How to Start A Workout Regimen at the Gym

Congratulations, you’ve decided you wanted to commit to a healthier and more active lifestyle.  That’s great news.  Your body will thank you for giving it the love and care it needs to function at its best.  Now that you’ve signed up for the gym, here comes the hard part- coming up with a suitable, effective, and fun workout regimen.

Stepping into the gym without a gameplan can be a bit intimidating, especially when you see everyone around you with a comfortable routine that seems like second nature.  Don’t worry, you’ll get there.  For now, you can experiment a bit and see what you’re interested in.  If you’re looking for a place to start, we’re here to help! It is also important to find a gym your are comfortable in. The experts at Chiseled Life Gym say that you should feel at home the moment you walk in the door.

Determine Your Fitness Goals

This is the most important thing to understand when you’re beginning a workout regimen.  Why are you working out?  What are you hoping for?  Are you looking to lose weight, build muscle, maintain overall health, or become more active?  Are you training for a specific event?  Whatever the reason, identifying and setting goals will help you find the best regimen for you.

Workouts don’t have to be dreadful and boring.  Start looking for exercises that align with your goals.  For example,

If you’re looking to lose weight:

Begin with a cardio routine 3 times a week.  Once you’ve adjusted to this, add one to two strength-training sessions each week.  This is a nice, slow way of getting you used to a routine you can stick with.  Create a long term goal of at least 30-60 minutes of cardio most days of the week and strength training at least twice a week.

If you’re looking to build muscle:

For beginners, full-body strength training days are best.  Start with two days of full-body per week.  Once you’re used to this, start adding another day to the mix and up your sets/weights.  Continue adding days to your routine as you feel comfortable.  If you’re not very familiar with weight workouts, consider getting a personal trainer to show you the ropes.

Set a Gym Schedule

Just like you have a work or school schedule, you need to start thinking of the gym as a required part of your day.  Plan ahead and set aside enough time each week to get your workouts in.  Prepare for these sessions, keeping in mind how you need to plan your day around them.  If you’re planning on waking up early and getting a workout in before work, prepare your work clothes and toiletries to shower at the gym before work.  Whatever the circumstance, plan everything into your calendar and stick with it.

Don’t Skip Warm Ups and Cool Downs

Warming up increases blood flow, preparing your muscles for exercise.  Cooling down helps your heart rate gradually return to a normal, steady pace.  This help prevents injuries, making it more likely to keep your routine going.  If you’re a beginner who takes a break due to injury, it’s much harder and less likely for you to get back into the gym.

Start Slow and Learn Proper Form

When you’re starting out, it’s okay if you’re not able to run for more than 15 minutes at a time or if you can’t lift more than 15-pound weights.  Everything is a work in progress, and your starting point matters much less than reaching your goal.  As you become more comfortable, start increasing resistance, start upping the weights.  This is a long-distance run, not a sprint to the finish line.  When strength training, it’s important to learn proper form to get the most results from your exercises.  You’ll also reduce the risk of injury.  Having one or two sessions with a personal trainer may be a good idea to help you learn about form.

Now that you’ve got all the tools necessary to start and maintain a workout regimen at the gym, let’s get down to business and start exercising!

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