Fitness Training for Beginners: Dos and Don'ts

Exercise is one of the best ways to improve one’s health. In fact, around 31.9% of people surveyed in a study published on Frontiers in Psychology reported an increase in their exercise frequency, especially during the pandemic. However, actually starting a fitness regimen and getting around to training can be a confusing process. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks that you can do or avoid so that you get the most out of your fitness training program. If you’re just starting on your journey, then this article is for you. Here are the dos and don’ts of fitness training for beginners:

Do start off moderately

As a beginner, it’s best to start exercising moderately. Going too hard, too fast right away may lead to injuries and frustration. An article on Harvard Health explains that it is best to ease yourself into exercise and increase the duration and intensity gradually the more you do it. Slowly working your way into a new training routine will help you develop stamina and strength.

It can be helpful to have a medical exam before you start your fitness program to determine your level of physical readiness. You can also do simple tests that measure endurance, strength, flexibility, target heart rate, and body composition. Mental preparedness will determine the likelihood of you committing to your fitness program, too. When you have high self-confidence, positive thinking, and awareness, you're more likely to succeed in your fitness journey.

Don’t forget to stretch

Regular stretching protects your mobility by keeping muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. This then gives you a better range of motion in all your limbs and joints, allowing you to do more exercises properly. Without stretching, muscles become tight, weak, and unable to extend which puts you at risk for injuries. Therefore, it is an essential part of any fitness program.

There are several stretches to prepare you for your workouts. As discussed in an article on dynamic warm ups by SymptomFind, dynamic stretches can prepare you for your workout and help prevent injuries. Movements such as arm circles can stimulate your shoulder muscles and increase your range of motion. You can also incorporate side twists to warm up your midsection. Start by standing straight with your shoulders back and feet hip-width apart. With your hands on your hips or behind your head, twist side to side from your waist while keeping your back straight.

Don’t set unrealistic expectations

When setting an exercise regimen for the first time, it can be tempting to set lofty fitness goals and have grand expectations. It’s better to have a more realistic approach to prepare you for the challenges ahead. Both beginners and experts experience difficult days with their fitness training programs, so it helps to keep expectations for what you can achieve physically.

Something that many beginners don’t realize is that seeing results depends on making a consistent effort over time. It’s better to set smaller and more achievable goals rather than expecting to change overnight. This way, you can avoid demotivation and disappointment over missed workouts, poor eating days, and plateaus. Setbacks are normal and part of the process, so it helps to have realistic expectations.

Do avoid stimulants when working out


You may have seen people drinking caffeine or other supplements before working out for an energy boost. However, this can often affect performance negatively, especially for beginners who are still getting a sense of their physical capabilities in fitness training. Our article on Mike Mahler explains how while the adrenaline surge from these stimulants may seem better for your training, it is more often the case that people get tired after just a few heavy sets.

Instead of stimulants, have a regular cup of coffee or beet juice an hour and a half prior to training. This combination can increase dopamine levels, which affects one’s motivation, mood, and focus. There is also a nitric oxide boost from beets that will encourage more blood flow to targeted muscles, making them function more effectively during exercise.

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