Week 2: Beginner Fitness Routines on the Total Gym

Beginner Level Workouts

– Beginners are those who are either completely new or somewhat new to participating in a consistent fitness program or activity.

Some experts say that you need six consecutive months of training under your belt before you can progress into a more challenging program. I agree that you should give it some time, however, I believe that it depends on the individual and the consistency with which they work out. If you haven’t kept up with some sort of fitness routine long enough to produce positive results, then you are most likely a beginner.

If you are someone who used to train consistently in the past, but had to stop for a significant period of time, you may be considered a beginner again until you know you are able to perform beginner exercises with ease.

How To Tell If You’re A Beginner

Here are some basic guidelines that categorize you into a beginner fitness level:

  1. Never worked out before
  2. Do not know how to perform basic exercises properly
  3. Lack strength, muscular coordination, flexibility, and fitness knowledge
  4. Have difficulty sticking to a program

In my opinion, beginner workouts can be the most challenging. When your body is not used to the stress you’re placing upon it, it perceives this as a threat and responds with fatigue, exhaustion, muscle soreness, or pain. It takes time for your muscles to adapt and develop muscle memory before you can start to enjoy the workout process.

How to Measure Results

If you begin a program and feel some soreness/fatigue as a result, it is completely normal! However, the worst thing you could do for yourself is let days pass between your workouts! This only makes you more sore and negates your achievements, dropping you back to the baseline you started at. When you try to workout again, you will probably get the same feeling because your body is trying to adapt and develop strength. If you can muscle through another workout within the following two days, you may be sore, but it will be the best thing to facilitate movement and circulate blood to your muscles!

Remember that there’s a process your muscles have to go through to achieve a baseline of fitness. It truly doesn’t take long to develop, it just takes patience and determination to stick it out!

5 Tips for Beginners

  1. Learn and relearn– Take time to learn an exercise properly. Initially, you will have to relearn the exercise again until it becomes familiar in your mind, body, and muscles. If you let time pass between workouts, you may forget what exercise is what and it becomes a whole learning process from scratch!
  2. Practice makes perfect memory– The more you practice an exercise, the more your muscles will remember the motion and it will become a natural movement. Then you can start to add more challenge by increasing the resistance, speed, or reps.
  3. Proper form to reform– Always perform an exercise with proper form. It will protect your body from developing injuries as well as it will reform your muscles to take shape and develop proper biomechanical strength!
  4. Go the distance– challenge your body to your working ability. When you feel you are ready for an extra push, try to go a bit harder by increasing speed, resistance, or changing the exercise!
  5. Pace your own race– Don’t worry about anyone else when it comes to getting your body in shape. We all are at different levels and need different challenges to make us better! So, focus on your abilities and where you are today. Listen to your body and how you feel in order to make accomplishments each workout.

Knowing When to Advance

There are a few answers to this question, but in my opinion, it’s dependent upon the individual and their progress. Once you plateau on a beginner’s routine and your workout is not working anymore for you, then it’s time to advance to intermediate exercises.

Everyone will progress at different times based on the energy you put forth, your dedication to your training, and the ability of your muscles to adapt to what your doing.

  • Time Frame Approach
    Setting a specific “time frame” for a certain amount of weeks or months can be motivating and a good way to progress, however, this depends on the individual and their results. If a time frame has been met, but the program is still working well…continue to stick with it a bit longer before you change to something more advanced. Your beginner routine may continue to work for you better than an intermediate routine would. Therefore, a time frame is a good way to gage progression, don’t be set to advance if your body is not ready.
  • Strength Level
    Strength levels will progress as you begin an exercise program. This is a huge positive that results in regular activity. However, just because someone can lift “a lot”, doesn’t mean that they are ready to advance to a more challenging program! If your goal is to get stronger and have perfect form with a heavy weight, then perhaps it is time to challenge those muscles with a different exercise before progressing the entire program.
  • Time For Change
    Some individuals will stick to the same program for weeks, months, and yes, years without changing it up. At least they are being consistent with a program, however, this is not so smart! Your body needs change in order to get results and to progress to the next level.
  • Common Sense
    Learn your body and what it needs. Know how your body feels when it’s being challenged and when your routine becomes “boring” or “less interesting.” By knowing your body, you will feel the need for a challenge in order to make more progress.

  • Total Gym Workout for Beginners

    GOAL: Beginner Total Body Workout Routine that is easy to set up for a quick and efficient workout.
    *The beginner workout consists of low volume, low intensity, modified version of exercises to accomplish correct form, and low reps/ set range.

    1. Perform 5-10 minutes of familiar warm-up exercises such as jumping jacks, jogging in place, or a light walk to warm-up the muscles for the workout.
    2. Cool down with 5-10 minutes of stretches or light walking for muscle recovery.
    3. Perform each exercise in circuit format (one after the other with little rest)
    4. 10-15 Reps, 1-2 Sets.
    1. Squat Variations
      • Squat stand
      • Variations in feet stance Med- High Incline
    2. Incline Mountain Climbers & Plank Hold
      • Med-High Incline
    3. Crunch & Press
      • Cables
      • Low Incline
    4. Seated Rows & Flies
      • Cables
      • Low Incline
    5. Seated Rotations
      • Cables
      • Low Incline
    6. NOTE:
      This TG workout is based on a total body routine designed for overall strength accomplishments at a beginner, intermediate, or an advanced level. This routine is beneficial as an overall strength and conditioning program. If you have specific training goals to achieve based on a specific sport, developing muscle mass, etc., then I suggest other routines set to accomplish more specific accomplishments.

      I hope you find this beginner workout refreshing as well as challenging, even if you possess a higher level of fitness. A beginner workout containing fundamental exercises will develop the proper form, strength, and muscle memory your body needs to obtain success. Even if you are slightly more experienced than a beginner, it is nice to have a low impact routine to use when your body is fatigued from a more intense workout!

      Focus on adapting your muscles and execute proper form! Before long, you’ll be ready to increase your intensity!

      Best to you always,

      P.S. Next week we will discuss an intermediate program!

    Maria Sollon

    Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. http://www.groovysweat.com http://www.groovysweatstore.com (purchasable workout videos) http://www.youtube.com/groovysweat (workout clips)

    This Post Has One Comment

    1. I like this routine for getting back into exercising. I had a baby 9 months ago and finally have the time and energy to get back into shape. I used to walk/jog almost daily and use the total gym, free weights, or equipment free exercises a few times a week, but that was over a year ago of regular use. I plan to do this routine 3x this week and move to the next level next week. I hope to share my success story next year!

    Leave a Reply