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Fitness: Where to start [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Dec 9, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Fitness where to start


Fitness: Where to start

Begin at the beginning and then go on till you come to the end; then stop. This article will ease you into starting with fitness. If you have any questions please put them in the comments below.

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Who are you 

Where to start with fitness highly depends on your status quo. There are many factors playing into this of which the most important are 
Medical record
Training history 
Your age is important as it influences the rate at which you will make progress towards your goals. It also has an impact on how fast you will get into the new routine. The younger you are the faster you can learn a new movement pattern and the easier you will lose or gain weight. So if you are a bit older expect your results to develop at a slower pace. Most programs assume athletes to be between 15 and 30. Maybe even up to 40 but not more. So if your program is not specifically written for elderly be mindful of that if you are advanced in age.
Your weight will also influence where to start with fitness. The more overweight you are the longer and more attention you should pay attention to your diet instead of your exercise regime. You can not outrun or outlift two bottles of Coca-Cola and a pizza wagon wheel with chips as a side a day.same goes for being extremely underweight. It is not a good idea to start a heavy lifting program if your bones barely hold up from malnutrition unless you want to break them. 
Your medical record is the next thing to consider for your starting point. The worse it is the slower you ease into the world of fitness. If you have a spotless record you can get more ambitious sooner and push yourself a little harder. Be aware that fitness is all about pushing your limits in a controlled way if you want to keep it interesting long term. 
The next thing to consider is your training history. If you have been active in a sport during your teenage years it is a great benefit when reentering the world of fitness. This also helps to get a head start from someone with a more sedentary lifestyle during their forming years. 
Last but not least your goals will determine where you will start. Proper backward planning will help you to know where to enter the game and how to progress. The more ambitious the goals and higher your capabilities, the higher the entry bar. 


Your diet is the best starting point to set you up for success. This is often overlooked and neglected. Make a plan on how many calories you want to take in and what kind of a body shape you would like when. Be specific and measure your body fat, arms, waist, thighs, and chest. Your calorie intake can be tracked with an app like myfitnesspal or Fitbit. 
Use one of the calorie calculators online to formulate your goal and take it from there. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Bread, corn flakes, rice, and noodles are high in carbohydrates. Meat, fish and sea fruit are high in protein. Butter, coconut oil, and olive oil are high in fat.
I have had good results on high-fat low carb diet where the macros split into 40% fat, 40% protein and 20% carbohydrates. The high protein intake might be a challenge and you want to supplement a little with whey protein for cost and convenience purposes. The main thing is to eat generally unprocessed foods and stick to your daily calorie goal with natural foods. The macro split is second to that. 
If you want to start a bit easier pick a food which is the biggest detractor from your goals and cut it out of your diet. The usual culprits are beer, white bread, and chocolate depending on the individual. If that is too hard limit these foods to the weekends. I personally stay tight from Monday to Friday and enjoy the weekends with friends and my wife by having these foods in moderation. As long as you do not enter bodybuilding competitions or the Olympics this is enough.


Once you cleaned up your diet it is time to exercise. The main thing is that you start doing something for at least twenty minutes three times a week.
Three times a week is a good number as you can move things around a little or miss a session and still catch up during the week. It also means that you keep the weekends free and still have one day of recovery between sessions. If you go to the gym I recommend going Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday rather than Monday, Tuesday Friday. This split will leave you with fewer people who bother you in the gym. 
Regarding the time frame, 20 minutes of continuous exercise including a five minute warm up and cool down are a great place to start. There are several books which recommend this and you can read "the first twenty minutes" if you would like more details on this. My personal routines consist of thirty-minute blocks which I mix and match depending on my current goals. 
The type of exercise does not really matter that much, as long as you keep it challenging. If you are not sweating by the end of the twenty minutes you are encouraged to step it up a notch. Good routines for beginners are 30-day challenges using your bodyweight, couch to 5k programs or Yoga routines. The main goal when you start is to find something you like doing on a consistent basis. You accelerate the pace once you have established a regular routine.


Goal setting is tricky and also not done seriously enough by many. Pick a SMART goal which means
And write it down. Break it down into progression goals or milestones which you can tick off the list bit by bit. Make these meaningful to you by picking something big that matters to you. For me, it is a 200kg deadlift and a 3.30 marathon. For you, it might be something completely different like fitting back into a pair of trousers from high school.
Whatever it is, it in writing and progress towards it. Adjust accordingly when you get there faster or face setbacks and keep on the course.


Consistency is the absolute core and the start of fitness. You need the discipline to repeatedly do a certain mundane task to achieve greatness in anything. If it is one thing you take away from this article then it should be to find the activity you will be able to do consistently for years, maybe even decades. 


Your workouts should be intense for you. The should give you more than they take out of you while not being a walk in the park. In weightlifting that means to operate somewhere between 60% to 95% of your one repetition maximum. In running this is usually around 120 Bpm. You can read up about heart rate training in running if you are interested as it is a great tool.
For starters, a solid test for intensity is the talk test. You should be able to talk to someone while exercising while still being active. Once you lose that, your intensity is too high. If you are discussing politics in the Middle East while exercising you could probably do a bit better. 


Wherever you start in fitness your primary goal is consistency. For most impact start with your diet and move into exercising. Once you have established a regular routine and what you like to set some ambitious goals, write them down and keep them in sight. Goals which are worthwhile usually take years to accomplish. Consistency and passion are the fuel to get you there. 

Further reading 



Topics: Fitness