Starting your fitness journey can be a daunting task for beginners. In most cases, many beginners don’t know where to start or what movements or lifts will help them reach their fitness goals. In some cases, these individuals go into the gym with no real plan in mind, and as the saying goes, “When you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
Having a well-planned fitness routine is a crucial part of beginning your fitness journey. A fitness routine gives you a schedule that you can follow and keeps you on the right track.
According to a recent survey, 68% of Americans aim to improve their overall wellness in 2021. 56% of respondents plan on getting in better shape. While these numbers are smaller than usual (thanks in large part to the global pandemic), that is still millions of Americans who plan on focusing on their fitness in the New Year.
A well-planned fitness routine will help beginners stick to their resolutions and focus on their goals. Fitness Nation values a good fitness routine, which is why we are here to help beginners create their own. If you are in need of a gym to call home, join Fitness Nation today.
Assess Your Current Fitness Level
Before you get started on anything, you need to assess where you are at physically. During this process, you should not feel ashamed of anything. After all, you have made the decision to make your wellness a priority. Knowing what you can and can’t do physically will help you assess what goals you need to set.
It also gives you a great starting point. You’re capable of measuring your progress along your fitness journey after an assessment. Before starting your fitness journey, you should:
- Measure your weight
- Figure out your body mass index (BMI)
- Test your flexibility
- Assess your resting heart rate and your heart rate during and after a workout
- Measure your waist, chest, biceps, etc.
Assessing your current fitness level will give you a baseline for your fitness journey moving forward. Remember, you will not see results right away. Be patient.
Now that you know where you’re at physically, it’s time to set some goals. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Base your goals on yourself and what you can do. Setting goals gives you something to strive towards, and they help you stay motivated.
Take some time to figure out what you plan on achieving with your fitness routine. Do you want to lose weight? Are you trying to build muscle or strength? Do you want to tone up? Do you want to run faster?
You can set a number of goals for yourself, as long as they are achievable. Far too many people set goals that they will never reach or ones that will take a considerably long time to achieve. Set goals that you know you can accomplish.
Also, make sure you set specific goals. If you want to lose weight, how much weight do you want to lose? If you are trying to run faster, how fast of a mile do you want to run? Give yourself a concrete endpoint.
Assess Your Schedule
Once you have set your goals, it’s time to create your fitness routine. The first thing you should figure out is when and how long you can realistically workout. Take a look at your schedule and find a time that you can consistently workout. Consistency is key. According to a 2009 study, it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to become automatic.
Some habits take longer to form than others. Additionally, some people are able to form habits better than others. However, consistency can help solidify a routine. You’re not always going to have time to work out, so you have to make time.
Take into consideration your current schedule, time commitments, and priorities. With this information in mind, determine when you can make time to exercise comfortably. Decide what days of the week, what time of day, and for how long. It’s okay if you can only work out 3-4 days a week. Look for a consistently available time block.
Find out whatever your schedule allows and do what you can with the time available to you. Anything is better than nothing.
For beginners, this step is crucial. If you have little experience, you can seriously hurt yourself. In many cases, beginners don’t always know their limits, nor do they know the proper form for some lifts. If you start small, you can focus more on the correct form, which also protects you from injuries.
There is nothing wrong with starting small. It is the smart (and safe) thing to do. A lot of people have gym anxiety. A lot of that anxiety stems from comparing yourself to others. Try not to compare yourself to others in the gym. After all, they had to start somewhere, too, just like you.
Plan Your Workouts
This next step is arguably the most difficult to complete and often scares beginners away. After all, there are so many different workouts to choose from that it can be overwhelming. However, once you’ve decided your goals and found a time that works best for your schedule, you can narrow down the workouts.
As we just mentioned, you should always focus on learning proper form, improving stabilization, and building endurance. Most beginners find that starting a fitness routine of bodyweight exercises or machines can help you master the basic movements and build strength.
As you get more comfortable with these movements, you’ll move on to free weight exercises that are far more intense and engage larger muscle groups. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online that can help you find a plan that not only helps you reach your goals but also one that you enjoy.
However, instead of creating a workout plan on your own, you can always reach out to a personal trainer to help you put together a fitness routine that matches your current fitness level and your goals.
Remember, do not forget to include rest days in your fitness routine. Rest days are crucial in helping your body recover and preventing injuries.
Reevaluate Your Progress
Over time, the human body adapts. As you work out, your body will get stronger, and you will build your endurance. However, after some time, your body will get used to the movements and exercises you are doing. They will no longer challenge your body. If workouts become easy to do even with more weight, it might be time for a change.
Keep an exercise log to record what exercises you have been doing, along with the sets, reps, and weight you are lifting (or the distance and time you ran or rode a bike). Take progress pictures, using the same poses and lighting, if possible. Record your measurements.
Compare your new assessment to the one you made before beginning your fitness journey. Every few weeks or so, compare your progress to the last evaluation. Where have you improved? Are you stalling? Have you been consistent? Do you need a new challenge? Have you met your goals?
Once you see progress, adapt your fitness routine to ensure you continue to engage in challenging exercises. If you’ve met your goals, set new ones, and adjust your program to match.
As you begin your fitness journey, creating a well-planned fitness routine is a must. If you are ready to start this journey and need a gym to call home, join Fitness Nation today.