5 Beginner Steps For Starting a Workout Routine From Square One

Published on June 9, 2014 by Matt Alesevich

So you’ve made a promise to finally whip yourself into shape (for real this time). Well, guess what? You’re already winning. Like signing up for a Tough Mudder, making the decision to get your act together is the beginning of one epic life-changing experience. But like tipping over a smart car, getting started is the hardest part.

But that’s where we come in. As the Mickey to your Rocky, we’ve gone ahead and drafted up an excuse-free, step-by-step training plan that’ll help you burn fat without breaking your spirit.

STEP 1: Make a Plan

As one of our favorite quotes goes: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Chances are if you’re here, you’ve already taken that step, so guess what? It’s already on. But what’s a journey without a destination? Want to fit back into those ass-less chaps you wore to that rodeo-themed kegger back in ‘99? Want to drop five pounds before Uncle Jerry’s (fourth) wedding this summer? Choose your goals wisely and moderately.

STEP 2: Start Small

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Anything worth having takes time to achieve, so be patient, young grasshopper. If you had Pumps on the last time your feet met a treadmill, maybe next week’s marathon isn’t the best call. Choose small, reasonable, likely-to-accomplish goals that slowly build your stamina and confidence.

STEP 3: Generate Accountability

While you don’t want to get all preachy and self-righteous, you’re going to need to share your goals with some friends. When we verbalize our goals, something of supremely high value is on the line—our reputation. Count on your motivating mates for verbal inspiration or start a good ol’ fashioned buddy system to reap the benefits of a team.

STEP 4: Start Good Habits

Where dieting goes, guilt is never far behind. If you’ve been eating unhealthy, plunging into a diet can be intimidating and off-putting. As with working out, start with small goals and climb to greater ones. If you drink three sodas per day, cut it down to two one week and spare yourself 1,000 calories. Cut back one more the next week and, well, you get the point.

STEP 5: Enjoy the Ride

Whenever you hear successful people talk about the good ol’ days, they’re quick to highlight how their early days of struggle were the most memorable and vital to their development. This journey you’re starting today (ya, that’s right), is just that...a journey. It’ll be full of ups and downs, but guess what? If you work out and eat right, results are absolutely guaranteed. You’ve got science (and Tough Mudder) on your side.

Think asking you to get started today or tomorrow is too much to ask? You’re right. That’s why we’re not asking you—we’re telling you, and you’re not waiting until later anyway—you’re starting now. Right now.

Don’t act like you didn’t end up here for a reason.