Episode 17 – How to make a basic exercise program

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of exercise programs you can try?


Why not build your own workout routine designed for your own capabilities and goals? In this article let’s work towards building your very own exercise program.


Read on!


1. Start with a warm up

To make an effective workout start with a proper warm up to prepare your body for the strenuous movements ahead. Warm ups are important in reducing your risk of injury. Not only that, it helps you switch over mentally from what you were doing previously, thus allowing you to focus on the task or activity at hand.


What to do:

  • Start off with activities such as a, light jog or brisk walk, skipping or jumping jacks. This will get blood flowing to the muscles.
  • Perform prehabilitation exercises to loosen up some tight muscles such as, hip flexors and calves. You’ll also need to do muscle activation for proper muscle “firing.”
  • Conduct dynamic stretches. You may choose to do some leg swings, calf walkouts, or any other stretches you feel are necessary.


2. Basic Movement Patterns (BMP)

Glucose (the fuel that’s used for thinking and movement) storage levels are the highest at the beginning of your workout. To effectively use focus on complex exercises, work on your technique while you’re fresh. This allows you to get in some quality sets and reps as well as make the most of your workout.


Here are your options:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Bends
  • Push movements
  • Pull movements
  • Twist movements.


Read on for the next steps!



3. Add in Cardio

Cardio after weights is the way to go because your glucose levels are basically depleted by this time.

This phase of your workout will move your body towards a fat burning state and thus cardio will be well suited at this time. Cardio also happens to be more of a mechanical process where you don’t have to think as much (in comparison to resistance training) – you just get into the activity and mentally push yourself.


What you can try:

  • Fartlek training is basically running based on how you feel. You’ll alternate between periods of fast running and slow recovery for as long as you feel is necessary.
  • Interval training is a way to train your body using timed work and rest periods. A good example is to sprint for 15 seconds, then rest for 45 seconds. Repeat this for 5minutes.


Cardio options you may want to consider:

  • Rowing
  • Skipping
  • Running
  • Swimming.


4. Aesthetic Ab Exercises

Your core is used throughout the movements performed – especially if your program involves heavy lifting, or lifting for extended periods of time. The core is also involved during the cardio work where you need it to stabilize your spine. So, leave it for the end of your program after you’ve performed both the BMP’s and cardio.


Abdominal exercise options include:

  • Swissball prone rollout
  • Single arm pike, single leg pikes
  • Planks


5. End With A Cool Down

A cool down will help round out the session nicely. It will allow you to relax, lower your heart rate, and think about what comes next in the day.


Create your routine!

Consider these 5 steps when you are creating your own exercise program. There’s a lot of flexibility in this structure to design a program according to your needs. Start with a warm up, move into your BMP’s, follow it up with cardio, transition into your abdominal exercises, and end with a cool down. Follow this and get on your health and fitness journey today! Create your routine!


Feel free to watch the video


  • Chek, P. (2009) How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
  • Cooley, B. (2005) The Genius of Flexibility: The smart way to stretch and strengthen your body. Fireside
  • Cosgrove, F. (2007) Coach Yourself to Wellness: Living the Intentional Life. Messenger Publishing.
  • DiNubile, N. (2011) Framework for the shoulder book: a 6-step plan for preventing injury and ending pain. Rodale Books
  • Duhigg, C. (2012) The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. Random House
  • Erhman, J. Gordon, P. Visich, P. Keteyian, S. (2003) Clinical Exercise Physiology. Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc
  • Myers, T. (2009) Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists (2nd Ed.). Churchill Livingstone
  • Porth, C. (2002) Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States (6th Ed.) Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
  • Sherwood, L.(2004) Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (5th Ed.) Thomson, Brooks/Cole

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.


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