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This post will be sharing how to create a gym routine for beginners.

I recently went back to the gym after months of hiatus caused by the lockdowns. As expected, this set all my fitness goals backwards. While I did not necessarily need to start from scratch because I knew what I was doing, I had to put a semblance of a routine in place.

I also needed to narrow down my goals to determine what muscle group I will have to pay more attention to. Yes, it’s nice to desire an all-around fit body but breaking your workouts into muscle groups helps you give them optimal attention for the best results.

So, I renewed my gym membership, got some cute workout outfits for the Summer and readjusted my diet to prioritize protein. It’s been over six weeks now and my mental health has never been better. It doesn’t help that I’m also going through a breakup at the moment so I need all the distraction I can possibly get. The gym has come in super handy at this point in my life.

Anyway, if you’re a beginner and you’re not sure how to create a realistic jargon-free gym routine for yourself, I hope these tips help you as much as it has helped me.

Here’s How To Create A Gym Routine for Beginners Who Are Clueless

Yes, it’s nice to go for an occasional run or hop on the treadmill once in a while. But if you don’t have specific fitness goals, you’re just gonna exercise in circles and not have results to look forward to. Trust me, having results to look forward to is what would motivate you to get up early in the morning or in the evening even when you don’t feel like it.

This brings me to my first point;

Determine your Fitness Goals

Like I mentioned earlier, without goals, you have no yardstick to measure effectiveness. So, if you want a toned look including abs, defined arms, bigger booty and/or thick thighs, you need to be honest with yourself. It’s absolutely fine to desire these things as long as you’re ready to work for them without taking shortcuts.

Determine How Often you want to Workout

Some people can work out every single day and feel fine. While those like me can only do three to four days of intensive workouts per week. I don’t exactly have a quick recovery time yet so I have to rest to prevent injuries. As a beginner, you need to start slowly and not pressure yourself to work out every day for no reason. As such, one to three times a week is perfect for you. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself. At the same time, you also need to be frequent enough to encourage consistency.

How To Create A Realistic Gym Routine For Beginners

Plan your Pre and Post Workout Meals

I’m particularly not a fan of getting my workout meals from synthetic sources. I prefer to get mine from actual food. If it means eating two or three eggs daily or as much salmon as possible, so be it. So, you need to think about nutritious foods you already enjoy that can serve as your pre and post-workout meals.

You also need to consider meals that will give you the energy that will sustain you all through your workout routine. It goes without saying that for your pre-workout meals, stay away from heavy meals that will weigh you down and make you tired. You can save your heavy meal as a post-workout meal when you’ll be ravenous for food to replenish your energy.

Examples of Pre-workout Meals are;

  • Peanut-Butter Sandwich/Bagel
  • Greek Yogurt, Granola and Berries
  • Protein Smoothies
  • Bananas and hard boiled Eggs
  • Scrambled Eggs and Avocado.

While I put a bit more effort into my pre-workout meals, I don’t think too much about my post-workout meals. I just ensure I eat a balanced diet afterwards. Don’t skip or try to cut corners around food just so you can reach your goals faster. You’re doing your body a great disservice.

Get comfortable Workout Outfits

You absolutely do not need to break the bank to get cute workout outfits. As long as they’re comfortable and you can move around in different directions without it ripping apart. then you’re good. If possible, try to go one size higher than your regular size to ensure enough wiggle room even when they shrink. If you can afford it, go ahead and invest in branded outfits but otherwise, you’re fine with what you can start with. Just make sure you have enough that will sustain you for the week.

How To Create A Realistic Gym Routine For Beginners

Create a routine of sorts.

One of the most important tips for creating a gym routine for beginners is to have an actual routine. Listen, I’ve tried to freestyle my workouts out of laziness and they never end well. While I have nowhere close to the knowledge of personal trainers, I know enough to keep me going. Also, you don’t need too many exercises anyway. Start with a few core ones and be consistent with them.

Now, I’m sure you know that exercise is broadly divided into two; Strength Training and Cardio. As a beginner, if you decide to just have a primarily routine around cardio, it is completely fine. But then, if you have specific goals like losing weight or building muscle, you need to incorporate strength training as there is only so much cardio can do. You’re also able to burn two times the number of calories from strength training than cardio.

Top Gym Machines for Cardio Workouts

Here are the machines you can use at the gym for your cardio workout;

  • Treadmill
  • Rowing Machine
  • Recumbent Bike
  • Stair Climber
  • Airdyne

30 – 45 minutes on any of these machines two to three times a week is a great way to start your gym routine as a beginner.

Strength Training Gym Workout Plan

A lot of women are scared of the weights sections and for good reason. I was once in their shoes until I had to overcome that fear once and for all. It can be quite daunting to start lifting weights but as always, the best way to start is with the lightest weights. Either dumbbells, weighted plates, or barbells. Always start small to avoid causing injuries.

When strength training, the most effective way to get results is to target the different muscle groups. The best way to go about this is to split your workouts into two namely; upper and lower body. If you’re working out three times a week, the upper and lower body routines are perfect for you. But if you’re working out five to six times a week, you can split the upper body further into chest, shoulders, back and arms. You can also split the lower body further into glutes, hamstrings and quads.

But for the sake of a new beginner, here’s an easy way to split your strength training into two with accompanying exercises;

  • Upper Body Training
    • Shoulder – lateral raises, arnold press
    • Chest – bench press, incline dumbell press
    • Back – bent over row, standing rear delt
    • Biceps – bicep curl, overhead press
    • Triceps – tricep dips, tricep overhead press
  • Lower Body Training
    • Glutes – romanian deadlifts, bulgarian split squats
    • Hamstrings – single leg deadlift, kettlebell swings
    • Quads – front squat, leg press

While these might seem overwhelming, you really don’t need to do more than four to five exercises in one session. Especially since a lot of these exercises target multiple muscle groups at the same time.

In Conclusion,

I hope you have found this post on creating a gym routine for beginners useful. I hope it has helped you overcome your fear of the gym and inspired you to take that first step.