5 Principles to Create an Effective Exercise Program

Incorporate the exercise principles below into your workouts this weekend!


  • Get started nowIf you are starting out for the very first time, start small with simple choices and goals.  Develop a “master plan” for later when your body is ready for a well-developed, more complex exercise plan.
  • Remember:  Decisions are not made until action is taken. Your decision to get fit is admirable, as is your newfound need to endlessly discuss the finer issues of training with everyone you know.  The real decision to work out begins when you actually do the work!


  • There may not be an “I” in Team but the “I” in exercise means your program should be all about you.
  • More than just a pronoun, the “I” stands for the principle of individualization. In order to create an effective exercise program, the program needs to be custom crafted for your body, any limitations, and your goals. Select exercises and daily routines that ensure progressive strength and conditioning attainment, but never leave out the element of fun – it will keep you engaged long after the first few weeks!


  • Avoid the temptation of skipping resistance training (strength training or weight lifting). Regardless of the term, resistance training is the way you preserve muscle mass and tone – and it is the smartest way to burn more calories throughout the day!
  • If your vehicle to fitness is propelled by how you want to look, then remind yourself that lean muscle mass (from resistance training) is your ticket to slim-city. Muscle weighs more than fat, so don’t be fixated on the scale if you incorporate resistance training into your workout regimen. The additional meat on your bones means you will burn more calories as you go about your day.
  • As we age, muscle volume declines due to hormonal and environmental factors. Similarly, bone density declines as we age leaving us vulnerable to brittle bone breakage and late-life debilitation, especially in females.  For proper stimulation, bones and muscles require the challenge of progressive resistance training.


  • There is enormous benefit to working in short intense bursts in addition to steady state work. You can lose more weight, improve your cardiac function, and even help modulate insulin levels when you perform brief, high intensity, exercise intervals. The next time you’re on a bike, elliptical, treadmill, stair-climber, or erg, try pushing really hard for 10 to 30 seconds and then go slow for the next minute.


  • Where there is a Yin, there should also be a Yang. Balancing muscles groups should not be a reaction, but a plan.  When you work opposing muscle groups together you will help prevent your body from developing muscle imbalances. For instance, if you forget to pull with every push you may suffer from a weak back and excessively tight chest.
  • One option to easily program push movements with pulling movements is by working the reciprocal muscles in tandem. Try exercise circuit, using the following machines together in your workout:
  • Row and Chest Press
  • Shoulder Press and Lat Pulldown
  • Leg Extension and Leg Curl
  • Hip Abduction and Hip Adduction
  • Chest Fly and Rear Delt

Have Fun! Be Active! Be Healthy!


About rrluthi

Certified fitness expert with a passion for educating and empowering people of all ages (young "kiddos" to the active aging "baby boomers") about the benefits of adopting and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, preventing injury, and feeling good. Proven strengths applying cutting-edge fitness/wellness concepts and research through roles as a health coach, fitness trainer, group exercise instructor, and rehabilitation aide—in addition to promoting these concepts in a more systematic way through blogging and social media, community outreach, and corporate wellness program facilitation.
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