Stop Having Beginner Workout Blues!

Are you dreading going to the gym? Find out what you can do to spice up your workout routines and rev up your metabolism!

You wake-up early. Wash your face. Put some workout clothes on and tie your shoes sitting at the edge of your bed. Make some coffee to go. Drive to the gym drinking your coffee from a stainless steel mug you got at a car dealership. Once at the gym you park and wipe the morning out of your eyes. You walk in through the front doors and check-in at the front desk.

After you check in you begin the same old boring workout you learned from a friend six months ago. Two hours later you feel like you did not even get a great workout. You start to think back and realize you have wasted three months doing the same workout routine week after week. You have stopped getting a response from your body because it is bored. You still have not lost the thirty-five pounds you wanted to in the first place.

You get back in the car frustrated. Drive back to your apartment. Take a hot shower. Put on your khaki's, white button-up, green tie, brown belt, and brown shoes. Head to work with a feeling of defeat. Next thing you know, you blitzkrieg a plate of doughnuts the staff secretary brought in.


Implement variety in your workouts and start getting results. Suck-up your pride and ask for help. All fitness facilities and gyms have people on hand to help you learn how to workout. There are floor trainers, which are usually free with your membership. They help you set-up a simple workout routine and teach you the basics about nutrition.

There are also personal trainers, which usually cost a pretty penny ($30-$150/hour). The personal trainer is usually more in-depth and more intense. He/she will guide you through each of your workouts and tailor a nutritional program to your needs.

If you want to learn on your own, then by all means do so. There are a variety of ways to learn about fitness. You can go to fitness workshops, seminars, home-study/Internet courses, or just get some good books and magazines. If you do not have a lot of time to study, then read the rest of this article to get yourself on the right track.

Know the following four basics:

  1. Resistance training
  2. Cardiovascular training
  3. Nutrition/supplements
  4. Rest/recuperation

Resistance Training Exercises

These are anaerobic (without oxygen) exercises that help build muscle. Resistance training can be performed with free-weights, rubber bands, plate-loaded machines, weight stack machines, or by using your own body for resistance such as a push-up or walking lunge. The muscle your body builds will aid in continuous fat burning twenty-four hours per day.

You can work multiple muscles at once by doing exercises such as bench presses (works pecs, front shoulders, forearms, and some triceps), squats (works quadriceps, hamstrings, buns, and inner/outer thighs), and dead lifts (works traps, rhomboids, forearms, low back, buns, inner/outer thighs, quads, hams, and some calves). By doing compound movements such as these your body will work more muscles at once which will really stoke the fat-burning furnace.

Keep variety in your resistance training always! Never keep doing the same exercises week after week. You will only bore your body and progress will be stagnant. Resistance training not only helps burn fat, it helps keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels, helps strengthen bones, and also helps relieve stress. Always study and learn different exercises, which use different equipment.

Most importantly learn proper form to prevent injuring yourself when performing an exercise. To be on the safe side always look like a chicken when performing an exercise. Keep your chest forward, butt back, and lower back in. Always stretch each muscle after you work it. This will increase your flexibility and decrease post workout muscle soreness.

Cardiovascular Training Exercises

These are aerobic (with oxygen) exercises. These train the most important muscle in the body, the HEART. Aerobic or cardiovascular training, helps burn fat, keep blood pressure and cholesterol in normal ranges, relieve stress, strengthen heart, lungs, and the rest of the cardiovascular system, and also promotes perspiration to help your body sweat out any excess water it does not need.

Examples of aerobic activities are: walking, biking, roller blading, rowing, using elliptical machines, stair stepping, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, basketball, jogging, hiking, and aerobics classes at fitness facilities. Always remember to do a light warm-up for five to ten minutes before really getting into the exercise, and remember to do a five to ten minute cool-down after you do the exercise. Do not forget to stretch the muscles you worked after exercising.

Nutrition and Supplementation

When you workout you expend energy, which eats up your body's nutrients. You need to replenish those nutrients as soon as you workout. Within forty-five minutes after a workout consisting of weight training and cardiovascular training you need to eat a meal.

This meal should be a small serving (one handful) of simple sugars (banana, grapes, 12-16 oz. sports drink, or post workout carb drink), a medium serving (two handfuls) of complex carbs (brown or wild rice, sweet or red potatoes, veggie pasta, whole grain bread, or oatmeal), and a large serving (three handfuls) of proteins (lean red meat, deer meat, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, buffalo, egg whites, whey protein powder, soy protein powder, cottage cheese, or tuna) and of two tablespoons of a monounsaturated fat (extra virgin olive oil or canola oil).

That meal was just post workout, which should make you a little full. Your whole day should consist of five to six small meals that should never make you full, but keep your metabolism in high gear. Each small meal, except post workout, should contain a small serving (one handful) complex carbs (brown or wild rice, sweet or red potatoes, veggie pasta, whole grain bread, or oatmeal), a medium serving (two handfuls) of proteins (lean red meat, deer meat, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, buffalo, egg whites, whey protein powder, soy protein powder, cottage cheese, or tuna), and a medium serving (two handfuls) of green vegetables.

With every meal and throughout the day always drink water. Even with all this healthy food your body will not get certain nutrients or enough of them. This is where supplements come in. Taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement will help give your body important vitamins and minerals it may be missing. Sometimes you may not be able to cook or prepare all of your food on time. This is where meal replacement bars and powders can come into your daily diet routine.

Rest and Recuperation

You can workout hard and eat right for ten years, but never see lean muscle appear or see your body take shape if you do not get enough rest and recuperation. By rest I mean you need to get at least nine hours of sleep at night or eight at night and an hour nap after your workout. Sleep is important because this is when your body is producing its greatest amount of growth hormone which aids in repair and growth of your body.

You can have the best workout of your life and get no growth from it if you go out and party all night and get no sleep. By recuperation I mean not over-training. Do not as a beginner do a total body workout everyday with the weights. If you do you will not ever progress. Your muscles will constantly get beaten up every day and never have time to recuperate and repair themselves. As a beginner give yourself at least a day to two days rest between resistance training exercises. If you are still sore two days later, then do not work that area until the soreness has passed.

Sample Workout

Total body resistance/cardio workout 3 times per week with at least a day rest in between for one month.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Cardio Training

Sample Daily Meal Plan

Meal 2
Meal 4
Meal 6


You have just learned the basics about resistance training, cardiovascular training, nutrition and supplementation, and rest and recuperation. You have also been given a one month resistance and cardiovascular training plan. After you try this for a month, do it again. The second month should be the same except do each exercise for six to eight repetitions instead of fifteen, and do each cardiovascular routine for forty five minutes. This will push your muscles even harder and keep them guessing. Keep variety in your food choices for your daily meals. Keep your weight loss/tone-up goal in mind and never lose sight of it. Never, ever, give up!