How to start working out for absolute beginners

Nike would say, “Just Do It”.  Duh!

But It’s really hard.  It’s really hard if you think about the whole duration of workout.  So many reasons to say No.  It’s going to feel like torture and nothing less.  Accept that now.  Breatheeee that in.  It’s the truth.

Now that you understand that it is hard and there won’t be much gratification during the workout, I can tell you there’s an easier way of thinking about it.  That’s how I do it.  Over and over, again and again.  Remember it doesn’t get easier, you only get better and stronger!

Don’t think about the sweat, the weights, the soreness.  Silence those thoughts.

All you need to do is show up.  The question to ask yourself is:  Can I show up at the gym?

Why, yes!  Of course!  I can!!

Whether it’s for a fitness class or to do your own thing.  When people ask me how I do it–I say:  Just show up.

Imagine the feeling of excitement when a very good friend calls you to meet for brunch this weekend.  Do you dread anything?  Nope.  Do you make excuses to not go? I don’t think so.  You say, “Ok (awesome friend’s name), I’ll meet you there!”  You just show up.

That is exactly the way you have to think:  “OK OK (your name), I’ll meet you at the gym!”

Pack your things.  Sports bra, shorts, tank top/t-shirt (cuter the better), sneakers, socks, extra panties, water bottle, lock, headphones, (towel and flipflops and toiletries if you plan on showering there too).  Just focus on gathering these, nothing else.  No BUT’s.  No Excuses.  You can totally get to the gym.

Now it is much easier if you’re actually meeting a friend there to start working out together. Or if you have a fitness class to attend.  That was how I started.

I would think:  “Margaret, just get your hot, lazy butt to the gym and you’ll automatically get an amazing workout.”  You just show up prepared and now it’s on the instructor.  You don’t even have to think or talk.

Yay! You found your way to the gym!  You’re in a good mood because you completed your goal!  Congrats!  It’s an automatic WIN by just showing up, no matter how short or easy your workout is.  You’re ready to KICK ASS and you didn’t know it.

Now if you have no plan in mind, that is okay too.  Remember: just getting there is a milestone.  Some people wouldn’t even get there.  I would give you a freaking high five, a pat on back!

If you’re an absolute beginner, I recommend these options:

  • Choose a cardio machine– treadmill or bicycle or rowing or stair masters.  Start slow and increase intensity or speed, perform this for 20 minutes- 30 minutes.

You may even call it a day here 🙂  No joke.  On my bad days, I work out for 20 minutes.  On my worse days, I just go there to stretch.  I kid you not.  AND I still feel like a total badass.

Now, if you want to be an even bigger badass, you might want to stay longer.  For me, the most difficult part was looking at the variety of machines and finding a sequence.

If you’re a beginner, you will have no idea what to do with the machines, that is okay.  You will be more comfortable with the machines as you begin to show up more often, they will call out to you 🙂

For starters:

  • I’d choose 1 arm machine and 1 leg machine.  If possible, within close proximity, whichever area is most empty.  Instructions should be there, if not, any nearby gym junkie would be happy to explain.  (I swear!)

Arm machine 1:  Do 1 set of 10 repetitions.

Leg machine 1:  Do 1 set of 10 repetitions.

REPEAT 2 more times:  (10 arm, 10 leg) + (10 arm, 10 leg)

You can call it a day here!  I’m serious.

How easy was that?!  Now the next time you show up at the gym.  Repeat the cardio machine.

As for weights do the same ones you chose last time plus 2 more machines.  All with 10 reps each.

(arm 1, leg 1) +(arm 1, leg 1)+ (arm 1, leg 1)

(arm 2, leg 2) + (arm 2, leg 2) +(arm 2, leg 2)

This is totally what I do and I hope it’ll help get you going!

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