Getting Back on Track with Fitness: How to Create a Weekly Workout Schedule (with Examples)

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Hi Everyone!

It’s been a crazy weekend. I’m behind schedule on everything I planned to do, including my workouts. I started a job as lead Occupational Therapist for a new facility this week. Jesse ran a Half Marathon yesterday.

jesse pre run 1_Fotor_Collage

Jesse Bender: Pre-Race

Although I had more time this week because my new job is closer, I was tired, so I skipped a few days of workouts. Skipping workouts is a vicious cycle, because when I workout I eat more healthfully. When I don’t work out my body craves an alternate energy source, and I start craving less nutrient dense food (simple sugars, etc). Yesterday, Jesse was sick before he ran (but we thought it was just pre-race jitters, although that wasn’t normal for him). After he ran, he was terribly sick so I spent the evening taking care of him. The overall result, missed workouts & food choices that have me feeling tired, bloated and blah.

Today is a new day, and that means I can make the choice to get back on track with my workouts & my eating. Life happens. Things will come along that push you off course (even when you have a plan!) That’s okay, it’s part of living. Don’t let those times completely de-rail you. Progress and health are the result of consistency in your choices.

It’s okay to take rest days & indulge in chocolate (or your favorite food of choice). If the majority of the time you are making healthy choices in your fitness & diet, a little bit of indulgence isn’t going to ruin your progress.

Here are some simple things you can do to stay on track: 

  1. Plan your meals for the week. This can include food prepping on Sunday, or just planning what you will have for lunch & dinner throughout the week. It will save you time & money if you plan ahead, make sure you have all the necessary items from the grocery store, and do a little prep. It also makes it easier to avoid un-healthy food choices & take-out menus or drive-thru dinner options when you have a plan.

2. Plan Workout & Rest Days: Schedule in time for your workouts. Figure out the time that works best with your schedule & lifestyle. If something comes up adjust as needed. If you know your goal is to workout 5X per week, and you miss a day on your schedule, adjust the schedule so you are still getting in 5-workouts. If you miss a workout once in a while it’s okay, but aim to hit those 5-workouts consistently, even if it means swapping your rest and workout days sometimes. I call it Flexible Planning.

For the Schedule below you will see that on several days I wrote Workout or Run or Rest. Those are flexible days. I want to workout 5X per week, and I am running a Half Marathon in October so I want to run 5X per week. Because I am training for the Half, some days I will only do running instead of pairing a run and a workout. I will write a blog post specific to Half Marathon training & adjusting your workout schedule. I keep those days flexible so that I can choose to do just a run, just a workout, or take a rest day. I aim to workout 5-6 days per week with 1-2 full rest days. My workout time ranges from 30-60 minutes total per day.

-Sunday: Long Slow Run & Workout
-Monday: Run & Workout
-Tuesday: Workout or Run or Rest
-Wednesday: Run & Workout
-Thursday: Workout or Run or Rest
-Friday: Workout or Run or Rest
-Saturday: Run & Workout

Optional Week Long Workout Schedules:

Below you will find several weeks of workout Schedules. Click the link for the full schedule with workout videos. Adjust the days to fit your personal workout schedule needs. Most schedules include 5-6 Workouts per week.

weekly workout schedule

Week 1 Workout Schedule

Week 2 Workout Schedule

Week 3 Workout Schedule

Week 4 Workout Schedule

10-Week BodyRock Boot Camp Workout Series

14 thoughts on “Getting Back on Track with Fitness: How to Create a Weekly Workout Schedule (with Examples)

  1. Andrea

    Thank you! This is awesome! I’m always scrolling through trying to decide which of your workouts to do, so this schedule will save me time, and will save me from second guessing.

  2. Axel

    You are awesome Melissa. Just taking your time to explain logically how to keep ourselves on track, recording the free workouts, and maintaining people motivated is a task that just very few fitness athletes are willing to do.

    Keep on doing the excellent work you’ve been doing! It is simply awesome!!!

