The Movement Blueprint’s Harvey Lawton explains how to set yourself up for success and create an exercise routine you will stick to…

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Routine’ is probably the single most overused term within coach-client relationships. It also almost always lacks context.

A training programme will provide a routine. But to be executed effectively it relies on you also implementing a number of sub-routines.

It’s important to understand the core factors that contribute to a successful routine – and the fact that most of those factors are based on the time you spend away from working out.

Ultimately you build a successful routine brick by brick.

You need to ensure it is progressively achievable rather than aggressively impossible. You must also make sure every component of your routine contributes to your goal.

Four ways to create a sustainable workout routine

01. Nail the 1%s

Small, consistent habits breed adherence and consistency.

This ‘1%’ may refer to going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, hitting a daily hydration and step goal, consistent mealtimes or a non-negotiable morning mobility flow – to list a few.

When you begin to get these smaller components consistently on lock, they begin to generate significant results over time.

02. Take pride in your actions

If you can take charge of any situation and allow yourself to be process-driven, you will quickly gain a sense of purpose with every step you take towards your goal.

That may be around your nutrition strategy or meal prep or taking extra time with your warm-up to ensure your body is fully prepped and primed. Or, you might even make the decision not to drink alcohol on a particular night out with mates – if you know it will negatively impact your routine.

03. Actionable steps > overreaching targets

It’s very easy to get carried away when writing down your ideal routine in your phone’s notes. Then, you can slip into the mindset of ‘I can facilitate all of this, no problem’.

When it comes to it, and you suddenly can’t make XYZ work and agree mentally to come back to that part tomorrow, routine quickly slips.

You will soon be diverted off plan completely, rather than being faced with a more realistic scenario. These allow for a small pivot or change which ultimately keeps you on track.

04. Align your routine with your goals

In order to stay motivated, honest and consistent with a routine, a programme or system must align with your goals. That includes your training programme, nutrition strategy and recovery processes outside of the gym.

If your goal is aesthetic development, does your weekly routine lend itself to sufficient time lifting weight? Have you got a nutrition strategy that supports your body composition goals?

If your goal is performance-driven, does your weekly routine offer sufficient stimulus> Does it allow for adequate recovery?

When your routines – both inside and outside of the gym – align with your goals, you begin to love the process and embrace the challenge. You’ll also feel a sense of pride with each deliberate action and milestone.

Need support with your routine? The Movement Blueprint offer one-to-one bespoke coaching, offering fully bespoke plans to support your goals and help you achieve long-lasting results. Visit


  1. How to stay consistent with your workout programme
  2. How to create an effective gym programme
  3. Structure your workout routine with periodisation