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How to start working out, for beginners?

I am a 19/F. I’m 5’5” and 140lb. My goal weight is 128lb. I am getting a gym membership at my college tomorrow, and I don’t know where to start on my journey. My primary goals are to lose stomach, arm, back, and “underbutt” fat, and to build muscle in a way that preserves the curves I have now.

I am not quite sure where to start. I’m welcome to all suggestions on how to start working out. I’d like to get fit by this summer.


  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,439 Member
    edited February 2020
    Strong Curves might be a good program for your goals. @sardelsa is the resident Strong Curves guru.

    I believe there's a link to that program in this thread.
  • whoami67
    whoami67 Posts: 297 Member
    Does your college gym have personal trainers? You could set up a session or two to design a workout plan.
  • Graymanstole
    Graymanstole Posts: 257 Member
    Can I ask a dumb question: why is the goal to reach a certain body weight? I get that it's kind of the mindset we all have (I myself would like to lose about 9 more pounds give or take), but weight is such a poor indicator as so many things can affect it day in and day out. Look at quiksylver296's bio: she lists herself at 5'9, 180 on average and looks fantastic. I would think that how you feel about yourself and the way you look/things you can do (running certain distances, lifting certain weights, etc) should probably be a better goal than just reaching a specific (and arbitrary) number on a scale. Whatever you decide I sincerely wish you the best of luck and would absolutely recommend trying a session or two with a personal trainer to go over goals and how to achieve them.
  • NicbPNW
    NicbPNW Posts: 47 Member
    Do some cardio and weights. Pick a cardio you actually like and something you'll stick with.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,010 Member
    edited February 2020
    Good advice above.

    I'd add this:

    Even at your young and resilient age, it's a good idea to start with a manageable exercise schedule, a frequency/duration/intensity/exercise type(s) that leaves you feeling energized for the rest of your day (other than maybe a brief "whew" feeling right after a workout, or some manageably sore muscles after your first few sessions). You want the exercise to be a bit of a challenge, but not some kind of miserable ordeal.

    From there, you can work on gradually increasing any of those dimension (frequency, duration, and/or intensity) as you get fitter, to keep just a bit of challenge going, which will lead to progress (and avoid injury).

    People will tell you all kinds of trendy nonsense about what you ought to be doing, suggesting that if you don't immediately shoot for miserable, sweaty, gasping, reps-to-failure kind of stuff, you aren't really working out or building fitness. That's nonsense. A sensible program gradually builds conditioning and base fitness, before branching out into really intense efforts. It's supposed to be energizing and mostly enjoyable, not just health-promoting.

    Best wishes!
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Good advice above and above.

    I will add this:

    Give yourself permission to be a beginner and imperfect. Everyone at the gym that seems to have it all figured out had to start at the beginning. You have that right too. Some of the people who seem to have it all figured out are wrong about at least a couple of things.

    None of it is rocket surgery and in a short amount of time your comfort level will start to climb and, hopefully, so will your enjoyment.