You Need A Workout Plan

Crystal Raddin

WealthFit Contributor

Living a healthy financial life requires you to get rid of unnecessary costs and allocate that money elsewhere, such as paying off debt or investing. Did you know that there is ONE unnecessarily high monthly fee that is eating away at your bank account, meanwhile there are far cheaper alternatives? It's true: it's time to cut your gym membership and create your own workout plan.

You may believe that your physical health is more important than your financial health. The truth is that you don’t have to choose between the two. 

By learning how to create a workout plan, you can ditch the gym and it’s obscene fees while taking steps to achieve other financial goals

Gym Membership Costs

At first glance, a gym membership doesn’t seem like a big expenditure. 

For most of your big gym chains, the monthly fee can range from $40-$100. Some outliers include Planet Fitness, which boasts its $10 per month membership.

With these seemingly low costs, you might be asking why a gym membership is even worth sweating over. 

Here’s why: If you look deeper at the numbers, however, you’ll notice that gyms make a significant amount of money thanks to extra fees that most people don’t consider. 

The majority of large gyms have two fees:

  • a signup fee 
  • an annual fee 

These fees—along with a monthly membership—add up over time. 

Let’s look at how much gym memberships are actually costing you. 

The average American spends more than $50 per month on a gym membership. Most gyms require at least a $50 sign up fee and an annual fee close to the same amount. There may even be more fees on top of this, including a pay-per class fee or a fee for working with a trainer. 

So if you do the math, you may be paying on average $700 per year for your gym membership. 

That’s a hefty sum, especially when you start thinking about what you could do with all that money. 

Think of the money you could save—and what you could do with it instead—if you knew how to create a workout plan that you can use at home.

Should You Cancel Your Membership?

The next question to ask yourself is whether or not you should cancel your membership. 

First, let’s think about how often you actually make it to the gym. 

Ouch! Don’t be ashamed. Even though your last New Years' resolution was to go to the gym three times a week, you may have been lucky to make it three times a month. Either way, you’re not the only one who doesn’t make it to the gym as often as you would like to. 

According to IHRSA, the most popular exercise in a gym is walking or running

Yes—a workout that can be done anywhere—is the most popular!

A question to ask yourself is if you’d rather pay $700 or more per year to run a few times every week or so or create your own workout from home and allocate that money elsewhere.

How to Create A Workout Plan For Under $700

If you know how to create a workout plan, how much would it truly cost? You can do so for less than the yearly cost of your gym membership. 

How to Create A Workout Plan: What Kind Of Exercise Do You Need?

The first step in creating your own workout plan is to understand what type of exercises you want to do. There are three main types of exercises to take into consideration when deciding how to create a personal workout plan:  

  • cardiovascular 
  • strength 
  • interval training (which mixes the first two) 

There are also four main body areas that can affect the form of your workouts:

  • upper 
  • lower 
  • core
  • full-body workout 

Any great workout plan will include all three types of exercise and target all parts of the body.

When deciding what type of workouts to include when you create your own workout plan, you have a few factors to take into consideration. 

Everyone has different schedules, so you’ll have to decide how much time you have to commit to your workouts each week. 

You also need to take into consideration your goals and your current fitness abilities. 

If your main goal is to get in shape and burn fat, the best option of how to create a workout plan would be to mix equal amounts of all three: cardio, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and strength.

If you are trying to gain muscle mass, your best bet is to create a workout plan high in strength training with a HIIT or cardio workout once or twice a week.

If you are trying to increase your endurance, you should focus on cardio and HIIT workouts.

Equipment Needs And Their Cost

Even though you may need to buy some equipment initially for a home gym, you’ll still be spending much less money than you would for a gym membership. 

Plus, you have something tangible to show for your money.

For cardio workouts, you need very little. For example, you need a good pair of running shoes, an item needed whether your going to the gym or staying at home. 

While you can invest in a treadmill, you can run or walk your neighborhood sidewalks or local parks. 

