I’ve seen a lot of gymmate newbies showing up at the gym and walking around, peeping at people working out, trying to figure where the heck they should start. So, I’ve written this straightforward workout for beginners to help those promising new fitness enthusiasts in their first steps at the jungle that a gym may be at times.
The scope of the workout is split into 3 parts which are:
- Warm up,
- main session,
- calm down.
Even if it’s called “workout for beginners”, the elements in this article are a staple. Indeed, the more athletic you become, the more important physical conditioning is.
Its main purpose is to achieve a proprioceptive awakening and to prepare the body to face the various constraints related to physical exercise. It is as much of a physical preparation as psychological to the realization of a physical exercise or a performance.
The warm up will be articulated around three points:
- a joint mobilization (allows to use the optimal amplitudes and to awaken the joint mechanoreceptors)
- cardiopulmonary activation (allows the body to be prepared to exert efforts by implementing the various physiological processes)
- a progressive muscular solicitation (the muscular awakening favors the warming of the muscle which will decrease the muscular viscosity, and the activation of the neuromuscular system which allows muscle contraction)
Dynamic stretching is a form of active movement that isn’t about holding a stretch but rather taking your body through ranges of motion that will better prepare you for your workout. Here’s a example of dynamic stretching routine.
Static stretching is the exact opposite. It’s where you hold a stretch for an extended period of time. While a calm-down focuses on static stretching, a good warm-up must focus on dynamic stretches.
To dynamically stretch your body you can do any stretch, just don’t hold the stretch for more than 3 seconds. You can also perform a movement like a free squat or bench press with light dumbbells and go as far as possible during the lengthening portion of the movement.
From a standing position with your arms hanging loosely at your sides, flex, extend, and rotate each of the following joints (pertorm six to 10 rotations at each group of joints before moving on to the next group):
It must be established according to the time of the workout, the previous activity, the following activity, and your overall physical condition. Though, it is considered that a heart rate has to be maintained above 100 pulsations for five to ten minutes to warm up the body. So, practically speaking, simply do 5 minutes of cardio, whatever machine you want but the elliptical machine is really complete since you move the whole body exercising on it. Just go for 5 minutes and increase the intensity of 1 level every minute, keeping a normal speed.
It meets the purpose of the workout and concerns the arrangement of different parameters:
– the training volume: Tonnage is the amount of work done over a training period. The volume can only target the number of repetitions.
– the intensity: It represents the quality of the effort provided and corresponds to a %age of the maximum effort.
-the choice and arrangement of exercises: They determine the type of movement to be performed (mono-articular vs poly-articular, free loads versus guided loads) and the order in which they will be performed.
– the density of the training: It represents the ratio between the total exercising time and the total duration of the workout. It is influenced by the time during which the muscle provides the effort, but also by the duration of the rest. Training density is one of the determining factors in the nature of muscular metabolic stress.
– the execution time: The execution time represents the time during which the muscle is energized during a repetition, a series and / or an exercise. It is quantified in seconds. Often neglected, it plays a key role in adaptations to exercise and training.
A workout for beginners is usually a full body workout – meaning a workout in which you’ll hit all the muscle groups of your body – or a half body workout – in which you’ll alternate top/bottom of the body.
If you want to know more about the different workout goals and methods, check out the workout section.
The end of the session responds to the need for homeostasis of the organism (life tendency of living beings to stabilize the multiple constants of the body), that is to say, to help the return of the normal physiological conditions of the body.
The calm-down has several goals:
- to find the initial level, before the effort.
- eliminate waste resulting from the effort (lactic acid, heat, etc.).
The return to calm can be broken down into two parts:
- Active part: maintain a mild cardiovascular activity to promote faster recovery (elimination of lactic acid). It may be something like walking on the treadmill or riding a recumbent bike, not more than 10 to 15 minutes.
- Passive part: stretch calmly and smoothly, with controlled breathing so as to “work” on the skeletal-articular and muscular-tendinous apparatus in order to return to the qualities of pre-session, and this for 10 at 15min maximum. Here’s an example of static stretch routine.
Workout for beginners in a nutshell
Respect those few easy steps workouts after workouts to prevent any injury. A body is like an engine. If you have a brand new Lamborghini V12 engine, you likely won’t be willing to turn it on and go for a 200 mph ride straight up, you’re more likely to let the engine warm up at least a little bit before. So, in your body your organism, notably the muscles, acts the same. Then don’t be too hurry, respect the process, and you’ll be safely all set to nail it!