How To Start Working Out

Lucy Samuels, Staff Writer

Like most teenagers in high school, we all played some sort of sport that involved some sort of conditioning and training. But routinely working out at a gym has never been an option because your sport does not allow you the time! What your sport doesn’t offer you is a pre-made routine to help you find a new hobby, assist your athletic ability, and get stronger and healthier, executed and written all by yourself… with the help of this article. 

Exercise has been proven to help release endorphins, making you feel happy and content with your workout and even with your whole day. Starting your day off with a trip to the gym can set you up for mental and physical success at a desk and on the field. 

Getting Started

With my experience, motivation has been the hardest part of consistently working out. Some weeks I only go once, or sometimes not at all because of how discouraged I am. But the most important part of any routine is consistency. Consistency is, of course, going to get you the results you want, but it will also add a sense of discipline to going to the gym. But before you can even start to get yourself throwing around weights on a schedule, you need a plan! 

Dividing up your workouts is called a “split” which is where you group certain muscle groups up for each day. I like to alternate each muscle group every other day with a rest between two days. Although having a fixed schedule is important, it’s necessary to be flexible with your school and social life as well. It’s okay to miss a day or two as long as you get right back into it after. Rest days are also key for you planning because that’s the time when your muscles grow and get stronger!

What Does Lifting Do?

What do you want to get out of going to the gym? To be stronger? Fitter? Leaner? Bigger? Whatever it is, there is some sort of program you can devise to accomplish it. Start researching what is needed for the physique you’re looking for. Heavier weights with shorter sets (muscle growth), light weights until failure (strength), for example, can give you varying results. Here is a list of some popular, yet effective movements you can get started with. 

Sets, Reps, and Rest

Of course, you can’t just lift one weight and be done for the day. You have to challenge your muscles and keep them engaged for you to get stronger. A split, as mentioned before, is made up of sets, reps, and rest time. A rep is how many times you do a motion. One bicep curl is one rep as well as any other movement. Reps make up a whole set which consists of the number of reps you do before a rest. A very popular example is the 3×12 model which is 3 sets of 12 reps. For strength and muscle growth (also known as “hypertrophy”) a good amount of rest between sets is about 50-60 seconds depending on the amount of weight. For smaller weights and higher reps (strength), a shorter rest (30 seconds) is better to get better at endurance which helps strength. The harder/bigger the weight, the longer the rest!


The hardest part about starting your fitness journey is the mindset and the food. These are the two parts I struggle with the most, and it is okay if you do too. It is okay to take a week off from the gym if it means focusing on your mental health, relationships, and school work. Remember, the gym, for the average person like you and me, is just a fun hobby. Another trap every gym-goer can get caught up in is the horrible horrible idea of comparison. Fitness bloggers and lifters are all over my social media, all with small waists, six-packs, wide shoulders, and perfect biceps, which is great for motivation, but also dangerous. You can’t forget that this journey is all about you, and most importantly, your health.

Food-wise, just make sure you’re eating enough protein, eating clean food, and eating enough of it! For casual lifters like you and me, eating clean is the best thing you can start to do. Eating clean means little processed food like hot dogs and bologna. Instead, lean meats like chicken and salmon are amazing and even better when paired with vegetables. 

Now get out there, get a gym membership, have fun and be safe!