Lots of great suggestions already! As several of the other ladies mentioned, sometimes it's easiest to simply choose a pre-set program to follow when you're first starting out. Then, once you've gained a bit of experience with weights, you'll feel more comfortable tailoring your workouts to your personal goals. Sprints are another awesome piece to add to your fitness regime
; they are faster/lower impact than jogging, and they burn a whole load of energy.
I posted a quick 'overview' of exercise selection in another thread a few weeks ago which might also help (Looking for exercise advice
suggested Starting Strength, which is an awesome program that many lifting beginners have found success with. I will add two points to the suggestion: A) There is a constant debate within the fitness community about 'correct' form for the 'big' lifts; if the SS cues don't work for you, please don't hesitate to check on Google for other ways to approach the movements
B) I have a personal bias here
but I find that many lifting programs neglect the upper body 'pulling' side of things, and those muscles are often the weakest due to so many of us spending too much time sitting/hunched over - so in addition to the squat, dead lift, and press, I will add that it could be extremely beneficial to also include a row (or chin-up) movement into your program!
I also really enjoy glute-specific exercises, and often suggest adding a daily glute component to your workouts (again, that's another personal bias).
The rep/set numbers look very confusing at first, but the 5x5 (lift a weight 5x, take a break, repeat for a total of 5x) has a few advantages for beginners. You're not likely to go too heavy too soon (which can end up damaging your connective tissues) and the set ranges are short enough that ideally your 'good form' doesn't deteriorate because your muscles have fatigued. However, it's OFTEN recommended that beginners spend the first 6-8 weeks in the 8-15 rep range
, in order to force you to use lighter weights, learn the movements, and give your body a chance to adjust with a smaller chance of risk. I have no idea if that's true, but it's what many pros suggest.
'Compound' movements are just referring to lifts that require multiple different muscle groups. They tend to be the best 'bang for your buck' in terms of fat loss, and because so many different body parts are involved there is a lesser chance of fatiguing/injuring a specific muscle group. Beginners are often recommended to do 'total body' programs (that is to say, hit all 4 'sides' of your body each session) - in addition, women in particular will often do better with full body sessions as opposed to splitting your workout into different days for each body part.
suggested the same site I would, in terms of learning what the different lifts look like; exrx.net. Besides being fairly easy to navigate, it's also one of the few places that doesn't occasionally add pictures of the nearly-nude to keep readers' attention.
weighttraining.com is also pretty ok - there are LOADS of other sites out there, but they can be a bit overwhelming when you're first getting into it.
But here are a few specific links for those 'big' lifts we were talking about earlier.
(I prefer the 'goblet' variation, because it doesn't hurt as much as using a barbell
, and it really
helps teach good form right off the bat)
(this is a really tricky lift to learn and has the greatest potential for injury if not done properly - PLEASE start with lighter weights until you're comfortable with the movement; some gyms also have something called a 'trap' barbell which looks like a giant metal ring - these are safer for some people to use, in terms of mobility and different limb angles between individuals)
(either/both bench press or floor press - or even just push ups - which are horizontal movements, or a military/overhead press which is a vertical movement)
(again, horizontal -bent over rows- and vertical -chin ups/lat pull down- movement options)
And for extra points
(from the dude who really popularized the move)
Go slow, pay attention to form, be smart about the weight you try to lift, and most importantly HAVE FUN!
Disclaimer: I'm not a fitness professional or doctor, so please do your own research and make educated decisions. And possibly check with a health professional before starting a new fitness routine, etc.