Starting a workout routine is more like learning some new sport especially if you are just beginning to work out. Exercising for weight loss, build muscle, or for any other fitness goal can be very demanding and it requires you to throw in some hard work. So, in case you want to start your fitness journey, but you have no idea how to do so, here are nine workout tips for beginners.
#1. Plan your workout routine
Planning your workout routine largely involves setting your workout and fitness goals. Before you sign up for that cardio exercise class or start lifting those weights, you need to be realistic with yourself and set realistic goals.
Break your long-term goals into small achievable goals. For instance, you could set goals such as being able to get through your fitness class without stopping, lifting a specific size of weight, or losing 2 pounds of weight, say, every two weeks. Reassess your goals after every few weeks to make sure you are progressing in the way.
Also, while planning, ask yourself these questions: How long do I want to spend working out? How many classes do I need to attend? Do I work out at home or the gym? Do I need a personal trainer? From here, you can then develop a plan for your workout routine.
#2. Set your time and start slow
Again, you need to be realistic here. Figure out how much time you can really allocate yourself to work out, say, daily and stay committed to it. It will make a significant difference even if it is a small amount of time.
Start slow. Do not just jump in and begin working out five days per in a week. Director of Exercise Physiology at the University of Texas, Dr. John Higgins, MD, says that it is always better to start slow as you assess how your body is responding. For beginners, he recommends starting with 1-2 days a week and working out for at least half an hour daily.
Hanna Davies, author of the book Operation Bikini Body, and a fitness expert advises that if you are doing strength training, you should begin with 2 days a week for at most three weeks. You can then add a third day. Aim to complete twenty-minute sessions then you can gradually add time in 10-minute increments. Davies says starting off with 5 days a week could shock your body and bring in negative results.
#3. Begin with compound lifts
To achieve the best results for body fat-burning or muscle growth, it is advisable you start with such compound lifts as shoulder press, bench press, pull-ups, lunges, squats, and deadlift.
These compound lifts work out multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Doing them allows you to boost your metabolic rate, build more muscle, and lift more weight. To begin, choose the lifts that will require you to utilize not less than half of your entire body. As you proceed, it is okay to add isolation work.
#4. Nutrition is important
Often, working out adequately combined making the right food choices brings the best fitness results much quicker. So, it is imperative to start minding what you eat. Just because you exercised doesn’t mean you should spend the rest of the day munching doughnuts and pizza. Your workout is only a piece of the large fitness puzzle.
Choosing the right foods isn’t always difficult. For instance, instead of eating a lot of refined carbs, eat whole grains like oats. Choose lean meats; avoid processed foods, beverages with added sugars, oily cookies, etc.
Have more plant-based diets, include protein in your meals, snack on fruits and salads, drink more water, and start eating small food portions throughout the day, among other healthy habits. For a wide selection of high-protein snacks that you can eat on the go, http://www.LifetoLiveit.com gives a guide of low-fat protein-packed snacks to help you support your lean muscle diet.
#5. Don’t overdo your lifts weight
James Grage, Vice President and co-founder of BPI Sports says that trying to lift a lot of weight too soon or doing it improperly can lead to bad form. When beginners try lifting a lot of weight too soon, rather than using muscle contractions to move the weights, they tend use momentum.
Grage says that the key to successful weightlifting is isolating various muscle groups and working them through different exercises, techniques, and angles. You, therefore, need to control yourself and stay focused. The better you contract every muscle group when lifting, the more muscle you build.
More weights can wait. First, learn how to squeeze the muscles to move smaller loads rather than using the hips to thrust the weights up.
#6. Be consistent
It is extremely important for a beginner to form a workout habit. Doing exercises regularly, even in small sessions, helps with consistency. Being inconsistent delays your results, and then you begin thinking your workout plan is not working, so you keep changing.
Achieving significant results, especially if you are looking to build muscle or lose weight may take longer than you expect. The secret is to keep following your plan, think positively and stay on course, doing your workouts regularly and the results will eventually start coming.
#7. Don’t go it alone
Studies show that individuals who buddy up while working out are more likely to achieve their fitness goals than those that go it alone. Joining a gym or working out with a friend makes feel more motivated, and when you share your fitness goals with friends or family members, you are more likely to stay on course.
#8. Do a variety of workouts
Doing the same exercises over and over will not help you much. You will be working the same muscles, thus limiting your results. Also, mental fatigue may creep in, and you may lose your morale and decide to pack it in.
Whether you are working out for muscle building or weight loss, mix a variety of aerobics and strength training to accelerate positive results. Try the elliptical, run, bike, play soccer or whatever sport you enjoy, among other things. Also, do some resistance training and flexibility and balance exercises like yoga. Challenging your body in different ways with a variety of exercises gets you closer to your goals more quickly.
#9. Don’t be afraid, ask for help
If you are unsure about anything, do not hesitate to ask for help. There is nothing wrong with letting people help you. Failing to seek help or ask questions can lead to developing bad habits like lifting improperly, and you will find yourself working out too hard without significant results.
Whatever your work out journey holds, as a beginner, these tips are sure to help start and go through a successful workout routine.