A lot of people want to change themselves. Be it losing fat or training for strength. But how should one actually get started? In this article, I am going to be discussing a course of action that worked for me personally, as well as people I’ve trained with.
Determine Your Goals
First of all: determine your goals. If you don’t have a goal or a vision, you will never succeed. My goal back in 2014 was to become more beefy and put on around 20lbs of muscle in a year. Without setting a goal for myself, I would have never gotten where I am today.
Like I said, I have trained with people that did not really have a goal. They would skip workouts and they weren’t motivated at all to make the most out of each training session, because they had no idea WHY they were doing it in the first place.
This is a death sentence for everyone that’s trying to make some progress. And guess what? They quit after three months with close to no progress. Now that is a waste of time and money.
Having a set goal gives you the feeling that you’re working towards something. It keeps you motivated.
So if you are one of many that is trying to get started, promise me you’ll make a goal for yourself. Be ambitious, but also realistic.
Becoming a better version of yourself should not be a punishing endeavor. It’s a journey in which you discover parts of yourself that you never knew existed. It’s all part of the game.
Start Crafting a Plan
So now that you have set a goal for yourself, it’s time to move on to the next step: making a plan. This can sometimes be very overwhelming as it requires you to do your own research. Since everyone has their own vision, it’s important to find something that works for you.
For example: I can make you a workout and meal plan without any problems, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has the same result on you that it has on me. This is okay. I believe it’s necessary to try new things. It’s entirely possible that it will take a while before you’re comfortable with your workout routine.
Most personal trainers do agree though, that compound exercises should always be implemented in one’s training routine, especially when they’re new to working out.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I am going to give you a full body workout routine that requires you to go to the gym three times a week. Will it work for everyone? I don’t know, but I’ll do what I can.
Beginner Workout: Burn Fat, Gain Strength and Build Muscle
So this is going to be my beginner workout routine. First, you’ll see the name of the exercise, followed by the amount of reps each set has. So for example, when it says “Bench Press – 4, 6, 8, 10”, it means that the first set has 4 reps, the second set has 6 reps, and so on. When the amount of reps increases, the amount of weight you lift decreases and vice versa. Got all that? Good, here we go.
- Deadlift – 8, 8, 8, 8,
- Bench Press – 6, 8, 10, 10, 12
- Pull Up, either assisted, with body weight or weighted – 10, 10, 10
- Planks – 30 seconds (5 sets)
- Running – 30 minutes
- Squat – 8, 8, 8, 8
- Overhead Press – 6, 8, 10, 12
- Bent Over Row – 10, 8, 6, 6
- Reverse Crunches – 12, 12, 12, 12
- Running – (30 minutes)
- Dips, either assisted, with body weight or weighted –
- Chin Up, either assisted, with body weight or weighted
- Alternating Weighted Lunges – 12- 10, 8, 6, 6
- Knee Raises – 12, 12, 12, 12
- Running – (30 minutes)
As you can see, every workout day consists of four exercises that target the entire body. To close things off, I’ve added 30 minutes of running to burn some more of those fatty tissues. It’s important to note that you should not pick a weight that’s too heavy. Forget your ego. You don’t want to get injured.
Another note on the Pull Up and Chin Up exercises. It’s entirely possible that you’re not able to perform either of these exercises with your own body weight. That’s absolutely fine. Most gyms have assisted Pull Up machines, and if that’s not the case, I recommend using a resistance band to make the exercise easier. Most gyms have one and if they don’t, you can bring your own.
Finally I recommend anyone that’s starting off, to watch some videos on how certain exercises are performed.
Now on to the nutritional part of the plan. First of all, I believe it’s important to calculate your base metabolic rate. If you want to lose weight, subtract about 250 to 500 calories from your base metabolic rate. This number will be your maximum daily intake.
Beginner Food Plan
Now it’s time to make yourself a meal plan. I’d recommend eating at least four times a day to keep your metabolism active. Try to cut on sugars if possible, and increase the amount of protein. Great foods are:
- Cottage cheese
- Chicken breast or other lean meat
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole wheat products
There is of course a lot of food to choose from, just make sure you’re not consuming too much junk food. It’s very important to keep track of what you eat. Why? Well, because it makes you aware of everything you consume. A great app to do so is MyFitnessPal, and the best part is: it’s free. It helped me take control of my food intake and therefore get the results I wanted. Therefore, I would recommend it to any beginner.
Record Your Progress
This one did wonders for me. I took a selfie in the mirror on day 1 of my ‘transformation’. I weighed around 128lbs at 5ft 11, so I basically looked like a stick figure. Every month from then on, I would take a new picture of myself. It’s a good thing I did, because I wasn’t able to see my progress, as I looked into the mirror every day.
With help of the photos I took, I was slowly starting to see some progress. Not only that, but my friends start noticing and complimenting me on my progress. I cannot for the life of me begin to describe the enormous boost that gave me. I wanted more.
This is when I started working out even more, and my progress was really starting to show. People in the gym were asking me for my routine, as well as tips. Again, I cannot describe the feeling that it gave me. All I can say is that you should without a doubt record your progress.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s slow or not: progress is progress, and you should be proud!
Stick to the Plan!
I’ve talked about this before, and I’ll do it again: consistency is key, no matter what your goal is. There are going to be days, maybe weeks, in which your progress is stagnating. This can be demotivating, but remember your goal and stick to the plan!
When I had a less effective week, I’d go over my routine and mix things up. Different exercises, a different amount of repetitions and so on.
This made all the difference to me. The next week my muscles would get sore like I had never worked out before. In my mind, this meant progress, which sparked my fire once again.
So what did you think about this article? Are you missing anything? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll make sure to get back to you!