As a beginner to working out and nutrition, you likely have a lot of questions and are unsure about what to do.
This uncertainty and the questions you have may be stopping you from beginning a training as well as nutrition program and may have been stopping you for some time. The first step is just doing something.
Even if you do not read the rest of this blog or the assortment of helpful blogs below, understand that you have to do something, even if that something is unstructured, if you want to reach your goals.
Randomly use machines at the gym, start being mindful of eating, start walking for 10 minutes each day—just do something.
And then keep doing that thing and add more things. In time, you will be doing a whole lot of something and moving toward your goals, even if a real plan is not present. That said, some more information will help you.
I would like to say the more informed you are, the better, but that is not always the case. You do not need an exercise science degree or a personal trainer certification to reach your goals.
Too much information may be confusing and may lead you down the wrong path, meaning away from your goals. More than anything, you just need a plan that covers the basics.
The best approach is to have someone experienced and educated in training as well as nutrition create a plan for you.
In absence of that, you can use the fitness blogs below to put together ideas for what you need to do.
Before I go on, if you are someone just looking for a beginner workout program, then our blog “The Ultimate Collection of Beginner Workout Programs” is what you want.
Enriching Your Health and Fitness Journey With Fitness Blogs
Your health and fitness journey are going to be a long and important section of your life. It might even last for the rest of your life.
You may be able to achieve some of your most important goals, such as losing weight or building muscle, in as little as a few weeks, but if you want to preserve those gains and continue maximizing your health and fitness, you’ll need to pursue a health and fitness lifestyle indefinitely.
Health and fitness blogs are ideal for enriching that journey, and for several reasons.
For starters, health and fitness blogs are typically valuable sources of new information.
If you want to learn which exercises target the quadriceps, how many carbs you should be eating every day, or how fast you should be running on a recovery day, blogs can sometimes be an excellent source of knowledge.
The only caveat here is that not all health and fitness blogs are created equally; while many health and fitness bloggers do their best to provide personal training and nutrition information based on empirical evidence, some amateurs may not have a full grasp on this subject matter.
Accordingly, it’s important to find fitness blogs and fitness bloggers that you genuinely trust, so you can truly rely on the information they provide.
Some health and fitness blogs are useful for emotional validation. When you’re first venturing into the world of health and fitness, you may feel intimidated.
When you go to the gym, you see dozens of people who have lots of experience with exercise and personal training, so if you don’t have that experience, you might feel shy or inferior.
Here’s the good news: while it’s perfectly valid to feel these things, every professional athlete and bodybuilder has been in this position at least once in their lives.
The truth is everyone starts somewhere, and even the most experienced professionals are sometimes wracked with doubt and anxiety.
Reading health and fitness blogs regularly can help you better understand the mentalities and emotions that are closely related to health and fitness, so you can get past your mental blocks, feel a better sense of community, and ultimately perform better in pursuit of your goals.
Sometimes, reading health and fitness blogs is the best way to get motivated.
You can read about major accomplishments from bodybuilders and athletes.
You can read about the journeys that people have made from being out of shape or obese to being super fit and healthy.
You can also read about the strategies that online personal trainers have used to provide motivation to others.
The value of the health blogs for beginners
Potential clients come to use for basic reasons, reasons that may be your motivation for beginning to work out and focus on nutrition. These reasons are:
- Reduce body fat
- Build muscle
- Get strong
- Improve nutrition
- Increase mobility
- Better cardio
- Expand general fitness
These goals overlap in many areas. For example, many people who want to build muscle want overall improvements in body composition, meaning they want to reduce body fat.
For someone looking to expand general fitness, part of the focus is getting stronger and bettering cardio ability, since these are expressions of fitness. This overlap likely applies to you too.
As you read through the blogs, and really as you think about your training and nutrition, keep this idea in mind.
Each of the blogs below focus on one or more of the above goals.
The last two blogs do so in more of an indirect way, but the others directly focus on one or more goals and will prove helpful to you as a beginner seeking a quality workout plan and nutrition program.
How to lose weight – overcoming roadblocks
One of the most common goals for any client entering personal training is weight loss. Almost everyone wants to lose fat around the midsection, get rid of the dreaded and oddly named “batwings,” or see less dimples in the thighs.
For most of the population, adding weight is easy.
Fast food, high calorie snacks foods, and social eating all contribute to this may making eating a common past time during which high amounts of calories are easy to consume.
