What's a good starter workout for an unathletic nerd who's never really exercised before?

LinkedIn / Datamcliquor
Feb 9 42 Comments

Not looking for specific goals like muscling up or weight loss. Just trying to move to a somewhat healthier lifestyle.

Inb4: No leet, league, whatever. Hilarious.

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 42 Comments
  • Oracle / EngHushPuppy
    Walking
    Feb 93
    • Microsoft Harmar
      Absolutely a great start, but ideally you want to work your way up to an activity that gets your heart rate higher than walking will generally achieve.
      Feb 9
    • LinkedIn / Datamcliquor
      OP
      Thank you! I read this and went for a 50 minute walk right away. I feel a little peppy already. I want to build this into a routine. How does 1hr/day x 5 days/week sound?
      Feb 9
    • NetScout / Engbatua
      Start with walks. Then include hills. Hills will always keep giving.
      Feb 9
  • Dropbox AustinEng
    Stronglifts5x5
    Feb 97
    • Microsoft / SalesP2AC2DKK
      +1 for this. Start with literally just the bar and work your way up. The workouts are 45 minutes long, max. No cardio. Just compound lifts (bench, squats, deadlifts. That's it). The app is great too. A lot of people have mentioned how important consistency is, which is why I like SL5X5 for beginners. Very excuse proof, easy to do, and great results. Be sure to check r/fitness wiki and FAQ like several people have mentioned. Combining a very basic exercise routine (consistently) with a focus on diet will give you ridiculous results, so don't neglect the diet part. Abs are made in the gym but revealed in the kitchen. Also, there is a great book called "Bigger, Leaner, Stronger" that would be invaluable for someone like you. Good luck!
      Feb 9
    • Dell 8<
      Yup. I started with the bar and now can do bar + 75 lb in a couple of months.
      Feb 9
    • LinkedIn / Datamcliquor
      OP
      @8< roughly what was your progression rate in that range?
      Feb 9
    • Google / Eng
      LeeJaeDong

      GoogleEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      LeeJaeDongmore
      No, the fitness wiki doesn’t recommend stronglifts anymore. It teaches bad habits that prevent long term progress.
      Feb 9
    • Dell 8<
      mcliquor, it was +5lb every 2 weeks or so.
      Feb 9
    • Uber yTzY24
      Doesn’t the wiki recommend GZCL for beginners? Doing heavy singles as a beginner seems like a recipe for disaster to me. I’d go for SL5x5, if only for the great app.
      Feb 9
    • Google / Eng
      LeeJaeDong

      GoogleEng

      PRE
      Amazon
      LeeJaeDongmore
      Wiki recommends gslp for a bit to learn the lifts, then 5/3/1 for beginners for a longer period.
      Feb 9
  • Amazon jefe_bezos
    Unless you’re self motivated, do a group activity that can keep you interested and connected to others: bjj, cross-fit, etc.

    Otherwise do whatever you think is fun... hiking, biking, frisbee golf, skiing
    Feb 92
    • LinkedIn / Datamcliquor
      OP
      Do those things (bjj, cross fit, etc) assume a certain athleticism level?
      Feb 9
    • Amazon jefe_bezos
      Nope. You’ll see people come from a much lower place than where you’re likely at. And then they’ll fizzle. Stay with it. Make some friends. I had the mindset of “maybe I should get in shape before joining a BJJ place” and that never happened. So I just joined and had a blast.
      Feb 9
  • Facebook wrsson
    Get a trainer, you’ll learn good form and it’ll keep you honest about working out
    Feb 91
    • Facebook fbgal
      This ☝️
      Feb 9
  • Berkeley Lab look look
    Martial Arts - A nerd who can fight
    Feb 90
  • Intel bxsnlns
    Swimming
    Feb 90
  • Google / EngBluths
    Lift weights. Check out r/fitness
    Feb 90
  • Facebook
    xenophile

    Facebook

    PRE
    LinkedIn
    BIO
    People, projects, pay, then place. In that order.
    xenophilemore
    Have sex with a human being daily
    Feb 90
  • Microsoft Harmar
    The best exercise is the one that you can and will do consistently. The best workout in the word is useless if you can't motivate yourself to do it on a regular basis.

    If that's walking, so be it. If you enjoy skating, do that. Like TV? Bring a tablet to the gym and zone out on the elliptical. Dance Dance Revolution? Rock climbing? Kickboxing?

