To Work Out Safely, Start At The Beginning

To Work Out Safely, Start At The Beginning

I see lots of young folks — men especially — online asking lots of questions about exercise and eating, and getting lots of complicated answers to very basic questions, and plenty of recommendations to online programs (I’ve tried most of the big ones, and they’re not all that bad…if you want a cookie-cutter workout plan). There’s no one solution that will work for everyone, but before you do ANYTHING you have to be CONSISTENT with the basics.

So…”How do I work out and/or eat?”

Good question. If you’re starting out, you have to get in the habit of being in control of the basics. That’s rule #1. I wouldn’t ever put a beginner on a bodybuilding routine or throw them balls deep into counting macros for a keto plan. That’s way too much out of the gate. Baby steps will take you a lot farther.


Monday / Wednesday / Friday: Full-body strength routine, preferably one with a focus on form and intensity. First thing in the morning so you don’t have an excuse, on an empty stomach. I know the hardcore gallery will bitch about lifting empty and the short duration, but we’re talking BASICS here. You can do this in 30 minutes three times a week, and begin the process of priming your major muscle groups. I have one you can follow, just inbox me.

Tuesday / Thursday: HIIT or burst cardio. These are short, high-intensity sessions designed to mimic sports. The moves are SPRINTED, not slow and steady, and they go flat out (like you’re being chased by a tiger). 4 minutes warm up, then 4 rounds of 20 seconds high speed, 1:40 walking pace. The whole thing lasts 8 minutes, but the metabolic and hormonal impact will burn white hot for 24 hours. Do this fasted in the morning as well.

Saturday: Go outside and play. Sport. Run. Hike. Walk. Just spend the first half of the day moving around. Even go for a jog if you want.

Sunday: rest.

Cool? Cool.


Three main meals a day, consisting of:

  • 1 palm size portion of protein
  • 2 palm size portions of vegetables
  • 1/2 palm size portion of starchy carbs
  • 1 thumb size portion of fats (nuts, butter, whatever)

(If you find you’re still hungry, step up to 2 palms of protein.)

Then: two snacks in between, something like a piece of fruit and a small handful of nuts, OR a few slices of deli meat and some cherry tomatoes.

You can have a bedtime snack, an hour or so before bed. A protein shake isn’t a bad idea. I like blueberries in Greek yogurt.

That’s it. Hit that at least 80% of the time, and you will see changes within 3-4 weeks. Sustain for 8 weeks, then come back to find more specialized programs. Just learn that the relationship you have with food isn’t supposed to be complicated, and if you’re just starting with physical training don’t overcommit to a program you won’t be able to keep to. Hit everything in one session so you get a solid workout top to bottom, and get your muscles and your heart pumping. Then you can think about getting complicated.

Steve Baric

Steve is an ISSA-certified Elite Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Transformation Specialist. He helps men of all ages and levels regain control of their emotional and mental wellness, take the reins on their health and fitness, and optimize their lifestyles for the best possible quality of life.

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