Best Workout For Beginners
Our Guide To Starting Out In The Gym
Once we finally make the decision to begin a true workout regime, the real work begins. We psyche ourselves up and enter the gym like we are going to transform ourselves overnight from an ordinary person into being on the cover of the next fitness magazine. We run on the treadmill like we are Mo Farrar running for the gold in the next olympics. Next, we grab heavy dumbbells and try doing as many exercises as we can. Our form looks horrible and it is probably obvious to others around us that we have no clue what we are doing, but that does not deter us.
We have seen these guys in the gym. Just like when we enter an all you can eat buffet restaurant where our eyes are bigger than our stomach, but this time our eyes are bigger than our muscles. We are horribly sore for the next week, totally defeated, and not willing to return to the gym anytime soon.
This situation has happened to countless others. It’s best to enter the gym with a simple plan. A plan that will make you want to come back for more. An exercise routine for a beginner that will not leave you crippled, hurting, and unable to lift your arms without screaming in agony.
Focus on working the major muscle groups. I know you might be thinking right now, “What are the major muscle groups?” Don’t worry. We’ll get through this together. Determining the major muscle groups is not difficult. We can figure out the major muscle groups by breaking them up into body parts, and then focus on appropriate strength training exercises.
Your chest is a major muscle group. A simple movement that works the chest greatly is a push-up. We hated these in P.E. when we were younger, but they work. A good rule of thumb is that three to four sets of a particular exercise enables maximum strength training benefit. If you can, do ten repetitions for every set with a brief minute pause between every set. This means in total you will be doing 30 to 40 push-ups in approximately seven minutes. Push-ups will also workout the triceps (another major muscle located on the back of your arm).
Legs are another major muscle group. A simple bodyweight squat will help you gain strength and burn calories. These are simply done with no extra weight needed, it is only using your own bodyweight (hence the name). Feet should be shoulder width apart and turned slightly outward. Look straight ahead, put arms straight out in front, and now squat down so your hip joints are slightly lower than your knees. Stand back up and continue to do three sets of ten to fifteen reps (repetitions). Be sure you are placing your weight on your heels during the squat, not your toes.
Shoulders are a major muscle group, and many shoulder movements also workout your triceps. The standing military press is a surefire shoulder strengthening movement. This overhead press exercise works all three deltoid muscles in your shoulders, your upper back (another major muscle group), and biceps and triceps. It is a phenomenal movement that produces results.
A bar or dumbbells can be used in the standing military press. Place your feet and grip shoulder width apart, bring the weight down to in front of the chest, and then extend your arms straight up above your head. Repeat this process for three sets of ten reps.
The back is a large muscle group. A lot of back pain can be fixed by strengthening the muscles in the back. Most back exercises also work your core. While pullups are a great back exercise, you might struggle at it since this is a beginner’s workout.
Planks are perfect to workout your abs and your back at once. Try holding the planks for 30 seconds if you can. Continue on to do three sets of these. An upper back exercise that would be easy to do is barbell shrugs. Go with a weight that is not too heavy to begin with and again do three sets of ten. If you are in the gym, rows are always great for the back. You can choose the desired weight and then continue on for your three sets. Again, do not get carried away and think a decent weight is not heavy enough. You are just beginning, so be safe and work on proper form instead of becoming a He-Man overnight.
Biceps and Triceps
If you are a guy, you know you want big bis and tris. They are attention getting and can be seen easily in short sleeved shirts. If you are a woman, most likely you are more concerned about your triceps. This is the back of the arm that tends to get flabby as you get older. Again, this is a beginner’s workout, so no need to get crazy here. Keep it light and simple to start with and these muscles will still get a good workout. Plus, your biceps and triceps are used in many of the other exercises since there is a constant pulling or pushing with your arms.
An easy bicep exercise are the dumbbell curls. Grip the dumbbells at the sides of your hips, then curl your arm up towards your shoulders alternating with each hand. Focus on the controlled movement and do three sets of ten reps with dumbbells that won’t leave you hurting too badly the next day. Remember to keep the weight light during your beginner’s workouts.
Back dips are a triceps exercise that uses your own bodyweight. The great thing is they can be done almost anywhere. In or out of the gym, it can be done just by placing your hands behind you shoulder width apart on a bench, table, or chair. Slowly lower yourself down with your arms as your legs are extended out away from you. To make it easier, don’t extend your legs out as far. To make it tougher, put your feet up on a higher surface than the floor with your legs still extended. Follow along with the routine of three sets of ten reps.
Wrapping It up!
This beginner’s workout should be completed every other day for eight to twelve weeks. As you get stronger with these movements, more weight can be added when you are ready. Of course, some sort of cardio should be done as well. A fast walk or light jog on the treadmill or outside for 20 to 30 minutes every other day would be perfect. A simple schedule to keep would be alternating days between cardio and training your major muscle groups. Remember to keep it light and simple for the first eight to twelve weeks. Your body will tell you when it is time to take it to the next level!