Here’s my guide to get you started on your fitness journey 🙂
Listen to this as you read
Stretching & Warm-up
- phraktured’s starting stretching
Stretching and mobilisation routine for the whole body
- General warm-up vid
This is what I usually do before gym
- My favorite after work yoga routine
10 Rounds of sun salutations, followed by a couple rounds of the dancing warrior sequence and finishing with 5 rounds of moon salutations.
Videos of the sequences/flows:
If you are just looking for a simple no frills program that you can easily do at your neighbourhood park’s fitness corner, the beginner’s template over at /r/bodyweightfitness is an excellent place to start. You might also want to check out the beginner dumbbell program.
Pressed for time and but still want to get your fitness on? Give Chad Waterbury’s PLP challenge a look, which IMO is also a great way to cultivate the habit of exercise.
Rainy day alternatives
Raining or you just don’t feel like leaving the house? You can always skip rope, climb stairs or do bodyweight circuits (eg. burpees, push ups etc). Be creative!
Example: Climb 1 flight of stairs, do 1 set of burpees per landing
Couple of resources to get your creative juices going:
- 50 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
Illustrated list of bodyweight exercises
- Eva T bodyweight workout compilation
Sub the running for jumping jacks, jump rope etc
- Crossfit Bodyweight Workout Resource compiled by Shane Skowron
Requires some equipment – pull up bars, skip rope
Mobility and pre-covery routines
- Defranco’s Limber 11
One of the best mobility routines that covers most of the bases
- Coach Jay’s RT article
- StrengthRunning warm-up guide
Another runner focused routine
- Coach Jay’s Myrtl and Cannonball routine
Bodyweight strength and mobility routines/drills
- My favorite vid for mobility/warm-up movement
Comprehensive video of mobility movements and drills
These are min. recommendations, you can exceed them as long as you remain within your calorie allowance
- Use 14-15kcal/lb of bodyweight to calculate maintenance.
- For weight loss – 10-12kcal/lb
- For weight gain – 15-18kcal/lb
- 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight
- 0.35g of fat per lb of bodyweight (~25% of total caloric intake)
- Fill the rest of your calories with any amounts of fat/protein/carbs. I generally top up on carbs based on my recovery, eg. feeling sluggish, tired, worn out.
- Recent research has shown that higher protein intake leads to greater satiety. Plus if you are exercising (eg. running, weight lifting), the extra protein will help with recovery and strength building.
- Maintain calories for 2 weeks and adjust accordingly.
- Calculator – The values given by the calculator slightly underestimates the target calories, to give you more allowance to play with as you adjust to your new diet
- If weight is moving downwards, maintain calorie intake.
- If weight has stagnated, wait 1 more week before reducing calories further.
- If weight has increased, do not panic. Introducing exercising might lead to fluid retention. Reduce calories by 10% and reassess again in two weeks.
Grocery shopping guide
Are you active or sedentary?
You can roughly gauge the activity factor (eg. sedentary, light active etc) by the number of steps you take outside the gym.
From this study: How many steps are enough?
<5000 – sedentary
5000-7499 – lightly active
7500-9999 – moderately active
9999 – active
Try downloading a free app like moves to track your activity/steps. You might also want to consider tracking calories for the first few weeks just to get a rough idea of your calorie intake and eyeball it from there. Myfitnesspal is awesome for this. You can just use the app and scan barcodes to get nutritional info.
A couple of suggestions
- Download a movement tracker app on your smartphone. Aim to hit 6-10k steps a day.
- Be honest about your food intake. If it enters your mouth, count it towards your daily caloric goals.
- Try to eat, not drink your calories. I.e. Cut down on fruit juice and canned drinks.
- When transitioning to a new diet, reduce the variety of food initially. This makes adherence easier.
- Exercising to lose weight is the wrong way to go about it.
- Set goals (eg. lift 20kg overhead, run 2.4km in under ten minutes) and work towards them.
- Make smart food choices