A Fitness Trainer’s Guide to Getting Fit

These tips will help you start from nowhere and end exactly where you want to be. 

a fitness trainer's guide to getting fit

The path to fitness isn’t as challenging as you may think. When you’re looking in from the outside, it seems that everyone else is already accomplishing their goals. The truth is, most people started where you may be now: eager to get fit and curious about the best way to get started. Like all things, educating yourself is the best way to find success. Get ready to begin on a path to living your best life with A Fitness Trainer’s Guide to Getting Fit. These 10 tips will help you start from nowhere and end exactly where you want to be.

A Fitness Trainer’s Guide to Getting Fit

1. Define Your Goals

The best way to start a fitness plan is to decide what you want. You probably don’t know what you want unless you take the time to think about it! Turn off the television, put your phone on silent, and set aside a half-hour today to get started. Grab a pen and notebook and start listing what’s important to you and your health. Are you looking to lose some pounds? Do you want toned legs? How about getting rid of belly fat? Or maybe you’d like a bigger butt?

List everything you’d like to accomplish on that piece of paper. Don’t type or text the list; physically writing it down will give you a stronger connection between your desires and your goals.

Related: How and Why to Use a Bullet Journal.

Here are a few tips to help you determine your goals if you feel stuck:

  1. Weigh yourself. The number doesn’t really matter, but it’s good to get an idea of where you are now and where you’d like to end up.
  2. Look in the mirror clothed and naked. Decide what you like and what you don’t like.
  3. Try some stretches. Are you stiff? Can you touch your toes? Maybe you should incorporate flexibility training into your goal too. 

Once the list is done, you can add it to your phone so you have it with you all the time. Additionally, place the list somewhere you’ll always be able to see at home, like the fridge, taped to the bathroom mirror, or on a meal-planning whiteboard.

2. Focus on Yourself

The key to success is focusing on yourself and your goals. Although competition is healthy, and seeing other people succeed can be motivating, you should be your own inspiration. The best way to achieve this is by minimizing social media content and not using other people’s failures or success as your main support. Always remind yourself what your goals are and why you want to accomplish them. Focusing on your needs will build your confidence. motivation, and self-worth.

3. Plan a Workout Schedule

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a beginner when it comes to fitness. That means you may need some guidance to get started! There is a lot to learn to optimize muscle growth and fat burning while also minimizing injury risk. Below are some of my favorite Skinny Ms. workouts, broken down by fitness goal. These workouts are goal-focused and well rated by our readers.

Arms: 7-Day Summer Arms Challenge
Legs: Killer Legs and Butt Workout
Abs: 30 Day Ab Challenge – Get Fabulous Abs in 30 Days
Total Body: Beginner’s Total Body Fat Blasting Routine
Fat Blasters: 7-Day Fat Burning Challenge
Walking: Lose Weight with the Walk Fast/Slow Plan
Running: Slim Down with the Walk/Run Plan

Regardless of which workout you decide to do, the most important thing is to commit to a schedule in the beginning. This makes balancing this new part of your life a lot easier! After nearly 20 years of exercising, I’ve come to love morning workouts. They allow me to burn more fat all day long, avoid the evening gym rush, and become more creative and relaxed during the day.

Be realistic with your schedule. Try morning, nights, and or afternoons and see what you like. Stick to it as best as you can, but also be flexible: things don’t always workout as planned.

4. Work

Your goals are ready. Your exercise plan is ready. Now, it’s time to get to work! It’s going to be hard, but stick with it. If you decide on more than one workout, spread them out to give your body some rest during the week. Don’t worry; I’ll go over the importance of rest a little later.

Always remember your goals. Always come to the gym prepared, and always be ready to give it your best.

5. Get In and Get Out

go to the gym

People waste too much time at the gym. Once you start going, you’ll start to see it for yourself. Treat the gym like you would work—all business. No texting, pictures, or videos, and keep the chatting to a minimum. You’re there to work, so use that time to actually work.

