HEALTH: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Exercise Routine

Posted in Health & Fitness

A new year, a new me.  We’ve all been there before.  A resolution to work out and lose weight.  However, one of the hardest parts to following through with the resolution is knowing where to begin.

We’ve recently caught up with Mickey Moreno, a referee for the Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF), and Strength Conditioning Coach for Jesse Hernandez’s School of Hard Knocks (SOHK) to construct a guide on how to begin the process to start an exercise routine, and why it will be beneficial for your future.

Mickey Moreno with the legendary Jesse Hernandez

Moreno holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology from Cal State San Bernardino, and a Masters of Arts degree in Education from National University.

After 13 years of experience as a coach and trainer, Moreno got involved in the world of professional wrestling.

“I got involved at the SOHK because it had been a life long dream of mine to work in the business of pro wrestling/sports entertainment,” said Moreno.

Moreno applies his years of experience and skill to helping the development of professional wrestlers at SOHK.

When asked why somebody should start exercising, Moreno expressed regular exercise can help with almost all aspects of life.

“The human body was made to function physically and studies have shown that lack of proper function/use can actually cause the human body to deteriorate at a faster rate than usual,” said Moreno.

Moreno states that simply relying on a professional in the industry isn’t the only choice. Researching proper techniques and program structures is also key.

“By learning and studying health and wellness you can build a more confident mind frame and prepare yourself for a lifetime of improvements and constant evolution in your own personal program,” said Moreno.

Should somebody work out at home with their own equipment, or shell out money for a gym membership?  Moreno believes it is a subjective choice. It is all a matter of how self-disciplined a person can be, and how much commitment they are willing to make toward their goals.

“The bottom line is that every person should find the environment that makes them most comfortable and confident,” said Moreno.

On choosing the route with a home gym:

“When choosing a home style gym it allows each person to be a bit more creative and have several pieces of equipment accessible that meet their personal preferences,” said Moreno.

On the other hand, with a membership to a gym:

“A traditional gym (24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, LA Fitness) gives every member a wide variety to choose from. The only big factor is that every gym member must get used to sharing equipment and having the patience to wait for certain stations to become available to them,” said Moreno.

Get a workout partner to help with motivation!

In regards to choosing to workout alone, or with a personal trainer, Moreno suggests it being a great idea to learn from somebody with experience when starting out.

“This will teach the new person to hold themselves accountable and will also help create a positive working environment,” said Moreno.

Having a personal trainer and/or even a friend with you while working out can help motivate you. Being able to have somebody to help push you past your threshold, or even to bounce questions off of and get feedback, can be a benefit.

So the next question for a beginner is: How long should I work out for when just starting out?

“In my experiences with beginners I’ve found that teaching in small increments is what works best and allowing the proper amount of rest between sessions,” said Moreno. “For every person it might be slightly different in terms of how many days per week, how many hours per week, and also what times of the day one chooses to train.”

Moreno suggests starting out at a moderate pace of exercising two-to-three days a week for 30-45 minutes per day. This would allow for a person’s body to adjust to the transition from not working out to becoming active.

“This time frame is ‘bell to bell’ as many say, which means start to finish including warm up and cool down periods,” said Moreno.

As far as which exercises to start off with, Moreno says the most effective training techniques come from using one’s own body weight.

“I recommend Squats, Push ups, Pull Ups, and Planks to almost everyone as a form of beginner training methods,” said Moreno. “These can be used as the foundation and modifications can be made to fit each individuals skill level.”

A recommendation of three sets of ten repetitions is made at the start to make sure personal injury is avoided.

The process of performing a “burpee”

Moreno suggests for standard Planks to start off with 10 seconds then progressing with increments of 10 seconds thereafter. Once a solid foundation is formed, a person can move on to advanced techniques such as burpee variations and plyometric explosive movements.

“These can be used as the foundation and modifications can be made to fit each individuals skill level,” said Moreno.

Any form of training and exercise will benefit a person, whether its cardio, muscle building, toning, and body function. The use of proper reps, frequency, rest periods, and techniques is where the key to success will be held.

“To keep things simple, you will always improve when using proper form but one must simulate the environment they would like to take their skill set into,” said Moreno. “For example a runner would benefit more from doing a high amount of reps regardless of the exercise because they need to have their cardio levels very high with minimum rest so that they can better prepare for their Aerobic environment of running.”

Moreno says athletes at any level should find the right mix of science that best benefits their particular environment and goals.

“Every single training style whether it be body building, cross fit, High-intensity-interval-training, body weight, yoga, Zumba, boot camp or a sport specific program that mixes many styles into one,” said Moreno.  “All of them have been derived from countless hours of research and doing the things that those people felt was necessary for them to reach their own personal goals.”

Exercising shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something that can be made fun and motivating in life. Moreno’s advice is to begin a training program of any type, and to keep it simple. Find what works best for you.