Since I started getting more active on Facebook and Twitter, I’m starting to get asked about how to start a fitness program a lot. It’s not just from social media. That’s one of my most commonly asked questions. It’s just picked up since Bree pushed me to actually join this century and start saying something on social, not just on my blog (what can I say? I’m an old-fashioned traditional website kind of guy!).
Beginner’s Guide to Start a Fitness Program
The fact is that the way you start a fitness program depends on several things. This includes your fitness level, how complex you want to make your strategy, and what your goals happen to be. So, I’m breaking it down for the beginner and am trying to make it as general as possible in terms of goals.
The 5 Steps to Start a Fitness Program
Here are the 5 steps I use to help a guy to start a fitness program that is right for him. By completing these steps, it’s possible to focus on what needs to be done to safely and appropriately achieve the desired goals.
1 – Determine Your Fitness Level
This is the jumping off point. You may never have stepped into a gym before, but it’s still possible that you might be trying to start a fitness program for the first time at a certain level of being fit. So, I use different metrics to gauge your cardio and muscular fitness, your body composition, and flexibility. A doctor or experienced physical trainer can be very helpful to you here.
2 – Create an Initial Fitness Program
This involves creating a plan of daily exercises based on:
- Primary long-term goals
- Secondary shorter-term goals along the way
- Balancing the routine among cardio, strength training, flexibility and balance, and so on, including variety in each category
- Starting slightly low and gradually increasing challenge until the right level is found. This will continue to be adjusted over time as fitness level increases
- Scheduling it into the daily routine
- Including recovery time
3 – Gathering the Necessary Gear and Equipment
Once you know what kinds of workouts you’ll be doing when you begin a workout strategy, you’ll be able to determine what you need to wear and what fitness accessories and equipment you’ll need to complete each exercise.
4 – Begin and Adjust
Start a fitness program gradually and adjust it as needed to fit your level, schedule and personal preferences.
5 – Track Your Progress
Remember those metrics used at the start to decide your fitness level? Measure them again on occasion. Use additional metrics to gauge your progress in other areas on the way to your goals, too.