Workout Plan Basics: How to Start Getting in Shape

Starting a fitness journey is a unique experience that will level up your life. Whether you’ve finally decided to do something about that sedentary lifestyle or to tone up a bit, make this journey your own. This lifelong journey starts with a single decision – to commit to your workout routine

Workout Plan Basics: How to Start Getting in Shape

Commit and don’t give up even when things don’t go as planned. In order to start working out as a beginner, you should pay attention to the following:

Everyone has to start somewhere

The first thing fitness newbies have to overcome is the fear of the beginning. Everyone was once a beginner, but look at them now, right? Don’t compare yourself to others just do your own thing. To get yourself into the right mindset about exercising think of pros for exercising. You will have more energy, you’ll sleep better, become fitter, shed unwanted weight and you’ll start looking forward to each workout. The first positive effects will be visible after just two weeks and it is really something to look forward to. 

Invest in the essentials

Once you overcome the newbie fitness enthusiast fear, think of the things you will need. First of all, invest in a few essential things. Comfortable training sneakers are a must for every beginner. Don’t just wear some old sneakers you no longer wear every day. Pick a pair that can be used in a variety of workouts.

You’ll also need a pair of leggings or shorts that are not seethrough and that you can do squats in. Pick those pieces you feel comfortable wearing. You should be able to do a variety of exercises in them and not be limited in any way. Anything too short or too tight is out of the question. After you develop a proper routine and stick to it for longer than three months, then you can treat yourself to some athletic gear.

Make a plan

Every newbie fitness enthusiast has to make a plan. Start by answering these two questions.

  1. How many times a week can you exercise?
  2. How many days a week can you exercise?

Once you answer these questions, it is time to put this plan into action. Beginners should start with a minimum of two and a maximum of three exercises a week. Anything more than this is not recommended because you need to rest between sessions. As a beginner, you are more prone to muscle soreness as you’re body is adjusting to exercise. That is why you have to strike a careful balance between exercise and recovery. As time goes by, your body will adjust and you’ll be able to increase the number of workouts per week.

Start slow

A healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint so you should pace yourself. Pick a beginner’s class and start slow. Mind you, even the beginner’s classes can be challenging and exhausting. But, it is better to workout at a controlled pace and learn the basic movements instead of putting yourself at the risk of injury in more advanced classes. Even though you made a plan to work out as much as you can, focus on one week at a time.

Once you finish all three workouts planned for the week, you may focus on the next. Push yourself a bit each week. It can just be an additional set or 5 more minutes on a treadmill. But, the idea is to make every workout a bit more challenging than the previous one. 

Take your workouts home, too

dumbells exercise mat watter bottle and sneakers

Sometimes you won’t make it to the gym or your fitness class. Life is unpredictable at times and things might not go according to plan and schedule. Instead of giving up on your plan to exercise three times a week, adjust yourself to these changes. Take your workout home. There are many online tutorials available out there so you don’t have an excuse. You can also pick a few basic things for an at-home sweating session.

The majority of these at-home workouts can be done with your own body weight, some pieces of equipment might be useful. Resistance bands, two pairs of dumbbells, maybe some ankle weights, jump rope, and a mat won’t take up too much space. But, they will come in handy once you decide to exercise at home. Just blast your favorite music and start doing those squats.

…or take them outside

An outdoor exercise can also help you mix things up a bit. You will benefit from an outdoor exercise in two ways. You will successfully cross another planned workout from your week’s to-do list. Also, you’ll spend some quality time outside, soak up on Vitamin D and enjoy the scenery. The weekends are perfect for an outside fun cardio session.

What can be more fun than riding a bike with some friends? You’ll get your cardio and spend quality time with people you love. Make sure to bring the essentials with you if you decide to follow a more demanding routine in nature. Carry some power bars with you for extra energy and a practical hydration pack to drench your thirst. Also, wear gloves and a helmet for better safety. Cycling in nature will make you love cardio even more.

Go through some trial-and-error workout process

As a beginner, you are presented with too many exercise options. Therefore, it is advisable to try different types of exercise until you find the perfect one. The perfect exercise is the one that is not boring, challenges you and makes you happy. It is the one that makes you feel sad if you have to miss it because of a mandatory work thing. 

You will go through a trial-and-error process until you find the type of exercise you want to stick to. Also, when you start a certain program, it is okay to not want to do a certain exercise. For example, if running on a treadmill is not your thing, try walking on an incline. Alternatively, find a different cardio machine like the stairs master, elliptical, stationary bike or hit the punching back for cardio. Also, try working out during different times of the day. If an evening workout keeps you awake at night, try exercising in the morning. In case you eat too much after an afternoon workout, make sure to include a protein supplement right after your workout. Do what motivates you the most to continue working out and making it a part of your lifestyle.

Identify your “why” and stick to it during the hard times

There are many reasons to start a fitness journey. Each and every one of them is a valid reason to start. This goal will motivate you to push through your limitations and achieve amazing results. For this particular reason, it is essential to identify your “why”. Why did you decide to workout three times a week? Why did you decide to incorporate a regular fitness routine into your lifestyle? Write down these answers and keep them somewhere accessible. These answers will motivate you to keep up with your fitness goals when you wish to give up. Consistency, positive attitude, and motivation will help achieve your fitness goals. So, remember your why’s and push through the hardships. Remember that quitting is not an option because you know why you started in the first place.

Adjust your diet, too

Newbie fitness enthusiasts should also adjust their diet to fuel their fitness. This is particularly important if the reason why you started is to lose weight. The results you achieve at the gym are just 20% of your success. Everything else is your diet. When you combine exercise with a proper diet, you will achieve 100% of success. In order to fully maximize your workouts, you have to eat a lot of protein, healthy fats, whole grains, healthy carbs and fiber. 

It is important to start your day with a healthy breakfast, have a nutritious lunch, include a pre-workout and post-workout meal and have dinner. Your body will use these nutrients to recover and also build muscles. Prep some of the most important meals in advance so you won’t be tempted to eat junk food. But, don’t overly restrict yourself. It is okay to indulge yourself once in a while. This is particularly important if you’ve adapted your diet for the best fitness results. Flexible diet is the key to avoid bingeing once you lose motivation. A few occasional indulgences won’t ruin your fitness. Moreover, it will be good for your mental health to eat that chocolate.

Once you decide to get started, make sure to go through our suggestions and try to implement them. When you get started with your workout routine, push through the first three months, and you will never want to stop. 

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Article Author Details

Mianna Korben