If you are completely new to fitness, but want to change your lifestyle for the better, you don’t need to join a gym or hire a personal trainer to get started.
You can get started TODAY by doing a bodywieght resistance training workout in your own home!
Don’t fret if you can’t do too many pushups, squats or jumping jacks… No one is judging you. The KEY is that you just get started.
Today I am giving you 4 exercise tips for beginners so you can know how to design a workout for yourself.
But before you get started, I want to point out that your workouts don’t need to be complicated and they don’t need to be super long either.
People assume that workouts need to be long to be effective, but that’s not true.
If you’re coming off of a long hiatus from working out or your just getting started for the first time, a 10, 15, or 20 minute workout is A LOT better than nothing at all.
So do not dismiss a short, bodyweight workout as ineffective.
OK, now let’s jump into the 4 Exercise Tips For Beginners…
Hitting Large Muscle Groups
Your large muscle groups are found in your legs (such as quadriceps and hamstrings), chest (such as pectoralis major), and back. It is absolutely crucial that you focus on including all your large muscle groups when designing a workout plan for yourself.
There are several reasons you need to workout your large muscle groups. The main reason is this will burn a significantly more amount of calories than if you were to solely target smaller muscle groups.
But another less obvious reason is for practical strength. Your large muscle groups are responsible for doing all the “real” pushing and pulling you’ll be doing outside of the gym.
On the other hand your smaller muscle groups are mainly responsible for stabilizing your large muscles and will be strengthened by simply exercising your large muscle groups.
Ensure You’re Taking Short Rests
Have you ever been to the gym and noticed someone sitting at a machine…just looking at their phone as they “rest?”
It happens all the time.
Unfortnunaltey, taking 3-5 minute “rests” in between sets is not effective.
You should be aiming for short rest times of 10 – 40 seconds.
The reason for maintaining short rests between your exercises is that it provides the maximal amount of calories burned during your exercise, places an optimal amount of stress on your muscle groups, and will lead to the best results.
You also get more done in a shorter amount of time…and if you have a spouce and kid waiting for you at home…you know you don’t have much time to mess around with!
Stick With The Circuit Format
In terms of the program itself I suggest you stick with the circuit format.
What this means is that you will be doing a certain number of repetitions of a specific exercise, like ten pushups. After you are done you will take your short rest and move on to another exercise, like 10 pullups.
And then move on to a leg exercise, and finish with a core exercise.
That’s a circuit.
Once you are done all your exercises you will repeat the circuit once or twice again.
This allows you to efficiently workout all your major muscle groups in a timely manner while maximizing your output.
This is key for staying engaged in your healthy lifestyle and not falling off.
Maximize Your Intensity
The last key to designing the best possible workout plan is to maximize your intensity.
Once again, don’t feel bad if you are just beginning, your intensity is very dependant on your fitness level.
For example, there’s no way that you’d be able to match my intensity level if you are working out for the first time. But that doesn’t matter, all it’s really about is pushing yourself as hard as you can.
If you don’t feel uncomfortable that means you aren’t giving it enough effort and intensity.
Not sure if you’re pushing yourself hard enough? Don’t worry there is a little trick you can use on yourself to test if you are pushing yourself enough.
This trick is based on a scale developed by a Gunnar Borg, a PhD/MD doctor at the University of Stockholm.
This scale is called Borg’s RPE (rate of perceived exertion) and it is commonly used by medical practitioners to evaluate or diagnose diseases which may lead to the feeling of overexertion.
We can take advantage of this and administer the test on ourselves to determine if we are at a high enough intensity when working out.
An altered version of Borg’s original RPE scale is what is commonly used to measure exertion during training and this is what we will be using.
This scale is a ten-point scale with your intensity level varying from 1 – 10. To test yourself just ask yourself if you would be able to hold a conversation, or talk to yourself.
If you are able to talk easily but have an increased rate of breathing you are at a 3. If you’re able to hold a sporadic conversation you are at a 5. If you are only able to answer questions only with short sentences you are at a 7. If you are only able to reply in a conversation with a single word you are at an 8. If you are unable to speak you are at a 9 – 10.
For most beginners you want to aim for an intensity level of around 5. This means you should be able to hold a sporadic conversation with a friend while working out. After you are able to maintain a five while working out you want to try to ramp up your intensity level even higher.
Just remember you have to step outside your comfort zone if you are going to progress your fitness level.
So now that I’ve gone through and given you the four keys to designing a workout, here’s a sample workout to demonstrate what a workout would look for you.
Firstly you will be performing each of the following exercises for 40 seconds each. Take a quick 10 second break in between each exercise. After you complete the last exercise, rest for 60-90 seconds. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times.
- Bodyweight Squats
- Reverse Lunges
- Mt. Climbers
- Jumping Jacks
This workout will target your large muscle groups and is in a circuit format. You just need to worry about trying to maintain your intensity level and working it up, as well as making sure you aren’t extending your rests for too long.
So there you have it, 4 tips to designing your home workouts.
Getting started on a workout routine can be intimidating and scary. Especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.
But I hope that these tips will guide you in the right direction and help you actually get moving.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out or drop a comment down below!