If you work out consistently over 90 days, you should see noticeable changes in your body and overall fitness level. But in order to really reap the benefits of a 90-day workout plan, you'll also need to incorporate a healthy diet into your routine that stresses lean protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and fruit and low-fat dairy.
Before embarking on a 90-day fitness program, be sure to consult your doctor to make sure that the program compliments your fitness level and health.
Take the Challenge
While 90 days might seem like a very long time, it's actually a realistic time frame to work within to see real changes in your physique.
Rather than "get fit quick" schemes that claim to have your body beach-ready in 10 days, a 90-day workout challenge gives you time to adapt to new physical demands, measure your progress and, hopefully, be encouraged enough to stay physically active even after the 90 days are over.
Staying active should be a lifestyle change that stretches far beyond a 90-day workout plan.
90-Day Workout Components
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, a well-rounded workout plan should include cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility training. Aim to include at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderately-intense cardio exercise per week to help burn calories, trim fat and improve circulatory and respiratory functioning.
Add two or three days of strength training targeting all of your major muscle groups to gain strength, increase metabolic functioning, improve balance and core strength.
Incorporate two 20- to 30-minute flexibility training sessions where you work on stretching the major muscle groups, building stability and improving joint mobility. Allow yourself one day off per week for rest and recuperation. If you enjoy staying active even on your rest day, plan gentle activities like walking, yoga, tai chi or swimming.
Build Your Own Plan
Determining your fitness goals can give you more clarity into how to build your own 90-day workout plan. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, you'll need to focus on building a cardio-intensive fitness plan that stresses burning calories.
Adding high-intensity interval training to your cardio sessions three to five days per week can also help you to raise the intensity of your workouts and burn more calories in a shorter period of time says Harvard Health Publishing.
To build bigger muscles, skew your plan more towards strength-building workouts. For example, spend day one focusing on arms and back, day two on abs and chest and day three on legs, hips and buttocks. The remaining three days focus on cardio that also builds muscles, like swimming, stair climbing, hill running, circuit training or plyometrics.
Commercial 90-Day Plans
If you are daunted by the process of creating your own balanced 90-day workout plan, there are commercially successful 90-day programs available, like Beach Body's P90X or Max Workouts by Shin Ohtake, says the American Council on Exercise.
Programs like Insanity and Rushfit come in a little under the 90-day time frame, but you could restart the programs from the beginning to get a full 90 days. For a gentler workout plan, try a free running or yoga 90-day challenge.