If or when the weather comes into play, relegating you with the only option to work indoors, you can make that day an inside workout day. To make any day a cardio day, all you need is a $10 jumping rope.

For HIIT, you need nothing but your own bodyweight. The magic of this type of workout is that you are moving at a high pace with a lot of intensity that you get an amazing workout in a short amount of time with little equipment.

For strength, you can go one of two ways: You can either invest in a weight bench (anywhere between $50-$150) or a dumbbell set ($100-$200 for 150 lbs or smaller sets for under $50). 

You can also buy a resistance band set. These are incredibly versatile—you can attach them to your door and do many resistance exercises. You can work every part of your body with just this one piece of equipment! The typical band set comes with an adjustable resistance of up to 150 lbs. 

A good set can cost as little as $30 but can range up to $60. Another great aspect of these bands is that you can easily pack it with you and take it on the road.

Other pieces of home gym equipment that aren’t needed but can switch your workouts up and make things fun when you use workout routines at home are 

  • kettlebells (about $1 per pound) 
  • yoga mat ($10-$20)
  • stability ball (about $10)
  • medicine balls (about $2 per pound)

Examples of Workouts

Now that you have the equipment, let’s explore how to create a workout plan and get fit at home.

Just starting out? A good routine for those looking to know how to create a workout plan should start slow. Three days a week is enough to start. After that, you can then add in more days as your workouts get easier and you see progress.

Provided below are three different workout schedules, Monday through Friday. 

Interval Training



Workout Breakdown

Note: If you aren’t familiar with any of the following exercises, we recommend finding research and video tutorials online. 

20 Minute HIIT

You’ll need an interval or Tabata timer (which can be found online or downloaded as an app for free) for this workout. 

Set the timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. You will go through this workout, have a minute to rest then repeat it three more times for a total of four. Focus on going fast and powerful without compromising form. 

Rest for one minute and repeat this exercise three times for a total of four. 

Strength Training Arms and Abs 

For this workout, you will need dumbbells or resistance bands. Repeat each move until you can’t, focusing on lifting heavier rather than more reps. 

Repeat the entire workout twice. 

Strength Training for Back and Shoulders

For this workout, you will need dumbbells or resistance bands. Repeat each move until you can’t, focusing on lifting heavier rather than more reps. 

Repeat the workout twice.

Strength Training for Legs 

Because these muscles are the biggest in the body, make sure you use heavyweights to work them enough. 

Repeat the workout twice.

Strength Training Full Body

Complete each of the three above workouts one time through. 

Goal Setting

Once you’ve decided how to create a workout plan that works for you, it’s important to create a plan and stick to it by making achievable goals. 

Your first goal should be consistency. You can celebrate your accomplishments, as everyone should. Make it your primary goal to make it to every workout for the first 3 weeks. 

This is the amount of time, experts believe, that it takes to form a habit. When you hit that illustrious three-week marker, do something to reward yourself (in a healthy way!). 

After that, don’t let the habit slip—try not to miss the next 3 weeks. And on and on. 

Once you’ve made fitness a part of your lifestyle, don’t let your workouts be stagnant. Instead, try to beat your personal best. 

Try to lift heavier. Run longer. Add more workouts. 

Keep a journal to track your progress. You can track any of the following:

  • track your weight 
  • body fat percentage 
  • bicep circumference 
  • waist circumference 
  • even take pictures every month to see how far you’ve come 

Use this to help you feel that sense of accomplishment and always strive for one more push up, one more minute on the treadmill, or five more pounds on the bench press. Whatever you do, don’t give up!

Now that you know how to create a workout plan, allow that in your fitness routine carry over to your finances. Remember the money you’re saving by cutting your gym membership and learning how to create your own workout plan? 

Ensure that it’s put to good use, whether it’s paying off debt, creating an emergency fund or investing

Remember, that you don’t have to choose between physical health or financial health. This is one way to have both.


Written By

Crystal Raddin

Crystal is the former owner and trainer of Hot Mommas Fitness Bootcamp, a fitness boot camp dedicated to help mothers get moving and get the body of their dreams.