Complete Beginner guide for getting started working out

Complete Beginner guide for getting started working out

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Total time if actions are taken: 35 minutes


So, you’ve made the choice to begin your fitness journey. However, you have a million questions: “Should I sign up to a gym? ” “How often should I go? ” “What exercises should I do? ” “How can I avoid injury? ” Read on to find out.

We will be answering all of these questions in good time. However, first it is a good idea to set your intention. Why exactly is it that you want to embark on this journey?  It is important to have a clear answer to this question because, at some point, you are going to want to give up. It is at that exact moment that you will want to have a clear, defined reason to call on that tells you exactly why you want to keep going.

It is also worth noting that to improve your health and fitness, lifestyle changes are in order. At Improvement Pathway we do not promote short-term solutions such as ‘going on a diet’. Short-term solutions will only ever produce short-term results. We do, however, promote making changes to your eating and exercise habits that are going to be sustainable for you in the long-term (the rest of your life). This can be done by making small, incremental changes that add up over time, but that your body and mind don’t find too jarring straight away. Everybody is different, and this means that the things that you need to change will most likely be unique to you. This also goes for finding what will constitute a sustainable set of habits for yourself. Don’t try to do exactly what other people are doing, just find what works for you and stick to it. So how do you find what works for you?



Nutrition 🥕

This is the most important part of your health and fitness journey…

Weather your goals are to build muscle to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, or if you want to loose that stubborn fat that’s been lingering for a bit too long; a good rule to follow is 70-30. This means that 70% of your results will come from what you’re putting into your body and 30% of your results will come from your output during exercise. Essentially: it doesn’t matter what exercise you’re doing if you aren’t eating right. So, as long as you are eating correctly, exercise should be seen as something that will add on to your progress, rather than being the main cause.

One of the best things to remember with nutrition is accountability. A great way to keep yourself accountable is by using the My Fitness Pal app to track your daily eating and exercise habits:


Here are some articles on how to improve your nutrition depending on what your goals are, make sure to read the rest of this article and come back to these after (we’ll link back to this part of the page at the end):

Weight Loss: Nutrition advice for beginners to loose body fat

Muscle Growth: Nutrition advice for beginners looking to build muscle




Exercise  Man Running on Apple iOS 16.4

This is what is going to promote fitness and growth.

Whilst nutrition can help you to lose weight or make you healthier, exercise is going to be the driving factor for your progression in becoming fitter and stronger. PLEASE NOTE: IF YOUR GOAL IS WEIGHT LOSS, EXERCISE ALONE WILL NOT ACHIEVE THIS.

At first, you will want to ease yourself into a routine. Do not worry about doing the most intense or brutal workout you can find in hopes of quick results. You are more likely to just demotivate yourself and find that you are back to square one a year from now. By all means push yourself, but also know your limits. Sometimes this can mean pushing yourself past them to see where they are, but when you notice this, it’s time to pull back a bit. Longevity will beat intensity over time. To prevent injury, make sure you warm up with a set of light exercises at the beginning of your routine and end with a set of static stretching.

It is not essential to join a gym. There are many home workout routines that are plenty effective for beginners. However, later on down the line, it will most likely make more sense to become a member of a gym. Begin with exercising for approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour per session, 3 days per week. This is usually a good starting point, as it gives your body enough time to recover between workouts and should also be a short enough amount of time that it is easy to fit within your schedule. Once your body becomes used to this amount of work, it’s time to add onto it. When you start adding onto the amount of time you exercise, it is a good idea to have ‘rest days’ to help your body recover. A good ratio can be two days on, one day off. But again, find what works best for your body and your schedule. Remember, this is all about making something that you will actually be able to stick to.

There are many different types of workout routines to choose from. Some involve going to the gym and others can be done from the convenience of your home. Some will be cardio based and others may be resistance based (using weights or bands to work the muscles). Cardio will improve your overall fitness and Heart health, whist resistance training will build muscle and strength. There are a wide range of things you can try, however our recommendation has been listed below:

At Home: TOP 10 Exercises to Get Fit At Home! (By Calisthenicmovement)



In conclusion, make sure you set your intention as to why you want to begin this journey. Know that you are making a change for the rest of your life and because of that, you will want to make slow incremental changes that you will be able to sustain forever. Once your body and mind gets used to one set of changes, ramp it up a bit. Think of it as a ladder: nobody tries to get to the top in one step, and just because there are other people higher up on the ladder, it doesn’t mean they got there in just one step either. Realise that you are at the beginning of a very long, but very rewarding journey.

Make sure to plan out nutrition and exercise goals that you feel are achievable for you and that align with the results that you want to see, go back to the linked articles to get a deeper insight into what this might look like.

Most of all, stick to it. Every time you want to give up will be an opportunity to prove to yourself just how badly you want those results, so don’t worry when those feelings come up, it’s completely normal.

Finally, make a quick note on your phone now:

  • Why do you want to start this journey?
  • How often, and for how long, are you going to exercise per week?
And take action:
  •  Make sure to check out My Fitness Pal to track your nutrition and your workouts. (Links above)
  • Take a look at the recommended beginner workout linked above.
  • Even if you don’t feel like doing the exercise on a particular day, just show up for 10 minutes and go through the motions. If you still really can’t do the rest of the exercise after that, leave it until the next time.
            Good Luck!