If you’re a gym beginner, congratulations! Taking the first step is the most important part. Committing to a regular gym workout routine (think three to five times a week) will build your confidence and accelerate your results. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Gyms generally have tons of machines, weights and equipment to choose from, which can be confusing or intimidating to first-timers. Going in with a good plan of attack is key to getting the most out of your time at the gym.
Looking for a plan? Fitplan has more than 65 programs you can try free for one week. We recommend Ultimate Gym Guide for newbies.
If you’re just getting your feet wet, here are five gym workouts for beginners to get you on your way to training like a pro. It’s true what they say —you never regret a workout.
Seated Military Press
Train your arms and shoulders with this simple yet effective exercise. Find your gym’s weight room and select a pair of dumbbells that are challenging, but not impossible. If you feel a strain in your neck, go lighter. If your arms are flying up over your head with ease, go heavier.
Set a weight bench at an incline and sit comfortably with your back against it.
Grip your dumbbells with each hand and focus on keeping the weights stable, which activates a number of muscles in your shoulders.
Start with your arms straight above your head.
Slowly bend your arms to lower your weights down to your shoulders, stopping when your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
Keep your shoulders pressed down as you go through this motion, and don’t let up come up toward your ears.
Barbell Bench Squat
Work your glutes, legs and core with this simple, yet challenging exercise that can help get you comfortable working with barbells.
Set a barbell with weights that are slightly challenging, yet not uncomfortable and won’t compromise your form.
Stand over a weight bench with your feet shoulder width (or slightly wider) apart and place the barbell on your upper back and shoulder area.
With the bench beneath you, squat down until you touch it with your glutes.
Push through your heels and engage your glutes to raise back up and repeat the movement.
Close Stance Leg Press
Make your legs burn with this simple move on one of the gym’s most popular machines.
Set up the leg press with a challenging weight. Position your feet close together and keep your back pushed against the chair.
Make sure your chest is up high and locked in.
Use your legs to press back on the chair.
Move slow and controlled with this exercise. Don’t rush and don’t lock your knees at the top.
Work your legs, glutes and core with the trusty goblet squat. Head over to the weight room and find a slightly heavier dumbbell than you might normally choose, as you’ll be holding it with both hands.
Brace your core as you hold the weight in front of your chest.
Squat down as if sitting back in a chair while keeping your spine neutral.
Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor.
Squeeze your glutes and press through your heels as you raise back up keeping a neutral spine throughout.
Treadmill Dead Walk
Frustrated by all the bells and whistles on today’s treadmills? Well you’re in luck, because with this treadmill exercise, you don’t even have to turn it on. Fitplan Trainer Linn Löwes utilizes the popular machine for many different types of exercises, including the Dead Walk.
Hop onto the treadmill and don’t turn it on.
Use your leg strength to push the treadmill band behind you.
This one’s going to burn.