So, you’ve made the decision to go ahead and start a healthy living plan. You have the motivation, you have precisely determined why you want to get healthy, and you have set some realistic goals. Step 1 complete. The question, “So now what?” instantly arises. You could scour the internet for weeks and find a hundred different answers to your most basic question. This is the problem so many people have. There is so much bad information in the fitness world today. People often have to do much guess-work when it comes to determining what’s good and what isn’t. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. Getting healthy isn’t rocket science.
Below is a fantastic, tried and true healthy lifestyle plan for the beginner. This will help ease you in to fitness, while keeping things fun and engaging. You may have heard or seen people doing split routines at the gym, i.e. an intense focus on 1-2 body parts per day. This is for the more advanced lifter. We want you to use a full body workout to slowly build up your overall strength and fitness levels before moving on. As your skill levels progress, you will want to move on to more advanced workout routines. For the time being, give this a shot and let us know how it worked for you.
Starting with the largest muscles and working our way to the smallest…
Squat – Legs shoulder width apart. Slightly angle your toes outward. Keep a flat back. Squat until your thighs become parallel with the floor. Aim for 3-4 sets of 10-12.
Lat Pulldown – On the lat pulldown machine, grasp the handles so your hands are just wider than shoulder-width. With a slow, controlled movement, bring the bar down to your chest. Hold for a second before slowly bringing the bar back to starting position. Aim for 3 sets of 10.
Bench Press – Use a grip slightly wider than shoulder-width. Carefully lower the weight to your chest. Let the bar lightly touch your chest before you proceed to press the bar back to the top position. Don’t let the bar bounce off your chest. Use a spotter if necessary. 4 sets of 10.
Military Press – A great exercise for blasting the shoulder muscles. Seat yourself down so the barbell comes just slightly in front of your face. Lift the bar and lower it until it gets to about chin height. 4 sets of 10.
Calf Raises – Stand with your just your toes on the ledge of a stair. You want the rest of your foot hanging off. With speedy movements, use your calf muscles to lift your body up and down. Try 3 sets of 50.
Dumbbell Curls – Do these seated down so you can focus on using good form. Keep your back against the seat. Slowly curl a dumbbell up, one arm at a time, and lower it. 3 sets of 10.
Skull Crushers – Despite the name, this is a rather basic tricep exercise. Lie flat on a bench with a barbell in your hands. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and have the barbell just above your forehead. While keeping your elbows in, extend your arms so the weight moves from the starting position (just above your forehead) to the end position (elevated above your chest). 3 sets of 10.
Try doing the above workout 3 times a week for 8 weeks. After 8 weeks is up, it will be time to change the routine slightly. Aim for 25 minutes of cardio 2 times a week to start. As your endurance increases, aim for 45 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week.
In addition to the workout plan, below is a sample diet plan for you to follow.
- 1 piece of fruit
- egg whites
- Protein Drink
- Vegetables and hummus
- Chicken caesar wrap
- Brown rice
- 1 piece of fruit
- Tuna fish salad on wheat toast
- Salmon, or any other fish
- Leafy green vegetable
- Brown Rice
- Whole wheat crackers
- Caffeine-free green tea