  3. Marina

    Thanks for your sincerity on this topic. I recently started nursing school and was feeling a little bummed because with the long days and amounts of h.w., I wasn’t able to fit in my usual cardio sessions. But that’s what so great about your workouts. They’re short and intense, so I aim for 1-2 of those per day, cardio when I have time, or just take a walk on my lunch break. Wishing Jesse a speedy recovery : )

  4. Angela

    I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THIS! I spend sooo much wasted time looking for my next workout trying to remember what I had worked previous days! I hope Jesse feels better!!!

  5. Grace Richards

    Thanks Melissa!! I work shift work so the days I have to work I don’t have the energy to work out after a 12.5 hour shift, plus travel time. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who goes off plan occasionally. I generally have 4 or 5 days off at a time so I try to fit in my workouts on those days. Thanks to your blog I find it so much easier to make working out consistent. Thanks for all you do, I hope you’re enjoying your new job and that Jesse feels better soon.

  6. Amy

    Thank you for being so genuine and real Melissa. I’m glad to hear you’re human too and sometimes your workout schedules don’t go as planned. I also appreciate you sharing that you fall off the nutrition wagon occasionally, even though you know what the better choice is. I’ve struggled for years with the way I think about diet and exercise. To the point that it was extremely un-healthy. I’ve always been good w/ exercise but food is always my downfall. I exercise 6 days per week but on the days that I couldn’t exercise, I would beat myself up and obsess about it. I had this realization a few years back that my family loves me no matter what size I am and instead of obsessing about my weight, I need to focus on being strong and able to move so i can be strong for my kids. I stopped weighing myself 2 years ago and that has been so liberating for me! I no longer associate my value with a # on the scale and I don’t beat myself up if I can’t do a workout.
    Your website has helped me so much over this past year and I really appreciate every single post you put up. I appreciate that you post a throwback video even on days u didn’t get to exercise. It takes all the guesswork out of it for me. Your workouts help me feel so much stronger and more accomplished. I am so grateful! Thank you for sharing with us.
    Hope you had a good weekend. Feel better Jesse! And I hope u don’t get it too.

  7. Sherry

    I agree with what everyone has to say here! Thank you for being real and thank you for all the free workouts that you give. You give the best workouts with most intense sessions. I feel great af tr er I finish one of your videos! Thank you again and keep up being so awesome! Speedy recovery to Jesse too!

  8. Ashley

    I LOVE you HIIT workouts, especially when you post how many calories you burn. I hate to ask, but would you mind posting your calorie burn more often? Only if you can, and thank you for all that you do. You have know idea how much money I save by doing your at home workouts 🙂

    • benderfitness

      Absolutely! I had a problem with the heart rate monitor strap. I wore it on a run & it scrapped my skin so I got away from it, but it’s great for the indoor workouts. I will try to wear it more often. 🙂

  9. I also agree with everyone. Thank you for being so real and honest and importantly let’s hope your husband is feeling better very soon. I personally find myself in the same situation when I miss a workout or when I’m feeling somewhat stressed or overwhelmed. I tend to eat the wrong foods and end up feeling bloated and uncomfortable. I never eat my 3 year old chocolate chip cookies but somehow found myself eating two of them late last night on top of having had some ice cream in the afternoon, which is something I normally wouldn’t do.,so once that happens I just back on track the following day. Thank u sweet Melissa for these workout schedule and for being such a genuine and kind person

  10. Ashton

    This is JUST what I needed… August was awesome for me and my progress, but the Labor Day weekend really through me off of my routine and I’m still reeling from it. Also, I am training for another Half as well, so I’m looking forward to your blog on incorporating other workouts. I desire this, because I can tell it has really helped with endurance, but sometimes it is a struggle.

  11. Jen L.

    Melissa and All: what mat do you recommend? I’ve seen various and I want a medium thickness so that it doesn’t roll up on the edges nor pick when you do high intensity workouts. Yet I do not want a heavy thick. I have a GAIAM mat now but it is wearing. I like the mat in Melissa’s week one schedule (blue and thicker). Suggestions??

    • benderfitness

      The thicker mat is nice for core workouts etc, but it does make balancing moves more challenging. Although, most balance moves are completed in standing so you can always step off the mat if it is to difficulty. I will look for the brand on the thicker mat. 🙂

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