Ready to become your own (non-certified) personal trainer? Here are some ideas for how to start.
Know Your Baseline
Start off by recording the following so that you will know where you started:
- “Before” Photo(s) – you might not want to, but you need to!
- Measurements – at least waist, hip, leg, and arm. Do yourself a favor and don’t pull the tape tourniquet-tight.
- Starting weight and/or bodyfat % – most scales now take a bodyfat reading, as do the blood pressure machines in almost all grocery stores
Plan Your Workouts for the Week
Each week, look at your schedule and plan your strength and cardio workouts. I don’t recommend planning more than a week at a time, because life is always changing! Keep it simple and focus on the upcoming days.
Pro tip: use a workout log to plan your workout, then take your plan to your workout and check off each move as you finish it!
When planning your strength workouts, remember to work all of your muscles during the course of the week, including:
- Back (upper, mid, and lower)
The specific moves and number of sets/reps that you choose will vary depending on your goals and your starting point. If you need help structuring the details of your workout, contact a fitness professional near you or reach out to Tiny Fitness.
A basic starting point you might want to consider is 3 sets of 10 reps for each move, but that may or may not be right for the exercises you choose. Choose weights or other tools that are challenging but not impossible – you should be able to finish your first set without much effort, but the end of the third set should probably be a little tough to finish with good form.
Log Your Workouts
If you didn’t use a workout log to plan your workouts, take a blank one with you to the gym to keep track of what you accomplish. It might seem like a little extra effort, but it’s the only way to make sure that you’re getting a balanced workout and that you’re making progress at a good pace.
Progress Little by Little
Each week, vary your workout slightly to keep building your strength.
For example, if you performed 3 sets of 10 reps last week, you might try 4 sets of 8 reps this week, or 2 sets of 20 at a slightly lower weight.
There are many ways and reasons to change up your sets, reps, and moves, so do your research or get qualified help when you’re ready to make changes.
Check On Your Progress
Take progress photos every week or 2 – these will be the first place you will see your results.
Every 6-12 weeks, check in on your measurements. (The most frequently I recommend checking is once per week – any more often than that and you’re more likely to track hydration fluctuations than any lasting changes.)