The Only 4 Training Variables You Need to Plan Your Own Workouts

The only four training variables you need to plan your own workouts are:


Exercise selection (weightlifting, cardio, bodybuilding, or something else?

) 2) Frequency of exercise 3) Time under tension (TUT) 4) Rest interval between sets

Exercise Selection – What type of exercises do I choose?

There are many types of exercises available to us. For example, there are weight lifting exercises which include barbells and dumbbells. There are also resistance training exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, shoulder presses, bicep curls etc. There are also other types of exercises like yoga poses and stretching exercises.

Frequency of Exercise – How often do I perform my workouts?

If you want to get results quickly then frequency is very important. The best way to increase your strength is by doing them frequently. However, if you want to maintain or even improve your current level of strength then it’s better to perform them less frequently.

Time Under Tension (TUT) – How long does each set last?

If you’re new at lifting weights, it may take some time before you start getting stronger. It takes time for muscles to grow and strengthen. Therefore, it’s recommended that you rest between sets.

Rest Interval Between Sets – How long do I rest after each set?

Rest time is very important between sets. If you don’t rest enough then you can do more harm than good to your muscles. So listen to your body and give it the rest it needs between sets.

These are the only four elements you need for planning your own workouts. You may want to supplement these with other techniques, but these are the only four that are absolutely necessary.

Sources & references used in this article:

Optimizing strength training: designing nonlinear periodization workouts by WJ Kraemer, SJ Fleck – 2007 –

Exercise physiology for health fitness and performance by SA Plowman, DL Smith – 2013 –

Intercultural training for managers: A comparison of documentary and interpersonal methods by H Allen, AR Coggan, S McGregor – 2019 – VeloPress

‘The only place to go and be in the city’: women talk about exercise, being outdoors, and the meanings of a large urban park by PC Earley – Academy of Management Journal, 1987 –

Bridging the intention–behaviour gap: Planning, self-efficacy, and action control in the adoption and maintenance of physical exercise by K Krenichyn – Health & place, 2006 – Elsevier

Exercise training for type 2 diabetes mellitus: impact on cardiovascular risk: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association by FF Sniehotta, U Scholz, R Schwarzer – Psychology & health, 2005 – Taylor & Francis

Blood ammonium and lactate accumulation response to different training protocols using the parallel squat exercise by …, RS Blumenthal, G Philippides, A Rocchini – Circulation, 2009 – Am Heart Assoc