Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beginner's guide to fitness

Ever walk into the weight room, look around, and walk back out? Many women feel intimated by the weights. Everyone in the room knows what they're doing, so you don't want to look "dumb" if you do something wrong. Ignore those fears. You have to start somewhere right? Just be patient with yourself, you'll get there! Here are some tips for beginners, and a good place to start at:

  • First and foremost, plan ahead. I cannot stress this enough. Whether its with your meals or workouts, PLAN PLAN PLAN. I ALWAYS plan my meals the night before. All of you should download the MyFitnessPal app for your iphones or make an account online. Log your meals to keep track of exactly what is going in your body and how much of it is! This app is also a great way to help you start your clean eating journey. You can plug in all of your stats and goals, and it will give you the right amount of calories to eat, and how much more you can eat when you exercise! Remember, never go under 1200 calories! 
  • Make sure you are warming up properly to avoid injuries. You ALWAYS want to warm up cold muscles, especially if you're working out first thing in the morning. There are two different types of stretching, Static, and Ballistic. Ballistic is the kind you want to do to "warm up". Static stretching is for AFTER you're done working out, or your "cool down" phase.
  • FORM-please, practice good form. You don't want to pull muscles or cause injury! You will obviously feel a burn during your workout, but your joints shouldn't be in pain! Not sure if you're doing it properly? Use sites like youtube and You can watch videos of people actually doing the moves properly. Also, don't be afraid to ask people! Most people would be more than happy to help! Just ask politely and make sure you aren't interrupting them in the middle of their workout. It won't take more than a few seconds for them to show you, so it shouldn't be a problem anyways! Just say thank you and leave it at that, no conversations until after you're done, gym etiquette rules lol.
  • Keep the rest between sets between 30-50 seconds. You want to try to keep your heart rate "in zone" for most of your workout. If you go over your zone, this can be dangerous. Stop, take a minute to breathe, and continue. 
  • You want your workout to be a slight struggle by the time you have 3 more reps to do. For example, if I say 4x12, it should be burning by 9 or 10. If not, go heavier. As long as you're maintaining proper form of course! Sloppy form is no bueno.
  • Split your workouts up, never do the same muscle group two days in a row. Try to keep it at 5-6 days, with one rest day. Remember, you break down muscles in the gym, but your muscles GROW when you're resting! Cardio should be done after your weight training if you can't split them into two different times of the day. Keep cardio around 30-45 minutes. HIIT is the best form of cardio for burning fat while maintaining muscle. 
Schedule: (5 days)
Tuesday- Back/shoulders + Cardio
Friday-Arms +cardio
Saturday-Chest +cardio
Sunday-active rest (light jog/ walk/abs etc)

(6 day split):
Saturday-active rest

Barbell Squats:4x10

Sumo Squats:4x10

Step back lunges: 4x10 each leg

Walking lunges with barbell: 4x8 back and forth, each leg

Straight leg deadlift: 4x10

One-legged lunges: 4x8 each leg

Side lunges: 4x8 each leg

Leg Press(machine): 4x12, feet high, push from heels, not toes

Wall squats-until failure with dumbbells in hand
-cool down/stretch-

Front raise with dumbbells:3x12 

Side Lateral Raise:3x12

Upright barbell row: 3x12

Front Plate raise: 3x12

One arm dumbbell row: 3x12 each side

Wide grip lat pull down: 3x12 

Narrow grip lat pull down: 3x12

Seated cable rows:4x10
-cool down-


Stability ball crunches: 4x20 (slow, pause at top)

Bicycle crunches: 4x12 each side

Pulse ups: 3x10

Feifer scissors (p90x lingo ;-p): 20

Side crunches: 2x12 each side

Plank to failure

-warm up-

Barbell squats: 4x10

Deadlift with dumbbells: 4x10

Leg press: 4x15

Cable Kick back: 4x10 each leg

Cable Squats: 4x12

One Legged Floor Bridge: 4x12 each leg

Calf Raises w dumbbells: 3x15 (toes pointed out, toes pointed forward, toes pointed in)

Leg extensions: Pyramid (light weight, high rep, to heavy weight, low rep) 4x
   ex: 30 lbs, 15; 50 lbs, 12, 70 lbs, 8; 90 lbs, 6


-warm up-
Alternating Dumbbell curl- 4x10

Overhead tricep extension- 4x10

Standing Cable curls- 4x10

Tricep rope push down- 4x8

Tricep dumbbell kickback- 4x10 each arm

Superset (two workouts after another with no rest between each set) pushups and bench dips; 4x10
-cool down-

Cable Cross overs- 4x12

Barbell incline bench press-4x10

Dumbbell bench press- 4x10

Pec Dec flies- 4x12

Pushups -4x as many you can do
-cool down-

HIIT Cardio example: total time-20 minutes

MINUTES                   SPEED                      INCLINE
1-3-                                 3.5                               0
3-4-                                 5.0                               3.0
4-5-                                 4.0                               3.0
5-7-                                 5.5                               7.0
7-8-                                 4.5                                4.0
8-10-                               6.0                                5.0
10-11-                             4.5                                2.0
11-13-                             6.5                                5.0
13-14-                             4.0                                5.0
14-16-                             7.0                                3.0
16-17 -                            4.0                                3.0
17-18-                             8.5                                4.0
18-20-                             3.5                                8.0          

If you are unsure of a workout, is a great site that can explain how to do each move! Write your workouts down before going to the gym. Even if you have to write little notes to help you remember how to do the move! Don't be scared or nervous, you're perfectly capable of doing it! Remember to lift as heavy as you can while maintaining good form. Your 2nd/3rd to last rep should be somewhat of a struggle. Adjust the reps accordingly. This is a good place to start out, but over time you'll learn to incorporate different workouts and find out what works for you! Educate yourselves and read as much as you can. I wasn't born with all of this knowledge, I learned it over time! Consult with your doctor before starting any workout routine, and remember I am not a personal trainer or dietitian! Can't get to a gym? is an amazing website for at home workouts. NO EXCUSES!


  1. Hey, I always do my cardio before my weights, why is it better to do it the other way round?

  2. Yay you took my suggestion! Thank you so much!

  3. Thank you SOO much for the tips. I have been struggling w working out for a while now - mostly nervous to pick up weights bc i was nervous i would do it wrong and look stupid. I've been following you for a while on IG and have been loving these blogs posts. So today i researched all of the moved on YouTube and rocked it! I only got through 1/2 of the leg routine bc I had an appointment and had to go - however, I did excellent on the leg routine and definitely felt the burn - i love it. they are sore already. :) Question tho - I definitely need to lose 10 - 20 lbs. of fat is there anything specific I should be doing differently? I know you were always small and weight loss was not an issue for you. Any suggestions are soo appreciated. i know a lot about nutrition and know that MOST of it is clean eating - but any other tips would help! THANKS

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  5. Tricep dumbbell kickback- 4x10 each arm:grow-taller

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