People who are new to working out usually get overwhelmed. Not only do their goals seem difficult to achieve, there are also so many tips that it is hard to know which ones to follow and which ones to ignore. When you are starting, it's a good idea to make a beginner workout routine, which is easy to follow and is in line with your fitness goals.
10 Tips for Workout Beginners
A major focus should be on picking a beginner workout plan, which is easy to implement. Many beginners make the mistake of trying too many things at the same time or have a complicated workout plan, which hinders their progress. Knowing the right tips can make a marked difference in your workout journey. Since it can be very confusing for beginners, we have taken the time to list a few tips for making your own custom beginner workout plan that is worth following:
1. Make a Diet Plan
Don't start by focusing on the gym and exercises only. The biggest step in your beginner workout plan is that you need to pick a diet plan for yourself. A big mistake that beginners make is working out without considering the needs of the body. You cannot eat junk food and expect to keep your energy levels high. Your body needs healthy fuel. Whether you are looking to gain weight or burn some pounds, you will get better results when you change your diet. There's a reason why people say that the diet makes a difference in the results. A good diet plan is one which should have healthy proteins, carbs and fats. Never cut out fats completely from your diet as they are needed for muscular growth. Instead cut out refined carbs and unhealthy fats. A healthy diet plan is one that meets your increasing energy needs. While in the start it might appear like you are eating more calories, your beginner workout routine will include regular exercises that burn up all of them and improve the way your body works.
2. Know Your Limit
Everyone has heard of the adage, no pain, no gain but in this case, your pain really is causing you to not gain. Learn to listen to your body and don't push it, especially when you are just a beginner. Otherwise you will end up damaging your body. In fact, many workout related injuries occur because of people who try to 'push' through the pain they are experiencing. Injuries that can occur can be minor such as a tear in the tendons or are extremely major such as a dislocated knee or permanent damage to a nerve. This is why you should have a beginner workout routine where you start out slow and start to increase the workout in intensity and duration. For example: When you are a beginner, your reps will have lower numbers and you will slowly work up to more strenuous exercises that are more high endurance. Pushing yourself too hard, too early will cause some injury that you will have to recover from. Never try to ignore an injury because exercising incorrectly can also increase the chances of causing irreparable damage. Even if it means waiting a bit, this is a better alternative than just pushing through the pain.
3. Eat Healthy Snacks - Pre-workout
Always keep an eye on your dietary needs in your beginner workout plan. This also means that you should also switch up the snacks. Eating a light healthy snack, at least 30 minutes before a workout can also help to boost your performance and prevent you from feeling fatigued after an exercise. The following are some good healthy snack options for you:
- Peanut Butter bowl – High in potassium, bananas are great for encouraging muscle function. With two tablespoons of peanut butter, this delicious bowl will balance out your glucose level and ensure you have energy for even the most grueling of workouts.
- Apples with Almond butter – With great mono-saturated fats and fibers, this hearty snack will have you feeling full throughout the day.
A good idea is to ensure that you are eating small meals throughout the day even when you are not doing any exercises. These can help you feel full and also improve your metabolism. Other healthy alternatives include dry fruits and nuts such as raisins, almonds, cashews. You can also try out granola bars and smoothies as well.
4. Protein - Post Workout
After a workout, it is necessary to eat a meal that is high in protein to improve muscle building, body function and boost recovery after strenuous exercises. To avoid feeling dead after a gym session, it's a good idea to have a high protein snack or a meal. The following are some good options
- Oatmeal Bowl – High protein – You can also add almonds, blueberries and other berries. In many cases, you can also substitute the oatmeal for Greek yogurt which is also good protein and high in healthy fats.
- Fruit Smoothie – Add some flaxseeds, oats, organic peanut butter, almond milk or bananas for a high energy drink. You can also add some protein powder if you want.
Keep in mind that if you don't feel like eating after your workout, you don't have to. Just wait a bit and see how you feel. Even if you decide to wait till dinner time to eat, make sure your beginner workout plan includes a high protein meal with lean cuts or fatty fishes as the main protein.
