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Best gym workout for beginners

Dr. SatabdiJan 17, 2024

Are you one of those people who wish to go to the gym but are unsure where to begin? You are not alone! The best day to start your fitness journey is today, and this article will help you avoid being ‘gymtimidated’. Read on to know more about the best gym workout for beginners and begin your fitness journey without delay.




Always start with a warm-up session

The first six to ten minutes of your workout should be dedicated to warming up. Warming up involves mild exercises that help to increase the body’s core and muscle temperature. 

  • Begin with gentle activities such as walking for a few minutes and then progress to slow jogging. After another few minutes, switch to stretching your muscles. 

  • You can perform dynamic stretches such as knee hugs, Frankensteins, lunges, or quad stretches to increase your muscle temperature and heartbeat. 

  • Once you reach the stage where you can move freely through your full range, switch to faster dynamic stretches such as side shuffles, sprints, or butt kickers

Best gym workouts for beginners

There may be multiple equipments/machines in your gym, and you may be tempted to try out all of them on the first day. But start slow and gradually increase the intensity. Here are some best gym workouts you can try out as a beginner. 

  1. Push-ups help in upper body development. Perform 5 to 10 reps based on your capacity up to 3 sets with a rest period of 30 seconds to 60 seconds in between. As a beginner, you may need help performing full push-ups; in that case, you can modify the technique to perform push-ups while kneeling.

  2.  Lat pull-down helps in building back muscles. Choose a weight appropriate for your capacity and perform the exercise slowly while seated straight. In the beginning, perform a maximum of 3 sets with 6 to 10 reps each.

  3. Flat bench dumbbell press helps build the chest, abs, shoulders, and triceps. Choose a weight that is comfortable for you. Perform a maximum of 3 sets with 5 to 6 reps each.

  4. Squats primarily engage your quads, hamstrings, and glute muscles. Initially, aim for 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps each.

  5.  Cable curl primarily works the muscles in the front of your arm. Choose a convenient weight according to your capacity and perform up to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

  6. Triceps push-down helps in working your core, back, and shoulder muscles. Perform up to 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps.

Remember to cool down

Cooling down your body after exercising is as essential as warming up before you exercise. 

  • It helps reduce your heart rate and blood pressure to pre-workout levels and lowers your body temperature. 

  • After your main exercises, switch to slow walking for 5 minutes until your heart rate starts dropping to near-normal levels. Now, you can switch to static stretching exercises. 

  • The blood supply and oxygen supply to the muscles decrease during stretching and increase after the stretch. This helps in muscle recovery. 

  • You can adopt various activities: knee to chest pose, reclining butterfly pose, child’s pose, etc. You should hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. 

  • And remember, though the stretch can be strong, it should not be painful.

Things to consider while planning your routine

Here’s a list of points to consider before you go all out with your workout. 

  • Your training goals: Your workout routine should be planned based on goals like losing weight, gaining muscle mass, increasing flexibility and stamina (or a combination of these goals).

  • Gender: The body structure of a man and woman varies. Accordingly, the intensity of the workouts and rest time between sets vary too. So, although women and men can do the same exercises in the gym, the routine should be planned and implemented according to gender to obtain the best results.

  • Age: Studies have shown that resistance exercises can slow down ageing. The resistance, workload, and exercise time should be tailored based on each person’s capacity.

  • Frequency: Your frequency of gym visits also determines your workout routine.

  • Capacity: You should choose your resistance, the number of reps, and sets based on your stamina. It is best to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the workout.

Things to keep in mind while you workout

Keep the following things in mind while you are at the gym. 

  • Begin slowly and gradually increase your intensity and pace. This prevents injuries and allows the body to recover and adapt.

  • Remember to regulate your breathing during your workout session. A general rule to follow is to breathe out during exertion.

  • Keep yourself hydrated. Carry a water bottle and take small sips of water during the entire workout duration. This helps in optimising the benefits of the workout.

  • You will experience muscle soreness during the initial days of your workout. It gets relieved as you continue to workout regularly.

  • Maintain the right posture during workouts to avoid injuries.

  • If you are confused or unsure, do not be reluctant to seek help. The right amount of professional support can work wonders initially.

Fitness is a journey

The initial days might be hard and tiring. You might just want to give up. But the mantra is to keep moving ahead! You need to work out regularly and consistently to see the results. Now that you know the best gym workout for the beginners, hit the gym and gradually take your game to the next level.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions related to the best gym workouts for beginners.

What are reps and sets?


Reps refer to the number of times you perform a particular exercise. Sets refer to a collection of reps of the particular exercise. If you perform ten push-ups in one go, it will count as one set of ten reps.

Why should I warm up before I start my workout routine?


Warming up before exercising reduces your risk of injury. It evokes greater energy production, increases reflexes, improves your range of motion, and lowers the time taken for muscle contraction. Thus, it prepares your body for the main exercise and minimises your chances of injury during the workout.

When should I have my meal before and after the workout?


Pre-workout meals can be taken between 3 hours to 30 minutes before the workout. Having the meal at least 2 hours before you begin your workout routine is best. If you have the meal 1 hour before your session, stick to the easily digestible carbohydrates and proteins. You can have a post-workout meal rich in carbohydrates and proteins within 2 hours of finishing your workout.

What is the difference between static and dynamic stretch?


Static stretches involve holding a position, while dynamic stretches involve movement.

Why do I have muscle soreness after working out?


Muscle soreness that emerges 12 to 24 hours after your workout is called “delayed onset muscle soreness”. It occurs due to minute muscle tears that occur during the workout. It usually resolves in three to five days, and you can continue working out even with soreness. Cold packs, warm showers, massages, and analgesics may help relieve the soreness. If your soreness persists for longer than a week, consult a doctor.

When is the ideal time to go to the gym?


Some studies favour an early morning workout, while others describe the benefits of afternoon and evening workouts. The fact remains that you need to workout regularly. Thus, find the most convenient time as per your preference and make it a practice.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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