From the Couch to the Gym: Creating Your New Fitness Routine

Happy New Year! I’m praying for your success in 2024.

If you have been training and are planning to keep training, or if you have made the New Year’s resolution to become more physically active, I want you to be successful!

This blog is for the beginner. The person who has decided they want to start working out and is looking for a starting point.

Today, we will cover some of the basics for creating your routine.

With a beginner mindset, we want to create the simplest path to success for you.

We are looking for simplicity. We are using the gym membership we paid for. We want to be in and out of the gym in under 30 minutes. We are looking for details.

The Beginning: How Often Should I Exercise?

The first thing to do is determine a commitment level.

Do you want to be in the gym every day, for just a few days, or just one day?

You may need to go to the gym daily to establish your routine, or you may need to incorporate it slowly into your week.

I recommend the goal of a full-body workout three days a week. Since it is a full-body session, you want your body to rest between sessions, so you’ll have a day off after each.

This can be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, or any other combination of 1 day on and 1 day off.

The Start: General Warmup

Now we know when and how long we can get into what we’re doing.

We’ll start with a simple warm-up. I prefer moving all my joints around to warm the muscles and doing some very light cardio.

In general, it may look something like this:

  • Arm Circles: 5 each way
  • Hip Circles: 5 each way
  • Leg Swings Forward and Back: 5 each leg
  • Leg Swings Left and Right: 5 each leg
  • Wrist Circles: 5 each way
  • Rowing Machine: 3 minutes

The Middle: The Workout

We will do full-body movements for this beginner workout to maximize results while minimizing time.

Exercise 1: Broad Jump (3 sets of 5-8 Jumps)

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slightly bend your knees to feel tension in the hamstrings.
  3. Jump forward, leading with your hips.
  4. Land on both feet with control and balance.

Exercise 2: Goblet Squat (3 sets of 6-8 repetitions)

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Make sure your knees are pointing in the same direction as your toes.
  3. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell (or milk jug) at chest level with your arms in a pyramid position.
  4. Bend at the knees and hip, keeping the chest up until your thighs touch your calves (or you get as low as you can safely balance).
  5. Stand back up with control.

Exercise 3: Overhead Press (3 sets of 6-8 repetitions):

  1. Grip a barbell (or broomstick), with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Bring your elbows underneath the bar.
  3. Stand up and come out of the squat rack.
  4. Press the bar overhead.
  5. Return the bar to your shoulders.

Exercise 4 (in the gym): Deadlift (3 sets of 3-5 repetitions)

  1. Stand with your shins 1 inch from the bar.
  2. Reach down and grab the bar just outside of your legs.
  3. Bend at the hips until your shins touch the bar.
  4. Lift your chest, so that it is pointing forward.
  5. Stand up, keeping the bar close to your legs but not dragging on them the whole time.

Exercise 4 (at home): Single Leg Romanian Deadlift “RDL” (3 sets of 3-5 repetitions each leg)

  1. Stand with a tall posture.
  2. Lean forward, keeping your back straight.
  3. As you lean your upper body forward, reach your opposite leg behind you.
  4. Attempt to touch your hand to your opposite foot at the bottom.
  5. Keep your back flat and pivot from the hips
  6. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings as you stand back up.

Exercise 5: Plank (3 sets of 20 to 60 second holds)

  1. Lay down on your stomach.
  2. Place your elbows underneath your shoulders.
  3. Curl your toes under and come up onto your feet.
  4. Squeeze your abs, glutes, and hamstrings to create a straight line from shoulder to feet.
  5. Hold position.

Finish Strong: Cool Down

Finish your session with a cool down.

Stretching is essential to aid recovery. Incorporate stretches such as the long-sitting stretch, forward fold, prone L-arm stretch, and tricep stretch.

The Real Work

The real work begins after your training session. Prioritize recovery by eating well and getting adequate sleep. Recovery is key to maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts.

As a beginner, take it slow and gradually build habits.

You don’t need to do everything every day to achieve results. Consistency is the secret to success in the gym.

Embrace the journey, celebrate small wins, and make 2024 the year you unlock your full fitness potential!

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