Deciding to start your fitness journey is an important step, but it's only the beginning. Another big decision is the workout plan. From the get-go, you need a routine to stick to. Without it, you end up exercising aimlessly, which more often than not leads to wasted time and effort. You can end up hopping from machine to machine, just copying what the others are doing. It’s also much harder to keep up a regular routine when you don’t know what you’re doing the next time you visit the gym.
When you have a lot of things going on and can only spare an hour every few days to go to the gym, you need an efficient routine. You want a plan that makes maximum use of your time without it being too stressful.
A solid workout schedule provides a blueprint that keeps you focused. It should cater for your specific needs and help you achieve your goal(s). Let's explore a few workout plans you might want to consider.
Exercises can be overwhelming when you are starting out. Besides finding enough motivation to begin a fitness routine and sustain it, you also have to find the right one for you.
A lot of questions will come up.
- Which exercises are the best?
- How long should you work out?
- How intense should a routine be?
As a beginner, keep a few things in mind. Firstly, your workouts should be simple. Secondly, get expert opinions (ideally get a few personal training sessions) and lastly, be consistent. Schedule 30 - 45 minute exercises once or twice a week to begin with.
A good place to start with a gym workout plan for beginners is some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to get a sweat on. To start with, this could be done on a bike, rower or treadmill so there’s minimal new exercise techniques to learn.
After that, once the blood is pumping, we’d suggest doing some compound exercises (exercises that target a number of different muscles) so you don’t have to do lots of sets and reps to target all your muscles. Dumbbell lunges exercise the glutes, hamstrings and quads. Squats target each of these and more (although we’d suggest getting help or doing lots of research before tackling these with any decent amount of weight). For the arms and shoulders, we have lots of ideas in our new exercises guide,which also offers a number of ab exercises if you’d like to strengthen your stomach muscles.
We would recommend starting with and prioritising the most difficult exercises in your routine or those that involve lifting the most weight, so you’re not too tired.
Looking to Lose Weight?
If your goal is to lose some weight, then be ready for an intense routine. The time frame depends on your targets, which is why for this type of routine we would also recommend consulting a professional trainer. Otherwise you may get frustrated when you don’t lose your target weight after a week.
Effective weight loss plans often combine cardio and resistance training, with those compound exercises that target all muscle groups playing a major role again. Aim to burn as many calories as you can. HIIT is also a good suggestion here again, and the good news is that we have a number of weekly classes here at Village. For a fat loss workout, burning calories should be one of the main aims, so the more often you can get your workouts in, the better. But don’t overdo it to begin with and then give up. It’s better to do 1-2 workouts weekly for 6 months than it is to do 5 a week for a month and then stop.
For Women Over 50
It goes without saying that fitness and working out should continue to be part of your lifestyle when you’re over 50. The right exercise plan ensures you keep the fat at bay, build muscles and improve coordination. You also want a schedule that serves your mental health as well as it does your physical being.
Strength training particularly should be part of a workout routine for women over 50. Muscle loss is one consequence of getting older, and strength exercises allow you to build and maintain mass. Ensure you incorporate resistance exercises that work all the major upper and lower body muscles.
The right fitness routine doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. So, when researching workouts for women, look for plans that meet your specific needs and goals. Are you hitting the gym for the first time? Getting back after a long hiatus? Aiming for a certain fitness form? Whatever the objective, at least to begin with, we would recommend getting the input from an expert. And of course,for optimum results when losing weight or building muscles, pair your workout schedule with an effective eating plan.