How to Create a Home Workout Program (Beginner)
The most important thing to remember when beginning a workout program is that you can jump right in. Your body is amazingly efficient at adapting to exercise. Many beginners feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of information out there about exercise. Sometimes that makes it hard to know where to start. If you are feeling intimidated, it would still be better to do a little something, even if it is just pushups, stretching or light yoga. To help you get started, here are some other things to consider when designing your own home workout program.
Have a Regular Schedule
For your body to reap long-term rewards of strength training, it’s best to regularly challenge yourself in your workouts. Your body may be used to being comfortable, and therefore does not require much strength or muscle. If you make strength training a habit, your body will change accordingly. If you are just starting out, I recommend that you work out two times per week.
Having a regular workout schedule will help immensely, but if you do not progress between workouts, your body will soon stop adapting to exercise. The easiest way to progress is to increase the number of reps (repetitions) you do per each set of an exercise. For example, if you did 3 sets of 5 pushups on Monday, try to do 3 sets of 6 pushups on Friday. If you can’t progress every workout, try for every week.
Make Room for Rest & Recovery
This applies within your workouts and between them. If you just completed a set of pushups, make sure you rest somewhere between 40 seconds and 3 minutes in order for your achy chest and arms to recover before your next set. Try to find how much rest works for you.
And if you worked out on Monday, allow for at least two days for your body to recover before you work out again. It is counterproductive to work out while your body is trying to recover because muscle growth happens during rest.
For beginners, I recommend full-body workouts because they are functional, simple, and more interesting. Try to work out all of your major muscle groups during a session. This will help you avoid muscular imbalances and will not make you as sore the next day. However, doing the same exercises every time can get boring, so try different exercises that target the same muscles on different days.
Example Starting Point
Body Weight Squat: 3 sets of 10
Pushup: 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Rows*: 3 sets of 10
Abdominal Crunches: 3 sets of 10
Lunges: 3 sets of 10
Close-Grip Pushup: 3 sets of 10
Overhead Press*: 3 sets of 10
Abdominal Plank: 3 sets of 30 seconds
*These exercises normally involve dumbbells, but if you don’t have access to equipment you can use a water bottle or a sturdy gallon of milk.
As a beginner, these 6 exercises will begin to build some strength and muscle definition. You may find that some exercises are easier for you than others. If you can’t do 10 pushups yet start with a lower number and work up. Conversely if doing 10 squats is too easy feel free to find a challenging starting number. Most importantly, remember to increase the number of reps over time.
Enjoy starting your own home workout program!
Here are some links to videos that show how to do these exercises:
Close Grip Push Up
Dumbbell Overhead Press
Photo Credit: Getty Images