Have you ever picked up an issue of a fitness magazine and looked at the completely ripped bodies they say you can have if you follow this 4 week program? I admit to falling for some of these programs that told me I can train and be like Arnold in 4 weeks, but alas, I am just an average guy who enjoys working out and wants to make sure people get good information about what they are doing in order to get results that work for them. FYI, training like Arnold lasted one workout and the soreness lasted one week. The most important thing I needed to understand when I began going to the gym is that even the fittest person there didn’t look like that overnight. My hope is that this article takes the complication out of the fitness world and just starts with the basics. So here are some beginner tips that have worked for me and started me on the path to an overall healthier life.

1. Do something you love - Think about something you enjoy and then train to be better at it. Training in Martial Arts, which requires a different type of exercise routine in order to be athletically capable of excelling, is much different than a tennis player or a basketball player. Many times people begin in a gym with no goal or idea of what they are looking to accomplish. So inevitably you get bored with the routine and quit. You should enjoy your workout and enjoy the activity that you are doing that way you will come back to it again. This leads to my next tip.

2. Don’t over train your body - Rome was not built in one day and neither will you be. Soreness is a big reason why people lose motivation at the beginning of an exercise program. Overtraining in the beginning is extremely painful but can easily be avoided. Take your time and ease into it at first. Over time any mild soreness from good workouts will recede and you will be able to get a good workout without the discomfort that would normally follow.

3. Fuel for Exercise and Recovery - Proper nutrition before and after training is important. Going to a gym on an empty stomach will tire you quicker and you will notice a decline in strength and endurance. Have some good carbohydrates within 2 hours of exercise in order to give your body the fuel to perform. Also, after working out, there is a 1 hour window in which you need to eat some protein in order to start the repair process. This can be done in a meal or a shake but keep to the window or you body will start to turn on you and diminish your hard work.

4. Eat for success - Food is fuel. This is one of the biggest reasons people cannot see success in their workout program. Your body requires a certain amount of calories a day based on your lifestyle. But with all the calculators and advanced metrics used, it doesn’t benefit you if you do not know what it means. Basically, if you want to lose weight look at all the empty calories in your life. High calorie drinks and fried foods are two easy things a beginner can replace to get started. Drink water and bake that chicken instead and you will be well on your way to making a healthier impact on your body.

This article is not meant to be advanced or use terminology that most active gym members would refer to as common knowledge. My hope is that someone who wants to take a step in the direction of a healthier life can benefit for these small tips without being overwhelmed by the abundance of information out there.