Beginner’s Fitness Plan – A Guide To A Healthier You

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I don’t care if you’ve never thought about fitness, or if you’ve tried to get serious about it a hundred times. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the difference between and dumbbell and a barbell, or if you’ve got a gym full of equipment at your disposal. Regardless of whether you want to be a cover model of a fitness magazine, or just want to lose a little weight, everyone has to start somewhere. But more than starting, you need to be able to stick to it. And a beginner’s fitness plan that you can’t stick to is really no plan at all.

That’s why I’m writing this today. I’ve seen too many people who desperately want to get serious about fitness, but can’t seem to find a plan that they can feel good about and stick to.

A Beginner’s Fitness Plan Should Be More GUIDE Than PLAN

For those just starting out with a fitness routine, or those who have never been able to stick to a plan before, it’s better to think of a fitness plan more as a guide than an actual plan. The term “plan” just brings too much structure to fitness. It almost turns working out into WORK. Working out should be fun. It should make you feel good. But it should never feel like work.

One-way just doesn’t cut it in a fitness plan.

There’s an easy way to keep this from happening: Don’t get caught up in a strict plan.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to fitness. That means that if your plan is too strict, like a one-way street, you have no options to change when you feel like you want to give up.

Instead, when you look at your fitness plan, think of it as a map, not a straight-line path following items on a list. I know that when you write down your plan it’s going to look like a list. A list of the exercises you want to do. A list of the weights you want to lift. A list of the distances you want to walk or run. A list of the goals you want to reach.

And those goals are exactly what enable your plan to become a map. A map leading you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Every goal in your plan, every item on your list, is just a stop along the route to your final destination. The great thing about it is that it doesn’t matter what order you hit those goals in. In doesn’t matter what path you take.

The only thing that matters is reaching your final goal.

That’s why every fitness plan should never consider the exercises first. Instead, it should focus on your goals.

A Beginner’s Fitness Goals

There are two very important questions you should ask yourself before trying to design a fitness plan.

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • Why do I want to achieve it?

The first question will help you lay out your final goal. Maybe you’re overweight and want to lose 30 pounds. Perhaps you’re in okay shape but want to lose that last bit of belly fat and get a little muscle definition. Whatever your reason for wanting to start a fitness routine, that is your end goal. It’s the final destination on the map that is your fitness plan.

The second question is going to be your motivation to get you to that end goal. Do you want to lose the weight for health reasons? That’s a great reason. Do you want to lose the weight so your knees and back don’t hurt all the time? Another wonderful reason. Do you want to lose that last bit of belly fat and get a little definition to boost your confidence? That’s fine. Whatever your reason, always keep it in the back of your mind whenever you’re pushing yourself toward your goal.

The Goal Of A Fitness Plan

Maybe you’ve already guessed it, but the goal of a fitness plan is to be your map along your fitness journey. You have a start point, and an end goal.

Plan your journey, but be willing to make detours along the way.

The adventure… The FUN… You find all of that in between.

It doesn’t matter if you are overweight, just need to lose a little bit of belly fat, or you’re the scrawny kid. It makes no difference if you are a man or a woman. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old.

Whoever and whatever you are right now, that is the starting point of your fitness journey.

Whatever your current level of fitness, that is the point of origin on your map to what you want to be.

The most important thing to remember about this journey, as with any journey, is there is a long road between “start” and “finish”.

The Reason So Many Beginners Give Up On Their Fitness Plan

Are you one of those people who has tried repeatedly to start a fitness routine and given up? Have you looked at a workout program with high hopes only to get discouraged and think, “There’s no way I can do this”? Have you stuck to a fitness plan for a few weeks with no results and gotten frustrated?

You are not alone.

Countless people before you have, and countless more will, start out on a journey to get in shape only to give up.

And there’s a very simple reason for that: They are too focused on the end goal. When all you can see is what it will be like after you’ve lost the 30 pounds you want to lose, or lost that last little bit of belly fat, or finally put on the muscle definition you’ve always wanted, you fail to see the small victories. You don’t see the stops along the way. Just as you can’t drive from New Hampshire to California without going through over a dozen other states, you can’t lose 30 pounds without first losing 1 pound.

