Fitness programme for beginners

Fitness programme for beginners

For anyone starting their journey on a new fitness programme the key thing to remember is to take it slowly. Rushing headlong into an intensive training programme when you are relatively new to it can cause injuries and be detrimental to your joints and health overall.

Firstly speak to your GP if exercise is alien to you, as you may be advised to start a programme at a very gentle rate.

Make time for your programme, as if you don’t schedule in any time then it will fall by the wayside rapidly. Go through your diary and block out times in the week that you can dedicate to training.

By following this programme you’ll see an improvement with weight loss, and you’ll cut cholesterol and blood pressure.

Once you’ve been going for a month, you may want to go further and work on increasing your time spent at the gym, or out running, walking or cycling, but for beginners – start off slow.

Also remember before you begin that everyone has off days and you mustn’t be disheartened by these.

Typically a beginner’s workout programme will consist of three days of cardiovascular work, and two days of strength work. This gives you two days of crucial rest, or stretching which is a time for your body to repair itself from any damage and to give you time to download all that new exercise that’s doing you so much good.

Here is a week’s workout plan for a beginner:

Monday – Bike work

5 minutes - Warm up at a pace that’s comfortable  and keep the resistance low

3 minutes - Increase resistance 1-4 increments or until you're working harder than your warm up pace.  You should feel you're working, but you should be able to carry on a conversation. This is your baseline pace

2 minutes -Increase your resistance and/or pace once again until you're working slightly harder than baseline

3 minutes - Decrease resistance/pace back to baseline

2 minutes - Increase your resistance and/or pace once again until you're working slightly harder than baseline

5 minutes -Decrease resistance/pace back to a comfortable level to cool down.

Tuesday – strength work

All you’ll need for this workout is light dumbbells, an exercise ball or chair and a mat. You’ll be more motivated if you can get to the gym to do it, but you can practise it at home first.

Begin with a 5- to 10-minute warm-up of light cardiovascular work such as walking from one side of the room to the other.

Do each exercise for two minutes, and where necessary, make sure you work both sides.

Lunges – from a standing position take a stride with your right leg out to the front. Bend your front knee to lower your hips and hold this position until you feel the stretch. Swap legs.

Bicep curls – Taking your dumbbells in both hands curl your forearms up to meet your upper arm. Alternate each arm. Once you’ve done this for a minute, then lift both at the same time. Take your arms out to the sides and hold the weights in place for as long as you can.

Tricep dips – Using a low chair sit in front of it, with your arms behind you and hands on the chair. With your legs stretched out in front of you, lift yourself up using your arms and then dip back down without letting your buttocks touch the floor.

The plank – Lie on your mat and put your hands flat on the floor just under your shoulders. Raise your whole body up onto your arms and with a straight back hold the position.

Star jumps  - Standing with your legs together and arms to your sides, jump your legs out to the sides and at the same time bring your arms out wide until they are above your head. Then jump your legs together again and brings your hands back to the sides.

Burpees – Lie on the floor and raise yourself into press up position. From there, jump your legs towards your chin and back out again, keep repeating this motion.

Side to side jumps – Pick a marker on the floor and use it to jump over from side to side, keeping your body upright and jumping as high as possible while not bending the knees too much.

Repeat this cycle once more to get a good strength workout.

Wednesday – rest or yoga stretches

Thursday – Walking

5 minutes

 Walk at a comfortable pace to warm up

3 Minutes

Increase your speed or incline (or both) a few increments until you're working harder than your warm up pace.  You should feel you're working, but you should be able to carry on a conversation. 

2 Minutes

Increase your speed and/or incline once again until you're working slightly harder.

3 Minutes

Decrease the speed and incline until you are comfortable again

2 Minutes

Increase your speed and/or incline once again until you're working slightly harder.

5 Minutes

Decrease back to a comfortable level to cool down

 

Total Workout Time:  20 Minutes

Friday – strength work

Repeat Tuesday’s workout

Saturday – Elliptical workout

5 minutes

 Warm up at a comfortable pace and keep the resistance low

3 Minutes

Increase resistance so you’re working harder than your warm up pace.  You should feel you're working, but you should be able to carry on a conversation.  This is your baseline pace

2 Minutes

Increase your resistance and/or ramps once again until you're working slightly harder than baseline

3 Minutes

Decrease resistance/ramps back to baseline

2 Minutes

Increase your resistance and/or ramps once again until you're working slightly harder than baseline

5 Minutes

Decrease resistance/ramps back to a comfortable level to cool down

 

Total Workout Time:  20 Minutes

 

 

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