What is important to achieve in the first workouts

The global mistake of beginners is to give everything in the first lesson as if it were the last time. Run until you have enough strength, try every simulator in the gym, and even put more weight.

It doesn’t matter if you train for health or for the sake of a beautiful figure, in the first workout you will not achieve what you want. It will not work out to do this in the second or fifth lesson, especially when it comes to losing weight and building muscle.

To become stronger and more resilient, improve physical fitness and add a few years to your life, you need to exercise regularly. That is, always. For the rest of my life. So there is no hurry for you.

If you run 5 or even 10 km from scratch, you will only get pain in your feet and knees, and not a slender waist at all. And after the strength of eight exercises in five approaches, instead of the relief, you will earn such delayed muscle pain that you will have difficulty moving for another week.

Therefore, put aside your cherished dreams for now and set realistic goals for the first weeks of training:

  • overcome psychological blocks and start moving;
  • get used to doing it regularly, without gaps;
  • finish your workout feeling good.

Here are some examples of how to get started with strength and cardio training to achieve all three points and love physical activity.

How to choose the load in the first workouts

Most often, people begin their immersion in the world of sports and fitness with push-ups and squats at home, jogging down the street or visiting the gym. Therefore, we will analyze these types of activities.

Strength training at home

Bodyweight exercises at home are a great choice for any beginner. If only because you will not spy on others and try to do the same.

At first, you will be able to load the muscles well without any weights, but here it is important not to overdo it with the load.

Perform two sets of the following exercises:

  1. Pushups. If it doesn’t work, do them from a low support or from your knees.
  2. Squats. Do it smoothly, don’t plop down, and keep your back straight and your heels off the floor.
  3. Inclined (Australian) pull-ups. At home, you can put a stick on two chairs or buy training loops – the cheapest cost up to 1.5 thousand rubles.
  4. Glute bridge. Lying on the floor with bent legs, raise the pelvis and lower it back.
  5. Twisting on the press. Put your hands behind your head, spread your elbows to the sides, tear your shoulder blades and shoulders off the floor and return back.

Do as many reps as you can. But at the same time, it is important to stop in time: if the form deteriorates – for example, the lower back begins to sag in push-ups – finish the exercise.

At the end of the session, you should feel like you want to go for a walk right now, and not crawl to the couch and lie down for the rest of the evening.

If the next day almost nothing hurts and you want to work out again – congratulations, you have found the perfect load.

Now you can gradually increase the volume of your workout. For example, add one rep every week until you reach 15-20 reps, and then either increase the difficulty of the movement or do more sets.

Strength training in the gym

It is better to start strength training with basic exercises that involve many joints and muscle groups. They will teach you how to move correctly and provide a good incentive to develop strength and muscle size.

First, walk for 5-10 minutes on the track, and then do 1-2 sets of the following exercises:

Select the weight so that you can easily complete 8-12 repetitions. For barbell exercises, you can try a barbell weighing 10-15 kg or start with a body bar. This is a rubber coated fitness stick that can weigh between 2kg and 8kg. The weight is on the end.

Learn the technique of basic exercises and ask the gym instructor to see how you do them. It is important to correct gross errors from the very beginning so that you do not get used to incorrect execution.

If everything went well this time, in the next session you can increase the number of sets to three, and then gradually add weight and try new exercises for the main muscle groups.


If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or are significantly overweight (body mass index > 25), start by walking. Even 15 minutes of vigorous movement (at a speed of about 6 km / h) will be enough to load the body that has become unaccustomed to activity. Increase your workout time as you get used to it.

If you already move around a lot in everyday life, you can immediately try the alternation of walking and running at a conversational pace – when you can carry on a conversation without stopping.

Try the following plan for your first workouts.

  • 1st week: 3 minutes running, 2 minutes walking – 6 episodes. In total – 30 minutes.
  • 2nd week: 4 minutes running, 2 minutes walking – 5 episodes. In total – 30 minutes.
  • 3rd week: 5 minutes running, 2 minutes walking – 4-5 episodes. Total – 28-35 minutes.
  • 4th week: 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking – 5 episodes. In total – 30 minutes.
  • 5th week: 30 minutes of running without walking.
  • 6th week: 35 minutes of running.
  • 7th week: 40 minutes of running.
  • 8th week: 45 minutes of running.

Try to focus on this plan, but feel free to adjust it with an eye on your preparation and well-being. If you are very tired or something is sick, go back to the previous week and repeat it again so that the body adapts to the load.

What else to consider when planning a workout

There are a few more tips that will help you not only start training, but also not to abandon them:

  1. Consider other factors in life. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and mental stress can slow down your ability to adapt. So during stressful periods of life, do not increase the volume of training. Otherwise, you can burn out and abandon classes.
  2. Use the “at least” rule. Until exercise has become a habit, it can be difficult to force yourself to exercise. If you have a workout scheduled today but don’t feel like doing it, make a promise to yourself to complete at least one set of each exercise, run for just 10 minutes, or cycle around the house on your bike. Most likely, in the process you will tune in to more. And if not, then don’t worry. Minimum load is better than nothing.
  3. Enjoy. Think about how to make your classes more interesting and enjoyable. For example, while running, you can listen to music or podcasts, and go to the gym with a friend to chat between sets. For many, comfort during exercise is also important, so buy comfortable (and beautiful) sportswear and good running shoes, take water and a towel with you.