5. Cardio before Weights
This is an area of much confusion. Some people do choose to do cardio exercises before weights but, that isn't always the right option. When you do cardio before strength training, your body will burn through the muscle strength and you won't have the energy and power you need to lift weights. It could also mean that you end up completely drained by the end of the cardio exercise session. Doing the weights before cardio is actually better since cardio doesn't drain your energy levels or put as much strain as weight lifting does. Doing weight training first also makes you burn through your glycogen stores in the body and helps you to target more calories. When follow it up with cardio, you burn more body fat in this manner. If it is a bit too much, you can also opt to keep cardio and weight exercises on different days. This can allow you to get better results from each session in your beginner workout plan.
6. Never Miss Breakfast
It is hard not to over emphasise this factor but breakfast should not be skipped no matter how busy your day is or how late you are getting to work. As the most important meal of the day, you need to have breakfast because it gives you the energy to get through the day. Moreover, after dinner, when you sleep, your body actually fasts for 7 to 8 hours. When you wake up, you need to break the fast with some breakfast. Otherwise you will have no energy to make it through the day, let alone for your exercises. If food is fuel for your body then you are running on empty when you skip breakfast. It is also a good idea to make breakfast the heaviest meal of the day and make dinner the lightest one. This means that you have all the energy at the start of the day, when you actually need it. If you are in a hurry, it is a good idea to meal prep your breakfast. Another way to save time is to prepare them in mason jars or Tupperware so that you can take them with you. Not only does this save you time, it also means that you never have to skip out on any meal again.
7. Finish Every Rep
When you start your beginner workout plan, you might be tempted to cut your exercise session short once or twice because the reps are too many. Whether you are weight training or doing cardio, you need to focus on the total number of reps in each session. A 40 minute session could include 8 to 12 reps of each exercise. To really push your body, you need to finish each rep for the day. If you are just starting out, 8 reps should be your maximum goal. Once you are able to achieve 8 reps, you should start focusing on reps of 12 for cardio and for weight lifting. This means that 8 reps will be the minimum and 12 will be the maximum. In both exercises, you should continue to do as many reps as possible, without losing your form. Only stop your reps short if you are finding it difficult to maintain good form or you have hit the minimum number of reps needed. The only time you should ever cut your reps short is when you are unable to maintain your form. Exercising with bad form can lead to more problems and injuries.
8. Active Company around You
If you are going to work out, it doesn't have to be just you and the weights. You can also become a part of the active gym community that is around you. Working out and living a healthy lifestyle is a huge community which actively welcomes people. You can get a workout buddy so that you can stay motivated. You can also find and get in touch with a lot of people who will be able to give you tips and help you work through many problems that you might be having. Making use of the active company around you will go a long way in your weight loss and fitness journey. For many people, the support and insight they get from the company around them makes a profound impact on their overall goals as well. Whether you have any questions or you have achieved your goals and are wondering what to do next, they will be your support group to help you plan a beginner workout routine for the next step in your fitness goals.
9. Be Patient
We have all been there when we finish an arduous day at the gym and stand in front of the mirror to see the progress. One of the biggest challenges you will face is in being consistent and being patient with the beginner workout routine. With weight loss and fitness goals, a lot of hard work is needed before you can begin to see results. In fact, it is said that you will often get to see results at least 2 to 3 weeks after you are indulging in a certain exercise. Visible results will show in another 12 weeks or more. However, always remember that you are doing this for yourself. Never get disheartened if you aren't getting results as quickly as someone else. You should understand that everyone has different bodies and you can get results much faster or slower than others. Instead of trying to push yourself, understand your metabolism as well as your weight loss goals. Don't compare yourself and don't become impatient if the results appear to be slow with your beginner workout plan.
10. Be Hydrated
Staying properly hydrated is an urgent requirement that you will have to focus on to work out with ease. Always bring a bottle with you to your exercise sessions. When you are dehydrated, not only do you have low energy but you will also experience a 10% to 20% decrease in your overall performance. You should always make sure to drink water before you exercise and take a sip every 20 minutes or so. If you are feeling dizzy or lightheaded while working out, it is a sign that you are dehydrated and should stop and drink some water. Take some sips of water, sit down for a few minutes and take some deep breaths. Once you feel better, you should resume your workout. Never gulp large mouthfuls of water and start strenuous exercises. You will feel sick and nauseous enough to even throw up. If you don't like drinking plain water, you can also substitute it with fruit juices, smoothies or make infused water with fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, cucumber slices, lime wedges, mint leaves and more. With the help of the tips mentioned above, you can easily start working out in a healthy and productive manner with a beginner workout plan which works for you.