Starting a new workout regime can be both daunting and exciting. Everything is new, and every workout seems to have a profound effect on your fitness and health. Your muscles might feel sore, you’ll be tired, but those workouts are undeniably doing something to your body!
Exercise is a relatively straightforward process of overloading your body with work and forcing it to adapt so that, next time, it’s better able to cope with your workout. Of course, your next workout should be slightly more demanding, and that combination of more work and recovery means that your fitness levels will gradually increase.
However, despite being a simple concept, exercise can often become very complicated. There are lots of different theories and methods which can leave your beginner fitness brain as sore as your muscles!
As a beginner, keeping things simple is for the best. You don’t need complex workouts or tricky exercises; very simple training approaches will work simply because they are new. If you’ve never done a push-up, you don’t need a super-complex chest building workout. The push-ups will get the job done. Then, as you get used to push-ups and they begin to lose their effectiveness, it’s time to move things up a notch and do something a little more challenging.
To help you start your fitness journey on the right foot, here are five simple training tips for beginners. Put these five tips into practice and, soon people will be coming to YOU for training advice!
1. Take it slow
Doing too much too soon can leave you sore, tired and demoralized about exercise. It’s good to be enthusiastic, but if you overdo it, you will regret it. Your first few workouts should act as an introduction to the concept of working out, and you should finish your workout with plenty of energy left in the tank. Thrashing yourself to within an inch of your life will probably turn you off exercise forever. Do not punish yourself with more exercise than you can realistically handle!
2. Be consistent
Leading on from the previous point, one ultra-hard workout will not make you fitter or lose weight. However, several successive, moderate workouts will. The benefits of exercise are cumulative which means they add up over time. It’s vital that you set a regular workout schedule, say three to four times a week, and stick to it as much as you can. Missing workouts means, at best, your fitness will not improve, but could even mean that your progress starts to decline; you cannot store fitness!
To make your workouts more consistent, make sure you choose activities you enjoy so that you have one less excuse for not doing them.
3. Learn proper technique
There are two ways to do every exercise – the right way and the wrong way. The right way is safe, works your target muscles effectively, and will provide the best possible results. The wrong way can lead to injury and may produce poor results.
As a beginner, you are in the perfect position to learn and use perfect technique for life! It’s much easier to master proper exercise technique from scratch than it is to unlearn bad habits.
Get some expert advice, hire a trainer for example, and make sure you learn the right technique for a variety of exercises. In years to come, your body will thank you for it – fewer aches, pains, and injuries – and your training will be more productive and enjoyable.
4. Generalize and don’t specialize
Weight lifters love to lift weights, runners love to run, and aerobics class attendees love to shake their butts to music. Each of these different types of exercise can be beneficial, but none are universal cure-alls that can develop every aspect of your fitness. If you specialize in one particular type of exercise, you may find that certain aspects of your fitness remain undeveloped.
Instead of specializing, make sure your workout program is more rounded and includes a variety of styles of training. Lift weights, do cardio, stretch, do balance and mobility exercises, train indoors and outdoors. The more varied your training program is, the more rounded your fitness will be. There are numerous free workouts for all different types of training styles, so try them all out.
Some people do specialize in one aspect of exercise – maybe for competitive purposes – but if you want a good level of general, all-around fitness, specialization is not for you!
5. Set goals
As motivated as you are right now for exercise, that motivation may fail you in the not too distant future. Instead of looking forward to your workouts, you might start to dread them as the novelty wears off. Don’t worry, this is normal.
However, there are ways you can bolster and preserve your motivation, and one of the best ways is to set goals. Goals are simply targets that give your workouts some focus. For example, instead of exercising just to get fit, why not set yourself a fitness goal like being able to run three miles. Alternatively, you might want to be strong enough to do 30 push-ups.
Giving your training a more defined purpose means that you should feel more motivated. After all, if you skip a workout, you’ll be further away rather than closer to your goals. What do you do once you meet your goals? Easy – set new ones!
Getting results from training takes time, but with perseverance, it will happen. As you clock up more and more workouts, you’ll see and feel your body start to change as your fitness levels increase. Keep at it! And remember, while exercise makes you fit, it also makes you healthy and, ultimately, that improved health will lead to a longer and more productive life. Get the most from exercise by starting out right!