Congratulations on taking your first step: making the conscious decision to workout. As an absolute beginner, it may seem intimidating to start up a training schedule at a gym. The reality is far from that. A workout only needs to be as complicated as you make it, and as we run through your new training program, our focus is on simplicity. Even if you don’t want to join a gym, you can still get fit. Jordan Adair will take you through a program that you can complete with no equipment, in your lounge room. Spend a few weeks learning the basics, and after you feel confident – head into your local gym.
Whatever your goals are, for beginners (that is, everyone who has not been consistently working out over the last 6-12 months), basic programs cover everything you need to learn.
Your goals as you begin training are three:
Learn proper form, coordination and motor-skills in the gym.
Build a higher lifting capacity, volume tolerance and recovery speed.
Develop a base level of strength, muscle and endurance.
The simplest way for beginners to learn how to workout, is to start with a three day program. You will do three to five different exercises each day, under 45 minutes total in the gym. Instead of watching the latest episode of “Hells Kitchen,” or whatever your guilty pleasure might be, do something healthy. If you can’t spare 45 minutes, try Justin O’Connors program that only requires 20 minutes. Everyone can fit 20 minutes of exercise into their day, and if you think that you can’t, you are really just kidding yourself that you want to get fit. A slight shift in your priorities can have a big effect.
Your beginners workout has three different sets of exercise, for your three days in the gym:
Chest and Triceps
Back and Biceps
Legs and Shoulders
Space these out however you like, but typically aim for a day of rest in between each workout, and give yourself the weekend off to recover. Your best way to stay on track is to make small changes. Hitting the gym everyday for two weeks is not great if you crash and burn and then avoid the gym for half a year. Consistency is key when making changes in your body.
Monday: Chest and Triceps
For each exercise pick a weight you feel comfortable with. As you master the form increase the weights, but don’t try to go too big too soon. Listen to your body as you make progress.
Before every workout you should warm-up at least 10 minutes before starting on the weights, use a rowing machine or a treadmill to raise your body temperature and loosen your muscles.
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets 12, 10, 10, 10 repetitions
Incline Bench Press 2 sets 10 repetitions
Tricep dip 3 sets to failure
Lying Tricep Extension (skullcrushers) 3 sets 10 repetitions
For the incline bench press set the angle of the bench to at least 30 degrees. When doing tricep dips lean forward, you want to work your lower chest. If you can’t manage these on your own bodyweight, use the assisted dip machine to help you. For lying tricep extensions your focus is form, use a relatively light weight until your form is perfect.
Wednesday: Back and Biceps
Wide grip pull up 4 sets 10 repetitions
Seated row 3 sets 12 repetitions
One arm dumbbell row 3 sets 10 repetitions
Standing barbell curl 3 sets 8-10 repetitions
If you cannot do wide grip pull ups, use the lat pull down machine until you gain enough strength to complete 10 pull ups. The EZ bar is a great way to do bicep curls and change it up in your workout from single dumbbells.
Friday: Legs and Shoulders
45 degree leg press 4 sets 12, 10, 10, 10 repetitions
Leg extension 3 sets 12 repetitions
Leg curl 3 sets 12 repetitions
Military press 4 sets 8-10 repetitions
Dumbbell lateral raise 3 sets 10 repetitions
When doing the leg press, begin with the weight at 75% of your max and add more weight with each progressive set. The lateral raises are to be done with a light weight as you focus on form. It’s critical for every beginner to workout with the right form, add weight only as you progress with your training.
Motivation is the last point, but without it you will never hit your fitness goals. Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast – at first you want to simply be getting to the gym three times a week. Aim to have no training sessions longer than an hour, and seek advice from experts on how to stay motivated with your fitness program. Exercise requires you to get moving, period, and at first it’s definitely going to take effort. Changing from a sedentary desk jockey to an active lifestyle will take continued effort and willpower, but you will be happier for it.
Regular exercise has a range of benefits, improving your mood and making you happier, allowing you to get better sleep, and reduce stress. Dropping excess weight is great for your health, as well as being added protection against heart disease diabetes and high blood pressure. With New Years coming up I am sure “getting healthy” is at the top of many people’s resolution lists. Take a shortcut and spend six weeks following Justin O’Connors fat blasting challenge, your friends will be amazed at the changes they see after only a few short weeks. Why wait till new years? Start your progress today and get a headstart on all of your friends!