Being a beginner in the gym can be a frustrating experience. The cardio machines and weight equipment seem intimidating and you most probably don’t know where to start. That’s okay, don’t stress about it, everyone has to start somewhere and getting fit literally starts with the first step.
If you have no clue on how to create a workout, here are some ideas you can use to put together a workout that leaves you feeling revitalized, energetic, and on the way to physical fitness.
Compound movements for Strength
The first place to start with getting fit is to increase your strength. We aren’t talking about developing bulging, grotesque muscles like those of a bodybuilder, rather just a general toning and strengthening effect that will allow you body to complete more work in your training. Building strength is a challenge that requires specialist exercises.
Compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts are essential for building strength because they work more than one muscle group at a time. Squats, for example, use the legs as the primary muscle group for completing the exercise, however, stabilizer muscles are also recruited in the movement as well. Squats work your legs, glutes, lower and upper back, and your core. For ideas on a squat workout check out the best squat challenge.
The Power of High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT is possibly the most demanding form of cardiovascular exercise you can do. To complete the workout you can use cardio equipment at the gym, or go out to the park if it’s a beautiful day with good weather. Start the workout with a brief warm up that gets your heart rate into the 135 bpm to 140 bpm range.
Once you are warm, begin the first interval by exerting yourself to your maximum until your heart rate reaches its maximum range. Keep pushing for 45 seconds before backing off for 20 to 30 seconds and returning your heart rate to the 140 range. Complete 12 intervals in less than twenty minutes if you can manage it.
Get Fit with Tabata Sets
Tabata sets make for a quick, efficient, and demanding workout. To get started, select five or six exercises such as;
- Jump rope
- Box jumps
Complete as many reps as you can in a minute and then move on to the next exercise with no rest. Completing all six exercises in constituted as one round. At the end of the round, take a brief break of 60 seconds and then complete another round. Do as many rounds as you can in thirty minutes. This workout is perfect for moms with a busy schedule as it takes very little time to complete. This will be your last workout of the week, make sure it counts.
The Importance of Diet & Recovery
The workouts are half the battle, the other half is dependant on your nutrition and rest. Recovery is as important as training. You should never set foot in the gym if you are feeling overly stiff and sore from the previous workout, doing so will open you to a potential injury.
Your diet should contain as few carbs as possible and focus on healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those found in nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish. Sugar and refined carbohydrates create inflammation in the body and impair the recovery process, they should be avoided at all costs. If you find that you are not recovering in time, visit a nutritionist for a diet plan that is specifically geared to ward your training and fitness goals.
Track Your Progress
You won’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been. Create a training journal and record your workouts and diet plan. Make sure to include every rep, set, and workout time, as well as what you ate that day. Every four to six weeks, take the time to review the journal and your notes.
This data will let you know what is working for you and what is not, giving you the feedback that is necessary to make adjustments in your diet and training. If at anytime you do not feel confident in your training or diet, speak to a professional trainer or nutritionist for guidance on your form and diet.