Losing weight is difficult for those same people. Most people view the difficulty as something physical, which has some merit, but the most difficult underlying issue is the mental part of losing weight.
If you want to understand more about the mental and how to lose weight, read this blog.
How to build 10-20 pounds of muscle
Building muscle does not have to be complicated. With all of the information available on the web, filtering out the good from the bad, the applicable from inapplicable, can be hard and frustrating.
This writing focuses on making the process less frustrating for you by providing easily understandable tips for how to build 10-20 pounds of muscle.
The concepts provided here apply not only now, and not only to the first 10-20 pounds of muscles gained, but instead are ideas that will serve you well for years to come.
5 tips for building strength
Building strength is a simple subject that is often made complex due to the internet.
Everyone has an opinion and different coaches use different approaches.
People debate which approach is best, flex egos, and confuse the issue more due to this. Really, all strength programs work. The argument about program superiority is often a matter of context.
For example, a powerlifting program is ideal for a powerlifter, while that same program may not be ideal for the soccer mom who has no interest in powerlifting.
The soccer mom may benefit from a generalized approach to strength that includes more variety in lifts, includes calisthenics, and uses a wider variety of rep ranges.
This does not mean either program is bad or inferior, just that each program has a place where it is more ideal.
That said, there are some basic ideas behind any strength program. Follow the link to learn more.
Start here on your nutrition journey
When it comes to any physical goal that you want to achieve, whether it is improved health, improved fitness, improved performance, body composition changes, or some other goal, you have to consider nutrition.
Now there are some people who say that you can out train a bad diet, and while some degree of truth is in that statement, the more focused you are on nutrition for your goal, the better your progress will be.
Success with nutrition or anything in life is about finding the proper line for you and balancing on that line, giving you the things that you want and the things that you need to be successful.
You do not have to go vegan or eat meat. You can go high carb or low carb.
No one nutrition strategy exists; many can help you be successful.
All that said, for any approach to work, there are a few things you should consider, and this blog delves into that.
What is mobility (with suggested exercises and videos)?
Mobility is essential to everything we do.
From sitting to lying down to running to lifting weights, mobility is part of any physical action. Just the act of completing these movements can help mobility.
For example, if you have a limited range squat due to mobility, one key to improving it is simply doing the squat and trying to get lower into the squat each time you do.
Mobility work for the average person or gym goer does not need to be complex.
An athlete on the other hand might have special needs for their sport and require extra mobility work as a result. The same can be said for someone who has physical limitations.
Each situation needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but everyone can benefit from basic mobility.
In this bog I provide basic mobility work that you can perform today to begin improving your mobility.
Read the blog at this link https://demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com/post/2019/09/02/what-is-mobility-with-suggested-exercises-and-videos. Included are video examples that you can follow along to.
Five exercises we recommend for everyone
There are five exercise types we recommend for everyone.
If you are a current or former client of ours, you know these types of movements well.
1. Any squat-for lower body function
2. Any hip hinge-for posterior chain function, bottom dominant
3. Any overhead press-shoulder, arm, and pec development (minor emphasis on pecs)
4. Upper-body posterior chain movement-neck to waist dominant (band pull-apart, etc.)
5. Cardio-cardio help and overall fitness
This blog briefly delves into each category, explains the importance of each, and provides example movements you can perform today.
Additional reading is included as well, with linked blogs that go deeper into different movement category to help you understand more about the how’s and whys of each.
And that is it. The top six blogs for beginners. Read through them, note the key points, and keep them in mind.
Also, in case you missed it, I linked to beginner workout programs at the start of this writing, so be sure to visit that blog to and learn more about each program noted there.
One is sure to be a good fit for you. Or you can reach out to me directly about signing up for one of our services so I can create a custom program for you.
How to Read a Health and Fitness Blog
There are many different health and fitness blogs out there, written by millions of different people, ranging from online personal training experts to total amateurs documenting their personal journeys.
Because there’s such a wide range of material available, and because you obviously want to get the most value possible out of everything you read, there are some important tips you’ll need to follow when perusing different health and fitness blogs.
Start with an open mind.
Even if you don’t find the exact information you want, there’s probably something valuable in the fitness blogs you find.
You might discover a new exercise, learn a piece of information you didn’t know, or just become exposed to a perspective on health and fitness that you hadn’t considered.
