How do I create a fitness program that will help me change my appearance?

The first question is how do you want to change your appearance? Your goal will determine your program. A personal trainer will create a program specific to your goals. In order to develop a program you need to do an assessment to determine you current level of fitness and use that information to create a plan to reach your goal and change your appearance.  

To change the shape of your body or your overall appearance you need to be lifting heavy weights in a periodization style and most importantly you will need to change your nutrition. When you heard in your past "you are what you eat" you were not hearing just a silly phrase, you were hearing the truth.  Take a good look at a horse. Most horses are nothing but muscle. They do not eat french fries or hamburgers or cheese or dressings. You may not eat these either while you are on your journey to changed your appearance. 

Work each body part twice a week and adjust your calories so you are getting the right amount of calories and make sure your calories are the right KIND of calories. You will need to be sure you are getting enough protein and this will be a trial and error process. Hiring an online coach will expedite your results and give you a guarantee that your efforts will not be wasted. 

Exercising with the primary goal of changing body composition requires a variety of training intensities. No one training program will be suitable for every case. For example, a fitness program designed for weight loss would be a quite a bit different for a program designed for muscle gain. To determine the fitness program that is appropriate for your goals a proper health screening and movement assessment by a health professional is highly advised. They can help create a program that will put you on the path to achieving your goals.

Melanie Knox
The program you choose will depend on how you would like to change your appearance, i.e build muscle, gain or lose weight. A certified personal trainer can assist you with your goal by doing an assessment, designing a fitness program specifically for you, as well as ensuring you are performing exercises correctly and measuring your progress.  

You should start by identifying what aspects of your appearance you would like to change and establish a system to measure your progress (i.e. weight, inches lost, body fat composition, etc.). Then take a base measurement so you know your starting point.

It is recommended that actual program design be done with a personal trainer to ensure it fits your specific desired goals and assessed fitness level. Some websites and books offer predesigned programs for broad categories of goals, but even these should be tailored to your unique abilities. Also keep in mind that fitness programs should be altered every 4-6 weeks (depending on the individual) to ensure continued success in attaining your goals.


A fitness expert on Sharecare can help you to define and help with specific goals to focus on an area that you want to have the look that you are looking for. For instance, if you want more definition in the legs and arms you must have a specific program in place that will not only target those areas but will combine the program with solid cardio respiratory training to burn the excess fat cells around the muscle to increase definition and shape. 

No matter what fitness program you do, you will always change your appearance.  If you just want to lose weight, gain muscle or even both change is unavoidable.  The real question you want to ask yourself is how you want to change your body.  What you want your body to look like will depend on what program you should be on.  The three factors to work on are your meal planning, resistance training and cardiovascular training.  Now each of these will be different based on your goals of either losing weight, gaining muscle or both.  To make sure you are on the correct path always consult your fitness professional on how to create programs for each of them. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.