How To Start Following Your Workout Program With Results

Updated April 22nd 2020; February 25th 2018

What are the first steps to successfully start continuing your workout program without any major breaks?

Is there such a thing as a “best” program?

Should you be following any program in general?

From my 6+ years of strength training experience, I say that it is mandatory that you either develop your own programming or to follow one.

Stay with me here.

Let us say you decide to follow one online… there are thousands of programs on the internet.

Which one is good?

In this article, I will ask you to consider these workout programs to bring out your fullest potential.

In my training experience, I have program hopped onto different training strategies but I am finally hitting my stride where I can take a long term view of progress and make a logical decision.

There is no more asking what-ifs, it is a matter of patience and discipline at that point.

I know it is difficult to assess what programs to run and which to avoid.

So, I have assembled a guide for you to browse through so that you can make that choice with confidence.

Best home workout program


If you need some guidance on getting started with working out at home, there is no shame in purchasing a program online and getting started at your own pace.

With that said, P90X is one of the more popular home workout that will whip you back in shape.

Results may be better if you have your own set of dumbbells and resistance bands at home.

You may be doing your research and see that this is “too intense” for a beginner.

I would disagree.

You are working out and getting fit, not relaxing in a sauna.

This is supposed to be challenging.

And you can start your own path of success by first building up this habit of exercising your body for 90 days with P90X.

Calisthenics workout

For a beginner, this is a routine that might work for you.

As you become more advanced, you will have clearer goals to strive for.

So, enjoy the process and keep on building your body!

Calisthenics workout advanced

This is another resource if you had previous training experience and would like to continue following a program by pursuing bodyweight training.

When I read the program through and saw the helpful diagrams for progression, this sealed the deal for me.

5x5 workout program

Stronglifts 5x5

Stronglifts 5x5 is a free 5x5 workout, which stands for 5 sets of 5 reps.

You might be thinking that this is too easy and you need to work a sweat or do something extra.

Follow this program exactly for 3 months and you will regret those words.


5x5 workouts are one of the most efficient ways to get in a strength training routine.

They work out your entire body and can literally change your life for the better. 

Madcow 5x5

Stronglifts released an intermediate program called Madcow (also free).

I ran this program once with a friend while he plugged in the numbers in a calculator.

One important aspect to notice is that this program is not 5x5 and you will find that this is common for many programs that are beyond the beginner level.

Unless your program dials down the intensity of the 5x5 sets, there is only a small chance of success.

If you do not understand this, do not worry. Just focus on picking a program you like right now and executing on it.  

Full body workout program

Starting Strength

Starting Strength is a program I ran twice within the first 4 years of training.

I have also documented my Starting Strength journey as well so that you can see what kinds of numbers I was hitting.

If I could redo strength training again, I would 100% do Starting Strength once again.

It really set the foundation of what strength training was for me.

5/3/1 Workout

5/3/1 was a program I started last year after several years of lingering injuries and just a difficult time to make progress.

I just picked this program and I gave it 100% effort.

I chose the 5/3/1 Forever variation and it did not disappoint.

In fact, you could say it changed my life.

I am currently 5 cycles in 5/3/1 and I do not plan on stopping.

This program really showed me how to build strength for the long term, instead of chasing gym PRs mindlessly.

It helped me understand how my long term and short term goals can align and help me make my goals more realistic.

After you exhausted your “beginner gains” with Starting Strength, I would definitely come to 5/3/1 to further develop your strength.

Beginner workout program

Starting Strength is a beginner general strength training program that will help you get to the intermediate level.

5/3/1, while being an awesome program, is not something I could run for beginners.

Instead, here is another beginner workout program you can decide to follow:

Greyskull lp

Greyskull lp is another beginner linear progression program that is similar to Starting Strength.

However, there are distinct differences that I covered about Greyskull LP in my review.

You cannot go wrong with Greyskull Lp and it will bring you up to the intermediate training level as well.

Basketball workout program

If you want to become a better basketball player, you need to incorporate weights into your gym routine. 

This is essential for your physical development and your skill progression.

This was one critical mistake I made while I was still playing basketball; I played for 10 years and did not start weight training until I was much older.

Granted, I started playing basketball at 8 years old but I could have still did some bodyweight training at least.

So, in order to avoid my mistake, it should be known that your basketball workout program should focus on your basketball skillset first and your strength second.

You want to make sure your skills are constantly improving.

At the same time, your strength and size should be steadily improving in the off-season while you switch to a maintenance program during the season.

Basketball workout with weights

This is a resource that should elevate your game.

Make sure that you continue to try to increase weight each week and do not skip any days.


What makes a program work?

These are two variables that are constant in the resources I linked above:

Workout Program Structure

Programs have structure. 

They tell you what to do and when to do it, even if you do not feel like it.

This is great for many reasons. 

With a program, you are essentially committing yourself to a timeline towards your goals and each successful work is a step closer to your goal.

Emotions During Working Out

Programs take emotions out of the picture. 

No matter how you feel, the workout plan will not change. 

This will help combat laziness and procrastination.

However, everyone’s life is different and sometimes life and stress get in the way.

It will be okay to modify a program to fit your needs. 

The key is to be consistent and actually execute the program.


So, to quickly summarize,

  1. Pick any program you want
  2. Be consistent and execute
  3. Watch the gains come rolling in
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