1. Determine Your Primary Goals
Do you want to run faster? Do you wish to lose a certain amount of weight?
When you’re working out, you want to know what your desired physique is going to be. Do you want to have the shredded bodybuilder body? Do you just want to lose a certain amount of weight?
Your goal may not even be the way your body looks. You may have a particular goal you’re aiming for. You might be training to be able to run a marathon.
There are extreme differences between a bodybuilder and a marathon runner. They’re both fit, but their bodies are shaped to do different things. The training regimen are also entirely different as well.
The more specific you are in the goal you want to achieve it leads you down the correct path of what types of workouts you need to do. If your primary objective is just to look good, then a bodybuilding routine will get you the results you want compared to a 25-mile runner.
2. Research The Right Plan For You
Do your homework before you start.
If you’re a beginning make sure you read up on beginner workouts to make sure you have the right form and are doing the correct intensity level workout to keep you on track.
Take fitness classes or get a free assessment from a personal trainer to provide you the tools you need to get where you want to be.
Watch YouTube tutorials, find basic workouts based on your experience with fitness. Find someone who had the same goals/objective as you and see how they succeeded.
3. Stick To The Plan
Once you pick a workout regime, try it out for 30-60 and follow it to a T.
If you want to lose weight, you need to make sure all the workouts you’re doing aren’t a waste of time because you’re eating ice cream and pizza at home.
If you’re working out for endurance for things like long-distance running you need to be running, a lot.
If you want to larger muscles, you need to be eating more calories, that means you can’t lose weight.
If you try doing all three at the same time, you’re never going to see any results. Ever. Focus on one of these objectives at a time for 30-60 days until you’re satisfied, with where you’re at then try to concentrate on another goal.
That’s why you might have heard about bulking and toning. Bulking is gaining muscles. Toning is thinning out the fat to show the definition of your muscles.
4. Stick To You Schedule
Make time to fit your new workout plan into your daily schedule.
The reason why so many people fail in their workout goals is because they don’t make time for their workout schedules. They try to just add it to their already busy schedules and then they get lazy or forget to workout.
You don’t even need to force yourself to go to the gym. Having an actual space at home to do your workouts is good enough.
If you can fit time to watch TV, but you can’t seem to get yourself to the gym, that’s the issue. Make your workout as essential as eating.
5. Track Your Progress
Every two weeks, track your progress by taking photos or measurements. Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not.
Don’t always judge yourself based on what the scale says. You may have heard that “muscle weighs more than fat”. We see it all the time. Someone decides to stay in shape; they work out, they remain dedicated to their workouts, they see weight loss one week, and then the next week they gained weight. Stop letting the scale rule your life.
Taking photos helps you to see the progress you’ve made. Also taking proper measurements of the muscles you have been working out is a better indicator of your progress. Also, the places where you lose weight might not be in the typical areas that most people are self-conscious about.
Track all your measurements for your neck, shoulders, chest, bicep, waist, hips, and thighs. That which is measured will improve.
Another thing to look out for is the calories you’re eating. You should always be tracking your food when you have a goal in mind. It’s always hard to count calories because some foods we buy don’t have a nutrition label. Track what you can and look up similar foods on the internet to gauge how much you ate. You will never outrun the fork you put in your mouth.
Also, track how many reps and sets of each workout. It will come in handy later…
After your 30-60 day trial period, determine if this particular workout is the right fit for you and your goals.
Increase the weights, reps, or sets you do to see your improvement and progress.
Constantly doing 30 pushups every day will make you great at doing 30 pushups, but your body is going to get used to it and then those 30 push-ups won’t mean anything after a week. The next week you should always be able to do more than what you did the week before.
7. Tailor The Workout
After the trial period, if you like your workout start tweaking the technique to fit your body.
If you determined that particular workout system wasn’t for you, you can now cross that off your list and move onto another one. You’ll know what’s working after those 30-60 days are up because you can tell if you’re pushing yourself hard enough or not.
Make sure to take lessons from your previous effort.
8. Be Happy
As long as you’re happy and healthy, keep up what you’re doing. Don’t worry about others around you.
Most people get self-conscious when they’re working out around other people at the gym. Don’t compare yourself to others. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself and you a day, week, month, or a year ago. If you feel like you’re doing better than you were before, that’s all that matters.
The glute bridge is a simple but effective exercise to increase mobility and build your glutes.
The glute bridge has a couple different names, but works the same way regardless of what it is called.
1. Setup: Lie on your back with your feet planted on the ground with your heels directly below your knees and arms along your sides.
2. LiftTo initiate the movement, lift your pelvis up toward the ceiling, tightening your core and glutes, until you create a straight line from your knees along your torso and to your shoulders.
3. LowerSlowly lower your pelvis back down to the floor and repeat for 15-20 reps.
The bridge can be a great exercise to warm up the hip and core region, but can also be intensified by adding weight on top of your core during the movement.
