Updated: Sep 23
As a beginner to working out and nutrition, you likely have a lot of questions and are unsure about what to do. This uncertainty and the questions you have may be stopping you from beginning a training as well as nutrition program, and may have been stopping you for some time. The first step is just doing something.
Even if you do not read the rest of this blog or the assortment of helpful blogs below, understand that you have to do something, even if that something is unstructured, if you want to reach your goals. Randomly use machines at the gym, start being mindful of eating, start walking for 10 minutes each day—just do something. And then keep doing that thing and add more things. In time, you will be doing a whole lot of something and moving toward your goals, even if a real plan is not present. That said, some more information will help you.
I would like to say the more informed you are, the better, but that is not always the case. You do not need an exercise science degree or a personal trainer certification to reach your goals. Too much information may be confusing and may lead you down the wrong path, meaning away from your goals. More than anything, you just need a plan that covers the basics. The best approach is to have someone experienced and educated in training as well as nutrition create a plan for you. In absence of that, you can use the fitness blogs below to put together ideas for what you need to do.
Before I go on, if you are someone just looking for a beginner workout program, then our blog “The Ultimate Collection of Beginner Workout Programs” is what you want. You can find it here https://www.demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com/post/the-ultimate-collection-of-beginner-workout-programs.
The value of the fitness blogs for beginners
Potential clients come to use for basic reasons, reasons that may be your motivation for beginning to work out and focus on nutrition. These reasons are:
Reduce body fat
Expand general fitness
These goals overlap in many areas. For example, many people who want to build muscle want overall improvements in body composition, meaning they want to reduce body fat. For someone looking to expand general fitness, part of the focus is getting stronger and bettering cardio ability, since these are expressions of fitness. This overlap likely applies to you too. As you read through the blogs, and really as you think about your training and nutrition, keep this idea in mind.
Each of the blogs below focus on one or more of the above goals. The last two blogs do so in more of an indirect way but the others directly focus on one or more goals and will prove helpful to you as a beginner seeking a quality workout plan and nutrition program.
How to lose weight - overcoming roadblocks
One of the most common goals for any client entering personal training is weight loss. Almost everyone wants to lose fat around the midsection, get rid of the dreaded and oddly named “batwings,” or see less dimples in the thighs.
For most of the population, adding weight is easy. Fast food, high calorie snacks foods, and social eating all contribute to this may making eating a common past time during which high amounts of calories are easy to consume.
Losing weight is difficult for those same people. Most people view the difficulty as something physical, which has some merit, but the most difficult underlying issue is the mental part of losing weight. If you want to understand more about the mental and how to lose weight, read this blog.
How to build 10-20 pounds of muscle
Building muscle does not have to be complicated. With all of the information available on the web, filtering out the good from the bad, the applicable from inapplicable, can be hard and frustrating. This writing focuses on making the process less frustrating for you by providing easily understandable tips for how to build 10-20 pounds of muscle.
The concepts provided here apply not only now, and not only to the first 10-20 pounds of muscles gained, but instead are ideas that will serve you well for years to come. Check out this blog to find out more.
5 tips for building strength
Building strength is a simple subject that is often made complex due to the internet. Everyone has an opinion and different coaches use different approaches. People debate which approach is best, flex egos, and confuse the issue more due to this. Really, all strength programs work. The argument about program superiority is often a matter of context.
For example, a powerlifting program is ideal for a powerlifter, while that same program may not be ideal for the soccer mom who has no interest in powerlifting. The soccer mom may benefit from a generalized approach to strength that includes more variety in lifts, includes calisthenics, and uses a wider variety of rep ranges. This does not mean either program is bad or inferior, just that each program has a place where it is more ideal.
That said, there are some basic ideas behind any strength program. Follow the link to learn more.
Start here on your nutrition journey
When it comes to any physical goal that you want to achieve, whether it is improved health, improved fitness, improved performance, body composition changes, or some other goal, you have to consider nutrition.
Now there are some people who say that you can out train a bad diet, and while some degree of truth is in that statement, the more focused you are on nutrition for your goal, the better your progress will be.
Success with nutrition or anything in life is about finding the proper line for you and balancing on that line, giving you the things that you want and the things that you need to be successful.
You do not have to go vegan or eat meat. You can go high carb or low carb. No one nutrition strategy exists; many can help you be successful. All that said, for any approach to work, there are a few things you should consider and this blog delves into that.
What is mobility (with suggested exercises and videos)?
Mobility is essential to everything we do. From sitting to lying down to running to lifting weights, mobility is part of any physical action. Just the act of completing these movements can help mobility. For example, if you have a limited range squat due to mobility, one key to improving it is simply doing the squat and trying to get lower into the squat each time you do.
Mobility work for the average person or gym goer does not need to be complex. An athlete on the other hand might have special needs for their sport and require extra mobility work as a result. The same can be said for someone who has physical limitations. Each situation needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but everyone can benefit from basic mobility. In this bog I provide basic mobility work that you can perform today to begin improving your mobility.
Read the blog at this link https://www.demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com/post/2019/09/02/what-is-mobility-with-suggested-exercises-and-videos. Included are video examples that you can follow along to.
Five exercises we recommend for everyone
There are five exercise types we recommend for everyone. If you are a current or former client of ours, you know these types of movements well.
Any squat-for lower body function
Any hip hinge-for posterior chain function, bottom dominant
Any overhead press-shoulder, arm, and pec development (minor emphasis on pecs)
Upper-body posterior chain movement-neck to waist dominant (band pull-apart, etc.)
Cardio-cardio help and overall fitness
This blog briefly delves into each category, explains the importance of each, and provides example movements you can perform today. Additional reading is included as well, with linked blogs that go deeper into different movement category to help you understand more about the hows and whys of each. Read more here https://www.demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com/post/2017/06/26/five-exercises-we-recommend-for-everyone.
And that is it. The top six blogs for beginners. Read through them, note the key points, and keep them in mind. Also, in case you missed it, I linked to beginner workout programs at the start of this writing, so be sure to visit that blog to and learn more about each program noted there. One is sure to be a good fit for you. Or you can reach out to me directly about signing up for one of our services so I can create a custom program for you.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.