I’m super excited to bring you my 2nd ever guest post!! My first guest post was actually my mother (she shared her thoughts on raising an overweight child) and today we’re taking a totally different approach. Today’s guest is a great friend of mine – a woman who inspires me and who constantly teaches me. She’s totally hysterical and 100% genuine – but she’s also a true expert in fitness, movement and creating a fat loss lifestyle. She has her Master’s in Applied Exercise Science with a concentration in Strength and Conditioning, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and is the beautiful face of The Lean Life with Keri. She has so graciously agreed to share with us her tips for beginner workouts and how to dive in to fitness without spending hours working out! In fact, her approach is not only effective, it doesn’t even require any equipment or a gym membership! She’s even included an actual workout to get you started!!! Without further ado…..Keri Mantie!
Starting a strength-training program can be super intimidating. There are so many different workouts out there, that if you don’t know where to begin, you might not begin at all. But honestly, it just doesn’t have to be that confusing. It doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time, and you don’t even have to belong to a gym to get started! You just have to, well, GET STARTED!
The awesome thing about being a beginner is that you have this HUGE window of adaptation where you will see some serious strength gains, and other awesome results, pretty quickly. This is not only exciting it’s also SUPER motivating, so long as you go about your programming correctly.
One of the biggest mistakes I see women make is starting off with the hardest classes, videos, workouts etc., and they end up getting either injured or burnt out. I am a firm believer in doing the basics, and doing them well. I don’t think it’s smart to do a million squat jumps in a workout if you can’t perform a body weight squat correctly. So, to get you started we’re going to keep things super simple and build all workouts around a small number of SUPER important movements: hip flexion/extension, upper body push/pull and core stability. You are going to do those exercises well before progressing to the next level.
Ideally, you want to begin every workout with some foam rolling and a quick dynamic warm-up. Foam rolling is a great way to massage your tight spots and better prepare you for your warm-up. The dynamic warm-up is a fantastic way to bring your muscles throughout their full range of motion and get them ready for what you are going to do next. It also enhances balance, coordination and gets your heart rate up. Here is an example of what I like to do with clients.
Here’s an example of a Level 1 at home strength training workout:
|Day 1||Day 2|
|Dynamic Warm-up||Dynamic Warm-up|
|Front Plank / Side Plank:20 ea||Bird Dogs 6ea side|
|1a. Body Weight Squat||1a. DB Bench||2-3 sets 10-12 reps|
|1b. Standing band Row||1b. 1 Leg RDL||2-3 sets 10-12 reps|
|2a. Glute Bridge||2a. 1 arm DB Row||2-3 sets 10-12 reps|
|2b. 45 degree Pushups||2b. Curl to Press||2-3 sets 10-12 reps|
|2c. Split Squat||2c. Lateral Squat||2-3 sets 10-12 reps|
*After you complete your DWU and core work, you will do 1a and 1b back to back for your determined sets and reps, then move on to 2a, 2b, and 2c. Move quickly from one exercise to the next, resting as needed.
Like I mentioned above, as a beginner, you will adapt to your program fairly quickly. So if you are working out at home, you may want to invest in at least one set of dumbbells or a good band so you can progress the intensity of the exercises as you get stronger.
If you are not quite ready to make the investment for at home workout equipment, you can increase the intensity of your workouts a few other ways. You can work at a higher rep range for your body weight exercises (12-20), you can slow down the tempo of your reps (:04 second count down, pause, :01 count up), you can decrease the rest between sets, and finally you can progress to a more difficult version of the exercise. For example, your glute bridge would progress to a single leg glute bridge.
However, when you are doing exercises requiring you to use a weight, you want to make sure that the weight is challenging. Lifting heavy (with good form) in my opinion, is the second most important component to body composition change. The first being nutrition. “Heavy” is a relative term and will be different for each and every one of you. That doesn’t mean that you should be grunting, groaning and heaving your weights around while working out, it just means that you should feel like you did something. Your last 2-3 reps should feel challenging.
I’ve included a brief description of all exercises for you here. If you are uncertain if you are performing them correctly, I encourage you to think about hiring a trainer to teach you proper form on the basics. You don’t need a bunch of sessions, just one or two to make sure you’re building a solid base with good form.
And if this still seems a bit intimidating, just do something! You can get amazing health and fitness results by just moving more. Even a quick dynamic warm-up, thoracic spine mobility and a few core exercises can be very beneficial in addressing some of the common areas women need attention just based on what we spend most of our time doing like sitting, driving, looking at a computer screen etc..
Bottom line is you have to actually enjoy what it is that you do, or else you’ll dread it and eventually stop. Remember that anything is better than nothing!
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to email me!