How to Start Working out at Home for Beginners

In this article, I’m going to talk about how a beginner should start working out at home safely and effectively.

Typically, people decide to start exercise and jump right into training. Most of them give it up sooner or later. Even worse, they get an injury. Why? Because they’re impatient and know almost nothing about the “science” behind working out.

Here are my work out tips for total beginners.

1. Start slow

Here is a short story of my cuisine. She decided to work out a few months ago, and she spent hours in the gym almost every day. After two weeks, she felt dizzy, and she must have gone to the hospital for various tests. In the end, she was told that because of too much pressure, there is a temporary problem with her heart. To simply put, she overtrained herself.

If you haven’t done any sport in your life, you should give your body and mind a few months to get used to the new stress. Start slowly, and with tiny steps, increase the intensity of your workout.

2. Pay attention to your body

This point is linked to the previous one. If you feel permanent pain in your joints, muscles, or simply dizzy, that is a sign that there is something wrong with your workout. Maybe it’s too tough for your fitness level, or you have a condition that you don’t know about.

Muscle strain is a different thing, and if you’re a beginner, you will have to get used to it for a time. 🙂 Muscle strain is the sign that you exercise well.

3. Consult your doctor before

Seniors and people with chronic illnesses always talk to the doctor about their plans. A badly-chosen workout can make things worse. A doctor knows the patient’s limits, and if the planned workout is not suitable, he can suggest an alternative.

4. Know your limits

A typical mistake that people made after a few months of training is that they stop being careful. They put far more weight on the barbell that they can handle safely, or they overdo cardio. That may lead to an injury and overtraining that throws back the development for months.

There is nothing wrong with challenging ourselves from time to time. It helps us to keep going by making ourselves proud, but don’t overdo it. Test yourself wisely.

5. Pay attention to your nutrition

What you eat is what you are. If you stuff yourself with garbage, you will hardly see any results from your home workout. Your body requires the right “fuel” to function properly and support your training. Workout nutrition is a huge topic, but it’s simple.

  • Leave packaged, junk food, and unhealthy beverages.
  • Eat more fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and healthy oils for vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fatty acids and carbs.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Eat lean meat and seafood for protein.

6. Set realistic goals

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient, and the results will come if you are dedicated. Unrealistic goals are the main reasons why people fail. They want too much too soon and too easy. Can’t make a single push up? Then, is it a realistic goal to make 20 after a month? Of course, not. Don’t fool yourself.

7. Opt for a workout that you enjoy

If a beginner starts searching for tips on how to work out, most of the articles are talking about lifting weights, HIIT, or running. Yes, these activities are great for shaping the body, but not everyone likes them.

You don’t need to pick a workout for the sake of the trends. Who wants to torture himself with exercises that he hates doing? Sooner or later, we give up anyway.

My wife is an example. She wanted to lose weight. She did high-intensity interval training, then ran, then walked. She hated all. Finally, we found the activities that she enjoys: TRX training and riding the bike. Whenever she starts her workout sessions, she has a smile and dedication on her face.

8. Try different types of exercises

This advice related to the previous one. There are so many types of exercises out there you can try or even combine. In my life, I did at least 20 types of workouts and sports, from weight lifting to tennis. But, for long years, I do boxing and bodyweight training with a bit of weight lifting. But, recently I get interested in long-distance cycling.

The best way to start is to decide what do you want to benefit from the exercise?

Do you want to be stronger and have muscles? Resistance training is for you! You can try weight lifting, bodyweight training (calisthenics), or functional training.

Do you want to lose weight?

You’d better do aerobic exercises such as circuit training, cardio activities like running, jump roping, etc.

Try and pick the one you enjoy the most.

9. Take the time to warm up and cool down

Always start your workout with a short, yet complete warm up to make your muscles get ready for the training. Those few minutes are also great to get ready for the training mentally.

In the end, also spend a few minutes with cooling down to get your body back to the normal state. When I cool down, I always think back to what I did well and badly during my workout so that I can improve those things the next time.

10. Improve your flexibility

Stretching is something that many forget, yet helps the muscles to recover from the workout, avoid injuries, and even improves physical performance. But, never stretch with cold muscles. Stretch after your warm-up and your workout.

11. Control your workout

Have you ever heard about progressive overload?

That means regularly we modify the workout plan to give a new impact for the body so that it needs to adapt. This way, we can continuously get better and better in a particular workout.

For progressive overload, you need to monitor your workouts. Do you feel the number of sets, reps, or the exercise doesn’t support your development anymore? Could you run faster or longer? Modify your plan!

12. The most important exercise equipment

No matter what you do, you need a quality pair of shoes that matches to that activity. People like spending money on fitness clothes that add almost nothing to improve performance and safety, but they don’t care about what they wear on their feet.

After picking your exercise program, research what type of shoe the experts suggest for the activity.

13. Get home gym equipment

Under a home gym, I don’t necessarily mean to set up a room with all the machines that are found in the local gym. Affordable and compact exercise equipment such as a pair of dumbbells, a doorway pull-ups bar, a suspension trainer, resistance bands, or a stability ball can extend your exercise routine opportunities.


Can home workouts be effective?

home workout

It’s a misconception that the only place we can get fit and healthy is the gym. There are a lot of activities we can do at home for weight loss and build muscle. We can also have effective home workout equipment, but they aren’t necessary. A workout routine is effective if it’s well-organized for your fitness level and your goals, and it’s done with dedication.

What are the best exercises for beginners to lose weight at home?

Aerobic exercises such as circuit training and other cardio activities that increase heart rate are the best for weight loss. Compared to strength training exercises, they burn more calories at a given time. Cardio exercises that activate the entire body, such as burpees, burn the most calories. However, the most important step for weight loss is to follow a healthy balanced diet. Exercising and healthy eating should go hand in hand for a daily calorie deficit that leads to less body fat.

How to start a beginner workout at home without equipment?

Calisthenics, aka bodyweight workout, is an excellent way to strengthen the total body without the need for any equipment. Moreover, these moves are more natural to the muscles. Thanks to the versatility of calisthenics, beginners can start with exercises that are suitable for their fitness level.

How many times week should I workout?

Well, that depends on the type of conditioning you do, but in the beginning, I say 3 days per week is enough. For example, if you do strength training, have 3 full-body training, with at least a rest day between.

To sum up

How to start working out for the first time?

  • Spend time learning the basics of the chosen workout program.
  • Start slowly but go on with small steps.
  • Be dedicated, have achievable goals.
  • Don’t underestimate home workouts; be creative with the things around you.

Being a beginner isn’t easy, but everyone started somewhere. With each workout, you get closer to your aims and get easier. The physical and mental health benefits you can get are just the tip of the iceberg. Look around on for various beginner workout ideas to get started.

Written by Imre

Imre has been working out for over 20 years. He likes all sorts of strength training and boxing. Since he's a busy father he works out only at home.