How to start and keep working out

As a beginner, it's wise to engage a fitness professional or certified gym instructor during your first few workouts. To sustain the benefits of working out, you will need to keep exercising regularly and create a schedule, or set goals to guide you.
As a beginner, it's wise to engage a fitness professional or certified gym instructor during your first few workouts. To sustain the benefits of working out, you will need to keep exercising regularly and create a schedule, or set goals to guide you.

There are many great reasons to start working out, from improving mood, energy, health, and sleep to reducing depression, anxiety, and stress. Whatever your fitness level—even if you’ve never gotten into the gym a day in your life—it is possible to start today and get in shape within a few months. 

There is no shortcut to fitness. You only need to start today. You can find a gym close to where you live or work, or buy some basic gym equipment to use at home while following a routine online or with a personal trainer. As a beginner, it's wise to engage a fitness professional or certified gym instructor during your first few workouts. To sustain the benefits of working out, you will need to keep exercising regularly, so this is the best time to create a schedule or set goals to guide you.

Workout terms you need to know

Reps. Reps are short for repetitions. A rep is the number of times you perform an exercise in your workout. Each rep involves three stages of muscle action: lengthening, a short pause, and shortening. 

According to the American Council on Exercise, you should perform your reps up to a moment of muscular fatigue. This means that the muscle is not capable of performing one more rep. It also ensures that the fibers responsible for moving that muscle have all been engaged. 

Sets. A set is how many rounds of reps you do.

Types of workouts at the gym

Since no single type of fitness training provides everything your body needs, ask your instructor how to switch between the following:

  • Strength training
  • Aerobic training
  • Balance and stability training
  • Coordination and agility training
  • Flexibility and mobility training

Beginner’s workout routine for females

Weight training in females helps them become stronger, leaner, and more toned. Some exercises to get you started in weight training include:

  • Plank (30 seconds x 3 sets)
  • Full/kneeling push-ups (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Bodyweight lunges (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Seated shoulder press (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Seated leg press (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Close grip lat pulldown (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Leg raises (10 reps x 3 sets)

QUESTION

Walking can maintain your body weight and lower many health risks. True or false? See Answer

Beginner’s workout routine for males

Although it is a full-body beginner workout, this routine has an extra focus on the arms and core. To get started, do the following gym exercises:

  • Reverse crunches (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Seated chest press (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Close grip triceps push-ups (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Dumbbell bicep curls (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Seated rows (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Wide grip lat pulldown (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Dumbbell seated shoulder press (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Seated leg press (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Cable rotations/twists (10 reps x 4 sets)

How much weight should you lift?

The number of reps for an exercise is inversely related to the amount of weight you use. This means that the number of repetitions you are able to perform decreases as the amount of weight goes up. As a result, higher-intensity loads can only be performed for a few reps, while lower-intensity loads can be moved for more repetitions before achieving muscular fatigue. More reps at a lower weight will improve your endurance, while fewer reps at a higher weight will build your muscle mass.

The amount of weight you should lift also depends on how your muscles adapt. Aim to start with weights that are not too light or too heavy. A good weight should allow you to complete a full set of 12 to 15 repetitions. 

The following things can help you get the most out of your workouts.

Watch what you eat. What you eat before and after exercise can help with performance and recovery. It's also important to match your workout needs with the right diet. Although you will not have to eat any special foods, your instructor may ask you to adopt some changes, like increasing your protein intake if you’re training to gain muscle. If you’re working out to lose fat, it will be best to consult your fitness instructor before following any meal plans.

Take your job into consideration. It is possible to stay fit even on a busy schedule. Finding time to weave some exercise into your schedule may seem like a challenge, but it comes down to such simple things as standing and stretching whenever you’re taking a break. You can also shop around for small workout equipment that you can have at your desk to use whenever you can. Being busy should never keep you from starting or keeping up with an exercise routine. 

Warm up properly. Before you start training, it's important to warm your body up. It helps to raise your body temperature and increase blood flow to your muscles. Warming up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury. Anything that involves you not standing still will do. You can walk to the gym to get your heart rate up and ready for the real workout. Stretching may help you do better in some activities by allowing your joints to move through their full range of motion, but only stretch after you are already warmed up. Other warming-up movements include lunges and simple yoga movements.

Cool down after working out. It’s easy to forget to give your body time to rest if you’re busy. However, cooling down is as important as warming up. To cool down, continue exercising for five minutes or so but at a reduced intensity and slower pace.

A little soreness after working out is normal, especially if you're a beginner. It happens because your muscle fibers have to break down during exercise and repair themselves thereafter, which is the process that makes them larger and stronger.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/1/2021
References

American College of Sports Medicine: "PROTEIN INTAKE FOR OPTIMAL MUSCLE MAINTENANCE."

The American Council on Exercise: "How Many Reps Should You Be Doing?"

Live Strong: "The 5 Types of Fitness Training You Need in Your Routine,” “How Much I Should Lift in Dumbbells?"

Mayo Clinic: "Aerobic exercise: How to warm up and cool down."

National Kidney Foundation: "Understanding Muscle Soreness – How Much is Too Much?"

Nuffield Health: "Gym workouts for beginners."