Top 6 Favorite Workout Programs: How To Make Your Own Workouts

First, I want to thank everyone for all the amazing comments yesterday. That post was very heart felt and I loved the positive reactions from you all. It truly made my day and put a smile on my face from ear to ear.

Now, let’s get our sweat on. Big time.

My Job: To Create Workouts

Each week I design 3-5 new workouts. Workouts for my boot camps, Fit Womens Weekly, and sometimes for myself (Dan does most of our own workouts).


We use something called Evernote to hold ALL of our workouts. 

To make sure my clients never get bored, I make sure to keep them on their toes with new exercises and workout.

They know they will never walk in and do something like 3 sets of 10 reps of 8 exercises… workout boredom is the worst!

Nope, not in my classes at least.

But there are a few basic outlines that I really love when it comes to designing workouts. It’s funny how you can have basically the exact same format but if you change the exercises the workout turns into something completely new.

It’s fun, it’s fresh, and it’s efficient.

I thought I would share a few of my favorite workout themes (and some examples from my notebook) incase you love designing your own. Simply follow the outline and then add the exercises that you want. All of these will deliver some serious calorie burning, muscle toning results!

how to design workouts

Top 6 Workout Designs To Create The Best Fitness Plan


Some call these chippers because you’re “chipping away” at the workout. I call them waterfalls because that sounds prettier.

  • This is a generally a 10 exercise circuit, where the first exercise is usually 100 reps.
  • The next exercise is 90, and so on until the final exercise is 10 reps (normally something like burpees).

Love these! Seeing the numbers go down each time helps me to mentally stay strong. You can do this with running too:


-Rep Pyramids. 

This was actually the muse for today’s post. When thinking about workouts last night, I realized it had been months since I did one of these in my boot camps, so it was a no brainer.

  • Put together a circuit of 6-8 exercises.
  • Then do the circuit with 4 reps/exercise, then 6, then 8… finish at 12.
  • Then work your way back in the opposite direction until you finish where you started.
  • Set a timer to go as fast as possible.
  • Of course you can change the rep counts to whatever you want.


-Timed Pyramids. 

This is the workout program that Dan and I are following for our kettlebell training this week (see below)

  • Again, make a list of exercises.
  • Start by doing each for a short period of time (20 seconds). Then repeat the circuit by increasing the time (40 seconds), and then once more even longer (60 seconds).
  • Then work back down, finishing with 20 seconds.


-The Race Is On

Forget coming up with all the details. Instead grab a timer and race against the clock to see what you can accomplish.

This workout seems to fly by! And is great if you are short on time, just set the timer to what you have.

  • Grab a timer, and set it to the amount of time you want to do the workout (I like 20 minutes)
  • Choose 6-10 exercises and assign rep counts to them each.
  • Start the timer and see how many times you can complete the circuit.

I love this because I know that I have a limited amount of time on the clock, and I know I can workout at 100% for just 20 minutes.


-Just Go. 

I am sure these have some great name to them, but I call them “Just Go”.

  • Pick about 5 exercises and give them some insane rep goals.
  • Then set a timer and see how long it takes you to complete the workout.
  • You’re able to jump from move to move as you wish, so make sure to keep track of what you’ve completed so you know when you’re done.

The last time we did this the exercises were something like:

  • 500 Jumping Jacks
  • 400 Squats
  • 300 Sit Ups
  • 200 Push-ups
  • 100 Burpees
  • and… JUST GO! 

-Bump N Go Workout

These are a lot of fun, but you need at least one partner.

  • Each person is doing something, but one is in charge of the amount of time the others work.
  • For example, the “worker” might have to run to the street corner and back, while someone is doing squats, and someone else is doing push-ups. Only when the person gets back can the squatter and push-uper stop and be “bumped” to rotate.

This is great with a big group of people! Have several stations set up, and when the “worker” gets back everyone moves down to the station beside them.

Here’s an oldie but great workout!

If you like this idea let me know and I’ll gladly share 5 more next week!

What is your favorite style of workout? 

Personally, I love pyramid workouts. The one I mentioned above included the following exercises: BB Deadlifts, Decline Push-ups, Pull-Ups, KB Cleans (Right), KB Cleans (Left), Box Jumps, and Double KB Squats (Low).

We recorded our reps for each round and will be repeating it today to beat our scores. If we don’t be our score, there is a one burpee penalty for each rep to be completed at the end.

Wish me luck!


  • MIZ

    I love all outside all pyramid all BODY WEIGHT!!

    • I am all about outside too!

  • Great ideas! I love circuits, but have never done them in a pyramid style so I will have to try it out! I am the same way when it comes to training- 8-10 reps of 3 sets is so boring. I am at a new gym and I’m nervous of what people will think of my training style- it’s different, but fun so I hope they give me a chance!

    • They’ll love your style and appreciate the new outlook! fresh ideas.

  • great post! there’s so much variety with workouts! love it!

    • There really are countless ways!

  • I love “waterfall” workouts and the “just go” method!

    • Waterfalls make wanting to move to the next exercise a bit more exciting because I always look forward to reps going down!

  • I love pyramid style and waterfall workouts! Bump and go’s are great when teaching a group too! Really I love them all :).

    • Thanks Tamara! Bump n gos are killer with a big group!

  • LaceyS

    I LOVE today’s post. I struggle with boredom in the gym and what exactly to do. Please keep your workouts and circuits coming! These are amazing!!!

    • Thanks Lacey, I am glad you like them! Make sure you check out there are dozens of workouts available!

  • Kim

    I love all of these!!! I really like the workouts that you do for time and then come back in a day or so and try to beat your time – I’m all about the self-competition!!!

    • I agree, that’s what we did today! loved it

  • Kelly

    Thank you for the great ideas! I have been looking for some ways to change-up my workouts, even if it means adding the dreaded Burpees…I usually only do them when my trainer forces me. Although I lift weights regularly (I have myself up to 3 sets of 4 unassisted pull-ups with a goal of 7 by year end), I have been stuck in a cardio rut (spin and running). Have a great day!

    • Enjoy, and change it up1 You’ll get that 7 pull-up goal!

  • Fabulous! I love that you mentioned HOW to make your own but also showed an example of each 🙂 Now I have 5 new workouts to add to my folder 😉

  • I love this! This will be so helpful if I get bored and need a new workout!

    • Thanks Amanda! Spice up those workouts!

  • ahh waterfalls, love them, kinda. and love the templates! you have a great muse.

  • This is such a great post! I’ve been wanting to dabble more in creating more workouts for myself, and I think this article is a great tool to do that.

    I put together a workout a couple weeks back where it was a do each move for “X” amount of seconds, and it was a hot mess. The way the gym was set up I couldn’t see the clock from every station I set up, and then I had my phone but it was so distracting to try to check it every so often when you’re supposed to be working out, etc. I ended up stopping a few moves in and doing one of my normal routines. Do you use a watch when you do these types of workouts? Or just position yourself to see a wall clock?

    • Thanks! I use an interval timer, so it beeps when it’s time is up. I like the gymboss app but Dan also has a watch that has an interval counter, the Timex ironman. no looking at clocks!

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