Over the years I’ve seen way too many people who decide to take responsibility for their body and health, but then have no clue where to go from there. I don’t blame them. I was one of them. There’s so much information out there it’s hard to figure out what’s right for you. Because let’s face it, you can’t believe everything you find on the internet, and that’s coming from someone who runs a blog on the internet.
So now that you’ve made the decision to work on your health and body goals, congratulations! And don’t get discouraged if you don’t know where to go from there. We were all beginners before we became fitness inspirations. If you’re able to filter out a lot of the information that doesn’t apply to you and really do your research, then your fitness journey will be so much easier when you actually start.
And I want to guide you through that process. Because it’s so helpful when you have someone on your side wanting you to succeed. As a trainer who wants just that, this is some of the best advice I can give you when you’re a beginner getting into the fitness lifestyle.
12 Beginner Fitness Tips to Help You Reach Your Body Goals
Know Your Why and What Your Goals Are
Whatever motivated you to get up and workout won’t always be what motivates you to keep going. What actually motivates you to keep going is knowing your true why and what goals you want to meet. So dig deep.
It’s more than just saying I want a bigger butt. Or I want a flat stomach. Why do you want those things? Why do you want to gain or lose weight? How do you feel your life will change once you get those things? How do you feel that you will be different once you reach your goals?
Once you know your why you can keep that in your heart and mind as a reminder of why you should keep going.
Don’t Compare Your Journey to Others
Ever heard of the saying “Comparison is the thief of joy?” Well it honestly is. No one is you. It doesn’t matter if the person or people that you’re comparing yourself to have a similar body type, same weight and height, and are at the same point in their journey.
Their journey is not your journey. Their genetics are different, and fitness is going to look different on them compared to you. The same high you might get from knowing that you’ve surpassed them in some way will also cause you to feel self doubt when someone is better than you or reached a certain place in their fitness journey faster than you.
Even if you’re just comparing to get an idea of how long it should take you to reach the same goal, don’t use their goals as a measuring tool. Because once again you’re different people with different lives. And the only competition and person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. So instead, focus on being a better version of yourself than you were before.
Be Realistic With Your Time Commitments
The one thing that a lot of beginners do is be unrealistic with their fitness commitments and then they end up burning out quickly. It’s not a race and there’s no rush. There’s no need to go from 0 – 100.
If you have a full time job and kids you may not be able to make the same time commitment as a college student. So if you can only workout 3 days a week, then stick to those 3 days a week instead of trying to do 5 days and burning yourself out. You don’t want to be that person that stops working out because they have no energy.
Short Consistent Workouts Are Better Than Long Inconsistent Workouts
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results.
One of the worst things you can do is spend 2 hours working out one day, another hour 4 days later, 2 hours a week later etc. and then complain about not seeing any results. There’s no consistency in that.
If you want to reach your body goals you have to be consistent.
So that means working out at least 3 days a week, even if it’s only 20 minute workouts. Even if you have to sacrifice a trip to the gym for an at home workout, or wake up early, or go to sleep a little later than normal. Just do it. That’s how you’ll see the results that you want.
Find Someone More Motivated Than You to Train With
Now me personally I enjoy working out alone, it keeps me focused. But if you feel more motivated when you have a friend with you, then find someone that will work out with you. And if you don’t have anyone, ask someone at the gym if you can workout together.
Usually people that you meet in the gym are self motivated so you don’t have to worry about them bailing on you or making excuses when you want to workout. They can also keep you accountable and stop you from making excuses yourself.
When I was a new face at the gym, I introduced myself to a few of the females and males that trained there, so I could get advice from them if I needed it and even do a partner workout if I was in the mood. It turned out to be great for me. Just knowing that they would be at the gym made me want to make sure that I showed up too.
Learn How to Use Free Weights
If you want to build muscle don’t be afraid to use free weights like dumbbells, kettle bells, and barbells. This’ll help you in a few ways. If it’s you’re first time in the gym and you have no clue what the machines do or how to use them, you’ll at least know how to use the free weights for what you need.
I remember when I first started I found machines more intimidating than free weights because of all of the adjustments you have to make on the machines. Eventually I learned how to use both and incorporate both in my workouts.
Another good thing about free weights is that if it’s busy in the gym you don’t want to have to wait for a machine to be free. Free weights give you the ability to get creative with your workouts and easily work all of your muscles.
Do Workouts That You Actually Enjoy
If I didn’t do workouts that I enjoyed, trying to get in shape and reach my goals would have been miserable. Now when I say something that you enjoy, I don’t mean something easy. I mean something that’s enjoyable and challenging.
So if working on certain muscles each day is boring try doing full body workouts. Or if basic sets and reps doesn’t interest you, try doing a circuit or interval training. You can even combine different workout styles. Don’t be afraid to try different things until you figure out what works for you.
Invest in Good Quality Workout Clothes
Okay so this isn’t really a tip to help you improve your fitness or anything, it’s more for inspiration. For a lot of females, if they look good and like their outfit in the gym they tend to feel confident and work harder. This may not be the case for you but try it. A cute top and leggings may be that extra boost of confidence that you need to try an exercise that you’ve never tried before.
Good quality work out clothes don’t have to be expensive either. Forever 21 is great for affordable cute work out clothes. I love their stuff. TJ Maxx is great too.
Learn to Accept that Progress Isn’t Always Linear
This one was hard for me to deal with in the beginning. There was a point after a few months that I realized that I plateaued. Nothing drastic happened. I just wasn’t really seeing any growth or changes anymore, and on top of that I fell off with my training for a few weeks. As a result I didn’t always look or feel as great as I should’ve for someone who’s been training for over a year.
And even though people told me multiple times that progress isn’t always linear it didn’t hit me until it hit me. But once I was able to acknowledge and accept it, I was able to figure out how to push past my plateau and make changes to my workouts and diet in order to keep seeing results.
So if the same thing happens to you don’t give up or get discouraged. Just figure out what adjustments need to be made for you to keep seeing results.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
For the love of God, STRETCH! I’ll never understand how people go straight into their workouts without first foam rolling and stretching beforehand. When you go straight into working out without any type of stretching or warming up your muscles will be tight and it can cause injuries and muscle imbalances later on down the line.
Before your workouts try to spend 5 – 1o minutes foam rolling and stretching. And get your body ready for the workout that you’re going to put it through.
Keep Your Workouts Simple
As a beginner you have an advantage over people who have been training for years. Your body will respond much faster to training. That means you don’t have to do complicated moves and exercises to see results. Things as simple as squats, hip thrusts, lunges, rows, and presses, that work multiple muscles at one time will be more than enough to see changes in your body.
Now if you want to add more complicated movements to your routine just to keep it interesting by all means do so, but the important thing to know is that it’s not necessary.
Be Prepare to Ignore Your Own Excuses
There’s no other way to put this. Don’t let yourself stop yourself from reaching your goals. If you don’t wan’t to do something you’ll come up with every possible excuse as to why you shouldn’t. But all you need is one reason why you should. So be prepared to ignore all of your excuses and just get to work.