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Workout Builder - Our New Custom Workout Planner

October 24, 2023

workout builder for fitness planning

It's official: our "Workout Builder and Editor” tool has, after much anticipation, launched in the Go Arena app!

The new workout planner is available in-app in the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store too–and can be accessed by mobile and tablet devices everywhere.

We developed Workout Builder primarily for those who like the experience of a guided workout, but want the flexibility and freedom to program their own workouts in our fitness app.

Now, anyone can now create, save, and edit new or existing workouts! Workout Builder can be found on the bottom of the home screen of your Go Arena app.

You can edit a workout by tapping a workout thumbnail, tapping the three dots, and then selecting “Copy and Edit.”

Table of Contents

How to use the new Workout Builder

Using Workout Builder and Editor, you can build workouts that are composed of sections and circuits, with the exercises, rounds, durations, repetitions and rest periods of your choice.

There are several different types of workouts, and the following sections illustrate the ways that you can structure your workouts based on your goals and preferences.

Building upper body workouts: Push motions

Upper Body Push workouts are integral to building strength and power through a variety of movements that we utilize everyday. Designing these upper body workouts in Workout Builder will consist of exercises that primarily target the shoulders and chest muscles.

A vertical press is any movement that pushes a load above the shoulders, which also happens to be the target muscle group.

A horizontal press is a movement that pushes a load out and forward from your chest, which targets your chest muscles.

In summary, generally speaking, the shoulders, chest and tricep muscles are considered to be our “push” muscles.

Common ARENA Upper Body Push exercises that you can program into an upper body push workout include shoulder presses, Pallof presses, and a variety of pushup variations.

Building upper body workouts: Pull motions

Upper Body Pull workouts similarly contain vertical pull and horizontal pull exercises. These upper body exercises also often involve your core stabilization muscles.

A vertical pull on the ARENA platform pulls the cable up from the floor, targeting your traps, or the part of your upper back that you use to shrug your shoulders. High pulls and shrugs fall into the vertical pull category.

Horizontal pulls, on the other hand, pull the cable perpendicular to your chest and target much more of the upper back, including the traps, lats and rhomboid muscles.

As you can see, exercises that build the muscles of the back, the biceps, and forearms are considered to be our “pull” muscles.

Examples of horizontal pull exercises include bent over rows and seated rows.

Incorporating effective lower body workouts into your fitness routine

Lower Body workouts, colloquially referred to as the famed 'Leg Day', consists of exercises that target the muscles in the lower body that we use to support the weight of our own body (and sometimes that of others' bodies too!).

As such, squats, deadlifts and lunges, including all of their variations, are examples of lower body exercises that target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, etc.

leg day workout builderWith the new Workout Builder, anyone can create a diverse workout regimen that is custom-tailored to building muscle, burning fat, and meeting fitness goals.

One way to build your own effective full body workout in the Go Arena app is to alternate between upper body push, upper body pull, and lower body workout styles throughout the week. This helps you be effective in building different muscle groups on subsequent days, and gives your muscles time to recover and rebuild!

An example program would look like this:

  • Mondays and Thursdays: Upper Body Push
  • Tuesdays and Fridays: Upper Body Pull
  • Wednesdays and Saturdays: Leg Day!
  • Sundays: Rest and recover

How to design a workout to achieve muscle hypertrophy

Muscle hypertrophy workouts is a nearly consistent focus of for those seeking to increase muscle size, as opposed to those seeking to build strength and/or endurance. As such, these workouts are defined by their structure, rather than by the distinct exercises themselves.

For maximal muscle gain you should train with heavy weight for 3-4 rounds of 6-10 repetitions, and build a full minute of rest between those workout sets.

It’s important to note that any of the three workouts we've discussed today can be designed to be hypertrophy workouts if they are structured with these requirements!

Training with lighter weights and higher repetitions will increase muscular endurance, but may not increase muscle size.

It's important to remember that consuming enough protein to supplement the growth of new muscle tissue is an essential factor in building muscle size, too!

Workout Builder for functional exercises

Firstly, 'functional workouts' include exercises that replicate common movements in daily life–marching (walking), pulling (opening a door), and single leg or single arm movements are great examples of functional movements that double as exercises too. Functional exercises are the most effective at preparing us for the routine demands placed upon our bodies, especially as we age!

Like hypertrophy workouts, functional workouts can also be structured using Upper Body Pull, Push and Lower Body programming. When choosing functional exercises in Workout Builder, ask yourself:

“Does this exercise look like something I regularly do outside of working out?”

If the answer to the above is a resounding 'yes', then it’s “functional.”

Designing HIIT workouts

Workouts that involve 'HIIT', or high intensity interval training, rely predominantly on regimented cardio and bodyweight exercises, and normally involve little to no rest time between exercise sets, and minimal rest time between rounds too.

Because HIIT workouts are performed at a much higher intensity than other workout types, over time, they have been known to induce the following health benefits:

Keep in mind that singularly programming HIIT workouts into Workout Builder at that same, elevated intensity level,can lead to overtraining, and ultimately, injury! Your risk of injury increases without a proper warmup.

If you enjoy HIIT-style workouts, it’s best to limit them to 3-4 times per week.

Our approach to core exercises

It goes without saying that when we strengthen our core muscles, we’re strengthening the “powerhouse” of our bodies. We use our core to stabilize us, balance us, assist us with standing up, sitting down and even breathing, so keeping them strong is ideal.

Our core muscles are essential in maintaining our body's stability and balance, and targets your abdominals, lower back, and almost all muscles that attach to your spine and pelvis.

It’s safe to incorporate core exercises into your workout regimen up to 4-6 days each week. As you may have noticed, we include them regularly into the scheduled workouts we've pre-programmed into the Go Arena app.

How to build rest periods in Workout Builder

As mentioned previously, rest and recovery is a 'non-negotiable' when it comes to designing an effective, sustainable workout regimen. Without recovery periods, your muscles won't have time to regenerate so you can push towards muscle hypertrophy effectively!

There are four different types of 'rest' that can be programmed in Workout Builder:

  • Exercise rest
  • Round rest
  • Circuit rest
  • Section rest

Each is described in the app, and provides you with ultimate control over creating the custom workout routine you'll be able to stick to far into the future!

For example, 'circuit rest' is the number of seconds you’d like to rest between circuits.

The Workout Builder tool reads rest periods in a linear way–if you program a rest period of 10 seconds after the last exercise, and 30 seconds after the last circuit, then the software will present you with a total of 40 seconds of rest and recovery before moving onto the next circuit or section.

In order to prevent adding unwanted extra rest time in Workout Builder, it is best practice to get into the habit of applying 0 seconds of rest to the last exercise of any given circuit or section.

Workout Builder and your fitness future

Workout Builder was developed with you in mind, and the best way to learn the tool is to start using it! Build a workout from scratch or edit one of ours to make it your own.

We are confident that the ability to design workouts, programs and fitness protocols through our new workout planner opens up a world of possibilities for you, as well as within the fields of professional sports, physical therapy, and even telehealth!

As a reminder, you can always visit our Resource Center for a complete, step-by-step guide and more information on Workout Builder and Editor.

If you have any additional questions regarding Workout Builder or planning effective workouts in general, please feel free to reach out to your ARENA Concierge or Trainer.

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