5. Improve your Diet

eat healthy

Without a proper diet, you’ll never see maximum results. I’ve never been a fan of meal prepping because I enjoy cooking. I also happen to have a lot of flexibility with my schedule, so meal planning can be beneficial if you’re working with limited time. Meal prepping allows you to cook all of your meals for the entire week in one day.

Meal planning, on the other hand, involves knowing what you want to eat every day. It takes away the guessing and keeps you from ordering last-minute takeout. You’ll have more control of what you eat and drink, and it keeps you ahead of the curve so you reduce the risk of eating something that may set you back. Do what works for best for you.

Below are just a few out of thousands of recipes to help you stay on track while making healthy food decisions.

Breakfast: 14 Skinny Breakfast Recipes that Make the Case for Best Breakfast Ever
Lunch: 21 Clean Lunches in Under 10 Minutes
Dinner: 5 Super Simple Dinners Anyone Can Make
All Purpose Menus: 50 Recipes for Weight Loss

Snacks: 50 Clean Eating Snacks
Desserts: 74 Amazing Healthy Desserts
Drinks: Flush The Fat Away With These 5 Delicious Drinks!
Challenge: 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge

A Fitness Trainer’s Guide to Getting Fit is just one of our many health guides. Check out our Beginner’s Shopping Guide for Weight Lossfor better eating habits.

6. Rest

As I mentioned earlier, resting is important. In fact, resting is as important as working out! Without proper rest, your muscles will always stay engaged and never truly rebuild. When you exercise, you’re actually breaking your muscles apart. Make sure to give that muscle a chance to repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

It’s also important to rest your entire body. This means getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Allow your brain to slow down and let your body do its overnight magic. You’ll wake up refreshed and reinvigorated for a better, more productive day.

7. Educate Yourself

Fitness isn’t just about the work: you need to learn as much as you can, too. Educating yourself on how the body works, how each muscle functions, and learning new fitness tips will make all the difference in how well you progress in your fitness journey.

Here are some of my favorite Skinny Ms. tips to help you re-think your views on exercising. A few minor tweaks a day can make all the difference.

8. Switch Things Up


You’ve committed to the initial workouts, and you’ve mastered the basics. Now, it’s time to switch things up! Your body learns and adapts over time. If all you’re doing is bicep curls with a 15-pound weight, your muscles will eventually get bored, and you’ll stop progressing.

New exercises, equipment, weight, and challenges keep your muscles guessing. Train smarter and force your body to adjust to new routines. Here are some of our top-rated workouts that don’t require conventional equipment. Welcome the change!

Kettlebells: 17 Kettlebell Exercises for Total Body Toning
Medicine Balls: H.I.I.T Medicine Ball Workout
Resistance Bands: 7 Resistance Band Exercises to Burn Fat and Build Muscle
Jump Rope: Jump Rope Tabata Challenge

Yoga: 10 Yoga Poses for Faster Weight Loss

9. Throw Your Goals Away

Once you’re consistently working and seeing change, it’s time to get rid of the preconceived notions and goals you established. Yes: you’ll still need to work and eat healthily. But now that you’ve progressed and feel more comfortable, bring a little bit of freedom into the gym.

Twice a week, go to the gym with no workout planned. Choose your first station and don’t decide on the next one until you’re on your 2nd to last round. This helps train your brain to be creative in the moment. Most importantly, it’ll show how much you’ve progressed by being able to create your own workout routine. 

Decide on new goals, new challenges, and always look to be innovative in your work.

10. Last Bit of Advice

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You may not be able to work out exactly like your goal schedule says—responsibilities or general exhaustion are a reality. It’s okay to be tired and unmotivated at some point. When you can, use the gym as a place to let out your frustrations. If you can’t do that, try to sneak in one of these 10 Home Workouts for Beginners.

Today, you may not be able to do a single pushup, but always remember that everyone started at zero.

Our Fitness Trainer’s Guide to Getting Fit is one of the many resources we offer to start a healthy life. Additionally, our  eBooks will help you start from zero and end up on top.

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Trainer Clifford

Clifford is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a lover of all things health, fitness, personal development, and community. When he's not cycling, hiking, or exploring new food recipes, he works to help others achieve personal growth.

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