Leg lifts are great at keeping your back, core, and lower body strong.
1. Lay On Your Side
To setup for this exercise, lay on your side, place one arm under your head for support, and place your top arm out in front of your torso to stabilize yourself. Tighten your core.
Begin to lift your top leg slowly and with control as high as is comfortable for your level of flexibility. Lower your leg slowly to the starting position.
You can do 3 sets of 20-30 reps for each leg. You can also use variations to engage slightly different muscles by moving your foot slightly in front or back of the bottom leg. This exercise can also be performed while in a side plank position for more of a core challenge.
We live in a world dominated by forward motion, it’s time to start engaging your side body.
Start with your feet firmly planted beneath your hips, and make sure you have plenty of room on both sides of you.
2. The Lunge
Firmly ground your right foot and begin stepping your left foot out to the side. As you are stepping, hinge at the hips by pushing your butt down and back and allowing your knee to bend to a 90-degree angle.
Your left foot should land with the toes pointing straight ahead, and make sure your right knee is tracking straight with your right foot and does not move forward of your toes.
3. Push Back Up
To come back up to the starting position, use your glute to push yourself back up and return your left foot underneath your hips. Repeat for 15-20 reps on each side.
A good push up remains one of the best body-weight exercises around.
Sometimes the classics are still the most effective, and this is certainly true when it comes to the humble, ever-challenging pushup.
There are two things to keep in mind with pushups: Form and number. When it comes to form, you will need to execute ideal pushups that keep your back straight, your hands placed directly below your shoulders, and your feet squarely planted.
When it comes to the number of reps, it’s important to do enough pushups that you feel your muscles fatigue. If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t see any gains.
A burpee combines three exercises in one for cardio and strength training that’s hard to beat.
While it has one of the weirdest names, the burpee is actually one of the best body weight exercises you can do no matter what your level of skill. The burpee moves quickly from push up to squat to jump and then back down again to another pushup.
Complete these quickly, while maintaining proper form, for a great cardio and strength workout. There are endless variations of the burpee to provide various degrees of challenge, but if you are first starting out, take it slow so you can master the form and avoid injury.
Lunges are still one of our top exercises for working the thighs
The lunge is another challenging classic that remains a great way to work out your legs and glutes. With the lunge, form is especially important to avoid injury and maximize results.
You want to aim for a lunge that takes your stepping leg to a 90-degree angle while your back knee is nearly touching the ground – and then reverse it. Switch legs doing 10-12 reps on each side to see results (this is also a great exercise to use in intervals).
Another common and similar bodyweight exercise is the mountain climber, which focuses entirely on leg movement and doesn’t require quite as much space.
Make your planks more challenging for a great workout.
The simple plank is a great exercise that can build serious core strength. However, if you have mastered the plank and are reaching 2 or more minutes with relative ease, it’s time to start challenging yourself with a plank variation.
Try including the starfish plank for an extra challenge and to mix things up in your workout. You’ll start breaking through any fitness plateau you might have hit using just the plank.
A tuck jump is a great way to train for mobility and get in some quick cardio.
The tuck jump will help you build explosive power, engage your core, and burn serious calories. With a tuck jump you begin with your feet straight ahead underneath your hips, quarter squat down, and immediately explode straight up bringing your knees toward your chest.
As you come back down, set yourself up to land as softly as possible with your feet straight ahead and underneath your hips.
You can do these in rapid succession for time or reps – three sets of 20 reps is a good starting point.
A pull-up bar opens the door for some incredible workouts.
The pull-up is one of the most effective upper body exercises you can include in your workouts. It’s a simple way, though not easy, to engage your upper back muscles, biceps, shoulders, and chest while improving your posture and overall strength. Here’s how to conquer the pull-up:
1. SetupTo start, stand underneath the bar and grip it with the palm of both hands facing away from you about shoulder distance apart. You’ll begin the pull-up from a dead hang with arms fully extended and legs hanging straight down.
2. Pull-UpTo initiate the movement, you’ll want to engage your upper body muscles by pulling your elbows down toward your sides. Do not strain your neck trying to clear the bar with your chin, your head should remain level and looking straight ahead. You can squeeze your legs together to help stiffen your core, but do not flail your legs to try to gain momentum from your lower body.
3. Back DownAfter you have cleared the bar with your chin, slowly lower yourself back down to a dead hang. Remember getting up is only half the exercise, the downward movement is just as important.
Squats are amazing thigh and glute builders, but only when used correctly.
Body weight squats are simple and incredibly effective – but they suffer greatly from laziness.
For a proper squat, space your feet just wider than hip distance apart with your toes facing straight forward.
Push your butt down and back while pushing your knees outward to squat down. Make sure to lower to at least a 90-degree angle at your knees.
Push through your heels back up to the starting position.
Around 20 to 30 reps for 2-3 sets is a great workout, but don’t worry if you have to start lower to master the form and gain strength.