It is vital that you complete opposing exercises for muscle groups. What this means, is for every set of a back exercise, you must complete a set for your chest. This helps keep your body in balance, which can also help prevent injuries. There are several great ideas listed below that can assist a beginner in the journey into the gym for the first time. There is a beginner cardio workout listed. There’s also a basic strength program listed as well. Practice becomes perfect, so feel free to start light so that you are less likely to be injured.
Basic Beginner Cardio
Try this workout on any type of cardio equipment. It is based on exertion levels. That being said, it may take some time to understand how hard you should work out to make the exercises effective without overdoing it. Be sure to keep the warm-up easy—it is simply completed in order to make sure that your muscles have been prepared correctly.
- 5-minute warm-up: exertion level 4
- 5 minutes of baseline: exertion level 5. This should be slightly uncomfortable.
- 2 minutes at increased resistance: exertion level 6.
- 3 minutes reduced resistance: return to baseline. Exertion level 5.
- 1 minute increased resistance: exertion slightly higher than baseline.
- 3-minute return to baseline.
- 1 minute increased resistance: slightly higher exertion than baseline.
- 3 minute return to baseline.
- 2-minute cooldown: return to normal.
Basic Strength Routine
This workout should be completed two times per week. You should also allow one complete day of rest between workout days.
- Warm-up 5-10 minutes on a treadmill (Rest 1 minute)
- Leg Press 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Lying Leg Curls 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Chest Butterflies 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Rope Tricep Pushdown 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Machine Biceps Curl 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Machine Military Press 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Ab Crunches 1 set for 12 reps (Rest 1 minute)
- Ab Bicycles 1 set for 12 reps
Seated Barbell Press
Sit on a bench and hold a barbell in front of your head, at the starting position which should be just above the chest. Press the bar until it is fully overhead, and then return to the starting position. Always have a spotter. By performing this in front of your head, it is a much safer exercise. Also by sitting down, you are taking a great amount of pressure off of the lower back.
Pull-ups are a great exercise, especially since it is one that is completed with your own bodyweight. Pull-ups are completed by holding a pull-up bar so that your hands are facing away from you. Try to keep your hands shoulder-width apart when trying to perform a standard pull-up. Try and keep your shoulder blades together as you pull your elbows down in the direction of your hips. Slowly return to the starting position.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Place one leg on a bench behind you. Hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell in each hand as you balance with your other foot firmly on the ground. Squat on your floor leg until your hamstring and your calf make a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position.
Dumbbell Bench Press
Lie flat on your back on a bench. You should have a dumbbell in each hand, and they should be in front of your shoulders. As you press up so that your arms are fully extended, concentrate on breathing out. As the dumbbells are returned to the starting position, you need to be able to inhale. Dumbbells are great to use because it helps to counteract any imbalances that you may have with your body.