The Beginner’s Guide To Exercise: Part 2

Brandon Hahn September 10, 2013 Training Articles

Welcome back for part 2, if you missed part 1, click here and read up.

Step 4. Visit your doctor

You may be 18 or 80, it does not matter. Go see the doctor for a simple checkup to make sure you are in good health. If you do not have coverage, you will want to cover things with the local gym. They should have a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) or health questionnaire upon signing up. If you exercise at home, it can become a bit more difficult if you cannot see the doctor. Simply keep a monitor of yourself during exercise. Any symptom present during exercise should be noted. Fatigue will obviously occur, however keep track. The same goes for sweating, if it’s excessive, see the doctor. Better safe than sorry.

Step 5. Designing your exercise program

There are a few options when it comes to designing an exercise program. The key is to make sure the program fits you and your availability. It is nice to WANT to train 7 days per week, but you NEED to make sure you have that time available. One of the many reasons people stop exercising is because they feel it’s too much work.

  1. Research – You can do research on your own to gather info and design a decent plan.
  2. Knowledgeable friend – Friends are good to lean on, especially when beginning an exercise program. Choose the friend that’s been exercising for awhile. This way you can be more assured that the person has a clue about what they are doing.
  3. Get a trainer – You could also seek out a personal trainer from your gym or around town (the trainer should be referred by someone who has used this person before. Trainers have little requirements to become a personal trainer).

At the end of this series, we will provide a simple routine that can be done at the gym or at home. Since we cannot visit each reader one-by-one, this routine will be suited for a beginner. However, specifics related to previous injuries or current injuries should be taken into account. Someone with issues with a nagging shoulder pain, or knee pain, need to be addressed. This is not a run-of-the-mill plan, it will work, but it’s important to note that the program is geared toward the injury-free lifter.

Step 6. Learn your exercises.

These days anybody works out at the gym. However, do not try to mimic what you see in the gym. Even the most fit person can perform exercises incorrectly. This is where a trainer helps. If you cannot afford a trainer, then thank heavens for YouTube. Search out each exercise to get a detailed description of how to complete each exercise. Watch the videos and study the movement. Then, try to follow along just using your body, no equipment. Finally, move on to adding in a little weight to feel your muscles working. It is also good to know WHICH muscles are worked in each exercise. This way you can really squeeze those muscles during the lift.

Step 7. Get started!

Well, the planning stage is complete. It is time to put your routine to the test. Do not assume that things are going to happen in a week, because this takes time. So, be sure to get a small notepad. You’ll want to jot down a few things.
1. Weight & reps. As you go through your routine, make note of how much weight you used. You will also want to note how many reps you completed per set.
2. Bodyweight & waist measurements. It is good to keep note of progress. Each week, preferably the same day and time of the week, step on the scale. Record your bodyweight. You should also measure around your waist, usually measure from around the bellybutton. This way you have a constant landmark that will help with consistent results.
3. Feelings. Keep a note of how you feel each day. Your body has a great way of letting you know when it feels worn down. These notes can help determine when you need to take time off. Generally a week off is warranted every 12 weeks to allow the body to recover.

We are almost finished! You are welcome to begin your exercise program at this point. The next part dives into nutrition to help make sure your exercise efforts are not wasted. Don’t worry, we will also cover tips on cardio and offer up a sample workout regimen. Stay tuned for part 3!


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About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.