How to start working out as a beginner

Working out can seem like a daunting task and actually starting to workout can often be the most difficult part of the process. “I don’t like going to the gym”, “I don’t have the time to exercise”, and “I can’t seem to motivate myself to workout” are some common excuses/reasons that people tell themselves to explain why they aren’t working out or why they can’t workout consistently.

When you are just starting to work out there are many obstacles that you will have to overcome, and it can be challenging at first. Making excuses will only hold you back and you need to commit to the process in order to be successful.

It is definitely worth the effort, however, and exercising regularly can have many positive benefits for your health and overall well-being. When getting started on your fitness journey there are some things that you should know/be aware of that will make getting into working out much easier and will allow the process to move a lot smoother. In this article we will explore these ideas and will break down how you can get started with working out.

Focus on the fundamentals

One of the biggest and main mistakes that people make when they are just starting out is thinking that they need to be able to lift the heaviest weight possible and do the most complicated of exercises. They feel peer pressured when they are in the gym and eventually burn out and stop going.

When you are just starting out you should, instead, focus on the fundamentals and doing the basics correctly. This will provide the basis and foundation for the rest of your fitness journey and will allow you to quickly progress and develop. Early on, it’s not about how much weight you can lift but is about getting the basics down and focusing on your technique.

Some fundamental exercises you should be focusing on are pullups, push ups, dips, and squats. These exercises can all be done at home using body weight and provide the basis for all the different exercises you will be doing in the gym. Additionally, if you are completely inexperienced with lifting weights these are excellent exercises to help you get your strength up and develop a strong base before attempting to lift weights.

Pullups will help you to develop a strong back and is the basis for all pulling motions in the gym (Pulling motions include both back exercises and bicep exercises). Push ups work the chest, triceps, and shoulders and create a good foundation for ‘push’ exercises in the gym such as bench press. Dips are similar to push ups as they target the chest, triceps, and shoulders but it also engages both the core and the traps and is an excellent exercise for developing overall upper body strength. Last, but not least, are squats. Squats are one of the best exercises for building muscle and burning calories and they target, not just the quads and hamstrings, but also the glutes and core.

Doing these exercises will help you to develop a strong foundation and excel in the gym. They are also excellent exercises to do when you are just starting to work out because they each have multiple variations and angles that you can do to raise the difficulty and intensity as you start getting better at doing them and they are also scalable in terms of weight.

Make a plan and set goals

The next big mistake that a lot of people make when they are just starting out is that they jump straight into it thinking they will figure it out as I go along. This mentality leads to unfocused and disjointed workouts and results in you losing motivation quickly and quitting.

It is essential to set a goal when you are a beginner as this gives you something to work towards and directs your efforts in meaningful places. It is also a great way to establish a level of accountability and allows you to stay motivated for a longer period of time. Your goals should be realistic, however, as unrealistic, and unattainable goals are a sure-fire way to kill your motivation and drive.

Don’t rush – consistency is key!

In addition to jumping straight into working out without having a plan, another common mistake that people make is trying to do too much too quickly and eventually becoming discouraged and burning out. As mentioned before, it is essential to work on the fundamentals and basics of working out before you attempt to do more intense or complicate forms of exercise. It is also just as important to pace yourself and get enough rest.

Over training is one of the quickest ways to get injured and lose motivation for working out. Getting proper rest will allow your muscles and body to properly recover and being at full capacity for your next session and will drastically improve both your energy levels and your progress in the gym.

Furthermore, being consistent is a critical element of working out successfully. Its not enough to just simply do it every once in a while. You need to show up consistently or working out will never turn into a habit and you won’t be able to reap all of the benefits that come along with working out. Consistency is key, and being consistent, especially in the beginning, is the best way to get the most out of working out.

Track your progress

A common reason for quitting early on is feeling like you aren’t making any progress and that your efforts are wasted despite doing your best. By sticking to a plan and tracking your progress you can remove this obstacle as you will be able to see exactly where you are improving, how much you are improving, and the areas in which you can still improve. This greatly improves your motivation and drive to keep working out and is a vital step you need to implement when you are just starting to workout.

Focus on your diet

A major aspect of working out is having a clean and healthy diet. In the early stages when people are first beginning to work out, they tend to neglect their nutrition and instead focus entirely on working out. This is a mistake as having a poor diet and poor nutrition will undercut everything that you are working for in the gym and will result in you not seeing any gains or progress as quickly as you could be.

We are not saying that you need to change your diet completely or instantly start a fad diet. Instead, you should be mindful of the types of foods that you are eating and should be intentional with the things that you consume. Eating clean and healthy is a lifestyle and doesn’t involve one quick fix to instantly have a healthy diet.

Implementing healthier foods into your diet and developing a healthy diet overall is worth it, however, as you will have more energy throughout the day and in your workouts, and you will start seeing gains at a much more rapid rate.

Extra Tips

  • Stay hydrated: it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day and especially while you are working out. This helps your body to function to the best of its ability and has added benefits of being good for your skin and energy levels.
  • Invest in some gear: you can work out in anything and it is not necessary to spend a fortune on the best workout gear or equipment. That being said, it is still worth investing in some quality workout gear, such as shoes and dry fit t-shirts, as this will improve your comfort in the gym and will positively impact your performance.

  • Warm up properly: while not talked about a lot, it is important to properly warm up before engaging in any physical activity. This will prepare you properly for the upcoming workout and will help to prevent any possible injuries. It will also allow you to perform to your maximum capacity while performing the exercises.

Final thoughts

Working out as a beginner can be an intimidating and daunting task and, if you are unaware of the potential pitfalls and obstacles that come along when first starting out, you can lose motivation and quit quickly. To avoid that, you should implement the steps that we outlined in this article and follow the tips that were given at the end. This will drastically increase your success rate when working out for the first time and will make starting a lot easier.  At the end of the day, it is still up to your to do the work and stay committed to your goals, however. We will do our best to support here you though!