Accordingly, it’s important to start with an open mind. Don’t judge an article by the title and don’t assume that you already know everything there is to know about a given health and fitness subject.
Understand the “whys.”
When reading fitness articles online, do your best to understand the “whys.” For example, an online fitness coach might write a blog suggesting that everyone, regardless of their fitness goals, should be doing squats as an exercise.
That’s certainly useful information, but why is this recommendation so universal?
With a bit of further reading, you’ll likely discover that squats are an excellent compound exercise, targeting multiple muscle groups in the lower body simultaneously; accordingly, it’s a great exercise for building muscle, improving strength, and burning calories, so almost anyone can benefit from it.
With this contextual information, you’ll be much more likely to integrate fitness recommendations appropriately.
Validate the information.
There’s a lot of bad health and fitness information circulating on the web, including gimmicks recommended because of anecdotal evidence and “bro science” that relies on intuition, rather than empirical evidence.
Because of this, it’s always important to take an extra step to validate the information that you read.
This online fitness coach might recommend eating specific foods or eating a specific number of calories to help you lose weight, but are these recommendations substantiated by evidence in peer-reviewed journals?
Does the overall health and fitness community seem to agree with this assertion?
Jot down the key takeaways.
After reading a health and fitness blog article, take a moment to jot down the key takeaways, even if you only do it mentally.
The most successful online personal training blogs tend to be long and in-depth, providing lots of context and descriptive information.
Accordingly, it’s easy to get lost and forget some of the main points along the way.
What are the key takeaways of this specific article and how should they affect your health and fitness journey?
Treat this as one perspective.
Health and fitness are both arts and sciences.
While it’s important to rely on clinical studies and objective information when making health and habit changes, it’s also important to recognize that every individual is different.
Even the most educated, experienced person writing a health and fitness blog may make recommendations that aren’t a good fit for you or your fitness goals.
Don’t take every health blog you read as gospel truth.
Finding Better Health and Fitness Blogs
There are millions of health and fitness blogs out there, so how do you know what’s worth reading?
How can you curate a better selection of health and fitness blogs to read for information and motivation?
Look for personal expertise and credentials.
Pay attention to who’s writing the blog. Is this a professional online personal trainer with years of experience and certification? Or is this an anonymous writer who has no verifiable credentials?
It’s true that even the experts get things wrong from time to time, but you’re much more likely to find valid, verifiable information in articles written by people with personal experience and appropriate credentials in the health and fitness industry.
Evaluate the readership (to an extent).
Popularity isn’t always a good predictor of accuracy or value, as anyone in the artistic world can tell you.
But it’s sometimes valuable to evaluate the size and scope of the readership of a health and fitness blog before taking it too seriously.
If it’s a major publication with millions of regular readers, it’s probably more likely to be accurate than an obscure blog that barely gets any attention.
Understand the perspective and purpose.
Different health and fitness bloggers have different perspectives and goals when writing their content.
It’s important to understand this context when reading.
As a simple example, a blogger that exclusively focuses on weight loss is going to make recommendations to help people lose weight; they may recommend lots of cardio and minimal caloric intake.
These recommendations aren’t necessarily appropriate for all people; if you’re trying to build muscle, these recommendations can hinder you.
Build trust over time.
The more you read a specific fitness blog, the more you’ll learn whether or not you can trust it.
If a blog typically has great, verifiable advice, you should start reading it more frequently.
Becoming a Fitness Blogger: Should You Create Your Own Fitness Blog?
Instead of just reading the health and fitness blogs of other people, why not start one of your own?
If you don’t have a background in nutritional science or personal fitness coaching, you won’t be able to position yourself as an expert and make recommendations to others. Instead, you’ll use a fitness blog to document your own journey.
Doing so can have a number of benefits.
You can write a new article every week, or even a mini entry every day; doing so can help you keep track of your progress, both physically and mentally.
You can write about the major health and fitness challenges you faced this week, you can brag about your latest accomplishments, and you can express concerns if you’ve hit a plateau.
This is a cathartic exercise that can help you process your thoughts and feelings, but it’s also an excellent motivational tool.
If you’re excited to write your next health and fitness blog, or if you have other people reading about your fitness journey, you’ll be more inspired to complete every workout in your regimen.
Additionally, this can function as a referenceable journal that you can look at once you do accomplish your long-term fitness goals.
You’ll be able to read about your own journey, from beginning to end.
About Nathan DeMetz
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas.
His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world.
He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!