activities especially if you have an idea how long your workout’s going to last. This helps a lot in time management especially if you’re working. Resting is also vital when it comes to long-term workout programs since it will help you reenergize and relax. Planning your rest days is much easier with a scheduled workout.
It’s usually much easier to set goals if you have workout schedule. You really can’t say how much weight you are going to lose within a particular amount of time. However, if you follow your program, there’s a much bigger chance that you will indeed lose a lot of pounds. You can also effectively monitor your progress with a scheduled workout. You will have a better idea how much weight you’ll lose in a specific period of time. As most would agree, an effective goal is time-bound.
Free-form workouts, on the other hand, are usually much more comfortable to perform because you are not pressured to follow specific routines and spend certain periods of time. You can work out at your own pace and at your own free time. It is much more relaxed as you can freely modify your routines. You can always change your workouts on the fly giving you the best workout variety.
An advantage of free-form workouts is that it is quite effective during the maintenance stage. Once you’ve finished off a scheduled workout and you somehow managed to reach your goal, all you need to do are maintenance workouts to keep off the weight you’ve already lost. You can actually do any type of workout you like and when to do it as long as you’re consistent in order to maintain your current weight. Cardio exercises work best as well as moderate weight training during this phase.
The only thing about free-form workouts is that sometimes, you tend to slack off. There’s no constraint on schedule so you may be tempted to take an early rest day. This happened to me a few instances and the rest days kept piling up until every day became a rest day. This may or may not happen to you though. Regardless of whether you want to follow a schedule or not, it is important that you remain consistent in your exercise. I was really big a few years ago and when I finally lost 100 pounds, I stopped there and the weight came back slowly. The choice is up to you.