Every little step along your journey, no matter how insignificant it may feel at the moment, is a huge step toward reaching your final destination.

Flexibility Allows Beginners To Stick To Their Fitness Plan

“What about those of us who didn’t see any results?”

Going back to the analogy of driving from New Hampshire to California, not only do you have to drive through several other states to get there, you have to turn off one road and onto another. And you have to do it numerous times. Remember I said that a beginner’s fitness plan should be more of a GUIDE than an actual plan? To think of it as a map? Take a look at a map. There aren’t many places you can travel between in a perfectly straight line. The same holds true for reaching you fitness goals.

Sometimes you need to change course.

If you started out with a plan to lose weight that calls for 15 minutes of walking and half an hour of lifting weights, and it doesn’t work, CHANGE IT! Try half an hour of walking and 15 minutes of lifting weight. When you allow yourself the flexibility to change your plan, you allow yourself far greater chances of reaching your goals. You can’t let yourself get hung up on the setbacks and failures. There are thousands of methods to lose weight. There are thousands of methods to tighten your tummy. There are thousands of methods to get defined muscles.

If one doesn’t work for you, try another.

When Just Starting Out, Your Fitness Plan Is A Guide

Every journey needs direction. You can’t get from Canada to Mexico if you drive north. Your fitness journey is no different. Only you can decide where you want to end up at the end of the journey.

If you are serious about starting this journey, you need to set yourself an end goal, absolutely. But you also need to make smaller goals. You can’t just

The most important step… The FIRST step.

start out with that final goal in mind, or you will get frustrated and give up.

If you want to lose 30 pounds, make your first goal losing 1 pound. If you lose that first pound in a week, awesome! If it takes you three weeks, that’s great! It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to reach that first goal. Every time you reach a smaller goal, you prove to yourself that you can reach your final goal.

So sit down with a pen and paper. At the top of that paper, write down where you are now. At the bottom, write down where you want to be. In between, write down 5-10 small goals along the way.

You CAN do this. I have faith in you. Now have some faith in yourself, and start that journey.

It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!

Best of luck on your journey,



P.S. Remember, if you ever have questions, or need help, or even just a little encouragement, feel free to reach out. You can leave a comment, or send me an e-mail, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Beginner’s Fitness Plan – A Guide To A Healthier You
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  1. Good stuff. I found for me what really worked was to incorporate a workout schedule prior to going to work and sometimes afterward. But whichever you choose you have to keep it constant and it becomes an everyday routine.
    You will soon find yourself hating to miss a workout. I also incorporate riding my bike to work rather than drive. Both of these things seem to become natural and you are getting fit without even thinking about it.

    • You’re absolutely right about it becoming an everyday routine. That’s when you really know you’ve found a plan that is going to work. Not just for a little while, but for a lifetime of fitness. When you realize that missing a workout is almost painful, it’s a pretty amazing feeling!
      And being able to ride your bike to work is great! Sadly, a lot of us have too long a commute to be able to pull this off. But it’s great advice for those who can manage it!

  2. You know, you are right! A fitness plan should just be a guide. I have found myself too many times getting a plan in place, and then I get discouraged when I don’t follow it to the letter. I think if I do as you say, and just use it as a guide, making changes along the way that I will have a lot more success. I like the idea of starting slow, and then gaining momentum when I start to see results. Great post!

    • It’s good to know that you found the article helpful. That is my goal, after all! The trick is to keep it simple, ease your way into things, and progress when it feels right for you.

  3. Another inspiring article, I am down 90lbs but have strayed from my workouts, thanks for the motivation to get going again. I love the way you tell it like it is.

  4. Very nice article Nathan, you have a way to help people that want to workout but have no idea where to start. What to expect in the next few weeks and let them know most of us started the same way. I have trained for more than 25 years it is great to help people get in shape.

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