    Don't overdo it right away, ease into it so you don't burn out (but do try to increase intensity once you get a routine). Do something, ANYTHING, 5x a week without fail and you'll feel noticeably healthier within a month.
    Feb 90
  • Tesla eng56
    If you're just starting, put on a TV show and jump on a stationary bike. Every day.
    Feb 90
  • eBay laserpntr
    Couch to 5k then progress. Or else get a trainer or goto group classes or CrossFit.
    Feb 90
  • New / Engleet4job
    None of these above would work without a simple yet powerful psychological hack: YOUR habit.

    You need to come up with a plan to force yourself into exercise habit first before moving to other things like resistance trainings or cardio.

    My strategy was, after failing multiple times, to go to gym for 30 mins at a fixed schedule for 10 days. Do minimal exercise then go home. After your brain adjusted to the new habit, you can easily increase the intensity of your workout session.
    Feb 90
  • Autodesk / MgmtHmblCourag
    Try Orange Theory, you can go at your own pace and make progress over time. There is coaching, music and if you go regularly, you develop some sense of community. Not cheap, though.
    Feb 90
  • SAP Sfhf75
    Maybe something fun and social like ping pong, tennis, basketball, etc
    Feb 90
  • Facebook / Eng
    Easy Going

    FacebookEng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    Easy Goingmore
    If i was single then i would get a stairmaster and put it in front of the tv so i can stairclimb while watching my favorite shows.

    I cant do that now because my wife won't let me put an exercise machine in plain sight which means I'd have to lug it in and out of the garage each time i wanted to use it. Not practical and a total motivation killer
    Feb 92
    • eBay laserpntr
      Tell her she can stare at the machine or your fat body, her choice.
      Feb 9
    • Facebook / Eng
      Easy Going

      FacebookEng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Easy Goingmore
      She would rather I be fat :-(
      Feb 9
  • Tektronix / Sales
    BlueBerd

    TektronixSales

    PRE
    Oracle
    BlueBerdmore
    Swimming
    Feb 130
  • Manhattan Associates / R&D
    aHAj15

    Manhattan AssociatesR&D

    PRE
    Microsoft, XPO Logistics
    aHAj15more
    Use app 7
    Feb 90
  • Oracle / Otheryolont
    So many options!
    Any “linear progression” lifting program using a barbell and sets of 5 reps, adding weight in 5-10lb increments every workout or every week is fantastic. You might say you’re not worried about adding muscle, but the first time you deadlift 315lbs (six plates) you’ll be a changed person. You’ll feel awesome. You’ll feel capable. And you’ll want more. And you’ll get it.

    Aside from that, get a kettlebell. Either 36lb or 53lb, and do a couple hundred swings with it daily.

    Orange Theory is also cool. It’s a lot of intensity though—that can take some getting used to.
    Feb 90
  • Cisco
    ElQq86

    Cisco

    PRE
    Juniper Networks
    ElQq86more
    Zumba
    Feb 90
  • Walmart.com 180°
    Do you like playing table tennis, badminton, cricket etc. If yes, join meetups and go play.
    Feb 90
  • Oracle zyxw
    Check out 7 mins workout
    Feb 90
  • New
    nfs

    New

    PRE
    Booking.com
    nfsmore
    I would recommend that you'll find smth that looks interesting for you. This will be a key part of keeping you committed to doing the activity regularly with a lot less effort.

    Most people who try to go to the gym, usually quit after 3-6 months due to boredom (even though there might be clear results of improvement).

    Swimming, hiking, fast walking, running, soccer, basket ball - there's many activities you can do that will make you lead a healthier life.
    Feb 90
  • New / R&D
    6G++ v42.0

    NewR&D

    PRE
    Qualcomm
    6G++ v42.0more
    Try different things, find something that you actually like.
    Feb 90
  • Lockheed Martin / EngiEkO37
    Push ups, sit ups and jogging. Can be done at home, office and outside. No need to join gym
    Feb 90
  • Google / Eng
    LeeJaeDong

    GoogleEng

    PRE
    Amazon
    LeeJaeDongmore
    5/3/1
    Feb 90
  • Cisco CiscoRTP
    r/fitness is good. Just go experiment in the gym. You might like lifting, running, walking, biking, rowing, swimming, hiking...not everyone is the same!
    Feb 90

Join verified employees in our anonymous social network!Download the app!

close