6 easy steps to start a workout routine 2023 (clear step-by-step guide)

In this post I include products I think are useful for you. If you buy through links on this page, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you.

Follow this step-by-step guide to discover the strategy on how to succeed with your workout routine. And not just for a month or two, but for a life-time. 

Tons of advice on the internet on how to start a workout is vague and misleading.  

Taking advice from fitness gurus that advocate quick fixes will set you up for failure. So let’s cut out all the noise and update your workout routine for victory. 

With this said, in this post, you will learn how to start a solid workout routine in 6 easy steps, as follows:

  1. Your goal 
  2. Find your commitment level 
  3. Optimise your plan 
  4. High vs. low intensity workouts  
  5. Muscle building vs. Fat loss workouts
  6. Get support 

Let’s get started! 

What are the 5 best ways to start a workout routine? 

1. Your goal 

Why you want to workout and how you are going to work towards it (actions), is what defines your workout goal.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be specific when setting your workout goals. Having a goal like ‘’I want to lose weight’’ is too broad. Instead you want something along the lines of ‘’I want to lose 17 pounds in 7 months’’. 

Being specific also means that you work on one workout goal at the time. But what if you want to lose 17 pounds, as well as grow my glutes within 7 months? 

To get the most out of your goals, and to not get too overwhelmed, the best thing is to focus on one goal at the time. So if your goal is to lose 17 pounds and to grow your glutes, I recommend you to hit one goal at the time. 

Why? By doing this, you’re maximising your fat loss and muscle growth by being focused, as well giving yourself the best opportunities to succeed with your workout routine. 

But if you still want to go with multiple workout goals at the same time, I need to warn you, because it comes with a price. This price is that you won’t make as much progress as you would by working at one specific goal at the time. 

2. Find your commitment level  

When starting your workout routine, it’s important for you to be realistic about how much time and effort you can afford to invest in it. 

So before deciding how much you can commit to your workout goal, reflect upon these questions:

  1. What goals do I have in my life right now? (besides your workout goals)
  2. What are all the required commitments I need to make? (school, work, parenting, etc.)
  3. What are the commitments I make that add value to my life? (spending time with family/friends, or perhaps a hobby like painting – simply anything that makes you happy!)

So now that you have a bigger picture of all the commitments in your life, it’s time for you to get outside of your mind and get it in front of you by writing it down. You can either write it down on your phone, on a paper, in your calendar or in my free workout journal. When this is done, it’s time for you to look for spots for your workout goal in your day-to-day life. 

While looking for these workout spots, you might notice that you have pretty many spots you can fill out, so does that mean you should workout everyday? No it does not. 

Working out requires a lot of recovery and as long as working out isn’t your full time job, 3 workouts per week is a great start. Working out 3 times per week can drive huge changes. In fact one study showed that working out 3 or 6 times per week resulted in the same muscular gain. Besides the physical gains, this also allows you to keep a balanced lifestyle. 

3. Optimise your plan 

Depending on what your workout goal is, some workouts will matter more than others. To make this clear and to optimise your workouts based on your goal, you can categories your workouts into 3 categories:

  1. Very important 
  2. Important 
  3. Less important 

So let’s say your goal is to grow your glutes. This means that your leg workout is very important. A rule of thumb to get the most out of your workout goal, no matter what it is, is to put your very important workout after your rest day/days. So if your rest days are Fridays and Saturdays, and your goal is to grow your glutes, you should do the leg workout on Sundays.

4. High vs. low intensity workouts  

Did you know that professional athletes who workout for a living do not workout intensely all the time and take time off during off season? So if professionals lower the intensity, there’s no doubt you should do it too. 

Despite taking professional athletes into account, multiple studies across different workout goals demonstrate that a split between low and high intensity workouts are optimal for peak performance in the long term. 

According to research, it also takes about 48 hours for the muscle you exercised to recover after a heavy workout. So when planning your workout routine, make sure to split your workouts well based on different muscles. 

Example: If you do a heavy leg workout on Wednesday and want to workout the day after, you shouldn’t do legs. Instead it’s more optimal to do a workout for another muscle group or cardio.  

So this takes us to the next question – how do you know how hard you have pushed in a workout? 

You can measure it on an effort scale from 1-10 (1 equals no effort and 10 equals maximum effort). 

Think about the rocky movies for a moment. You’re probably thinking about when he succeeds and pushing limits, aren’t you? But do you also remember when Rocky got knocked out time after time by Clubber in the boxing-ring? Yup. That is how a 10 feels on the effort scale. 

You should aim for hitting a 8-9 maximum for 3 workouts per week and the rest of the workouts should be lower intensity workouts (around 5-6 on the effort scale). When doing low intensity workouts you can simply do the exact same workouts as the high intensity once. Just add some adjustments. So for example you can increase the rest between the sets or lower the amount of repetitions and sets when doing a low intensity workout. 

As a beginner I would even recommend starting with 2 hard workouts since the recovery might take longer when your body is adapting to your new workout routine. 

5. Muscle building vs. Fat loss workouts 

Muscle building 

A thumb of role if your goal is to do strength workouts to grow your glutes, is to have 12 sets per week for that muscle. The same applies for any muscle you want to grow. 

You also want to aim for something called progressive resistance, which means that you slowly, but consistently increase the amount of tension you put your muscle through. 

The majority of people assume that this only can be done by increasing the weight, but this is simply not true. This can also be accomplished by resting less between the sets and by executing the exercise slower (your muscles are under tension for a longer time when doing this).

Fat loss 

The majority of fitness gurus will tell you to become a cardio freak if you want to lose weight. But this too is simply not true. In fact, research shows that strength workouts can have significant impacts on weight loss, even when it’s not combined with a certain diet or any cardio. 

But to maximise your weight loss, you should, according to research, combine strength and cardio workouts. So if you for example have as a goal to lose 11 pounds, and have decided to workout 3 times per week, I would recommend you to do one cardio workout, one strength workout and one full body session with some cardio added to it. 

6. Get support 

Working out with others can help you to push that extra mile, squat or pushup. This is also known as the Köhler effect. This driver comes from the fact that we as humans do not want to be perceived as the ‘’weakest’’ in a group. According to a study, people who workout with a friend were 76% more likely to accomplish their workout goals compared to people who worked out alone.

A key contributor for succeeding with your workout routine is thus to get social support.

So how do you get support? Either by joining a workout community online or in real life! 

Online vs. real life workout communities 

Joining a workout community online such as Fitbit gives you more flexibility. We all value social interactions, but sometimes life gets pretty busy with work, studies or parenting and thus it gets challenging to fit in face-to-face workouts on a weekly basis. Instead of having to commit to a certain time and location, workout communities online provide 24/7 social support from like-minded people. 

Compared to workout communities in real life, workout communities online provide images and words of encouragement and engagement on a regular basis which helps you to get fed up with motivation when you feel like giving up or simply just having a less good period in your workout routine.

However, a workout community online can’t give you the same feeling like a real life experience does. Taking a coffee with a friend at a cafe instead of a zoom meeting simply isn’t the same, isn’t it? And yes, the same applies to workouts. 

So which workout support should you choose?

Take your goals and life situation into account. If you have a really busy schedule, an online community like Fitbit is a better choice for you. And if you have a less busy schedule, joining the local workout community or working out with a friend or your spouse, could perhaps be a good idea. 

However, important to mention is that the Fitbit community allows you to connect with your local neighbours and friends as well! This makes Fitbit suitable for both online and in real life communities.

Starting a workout routine summary 

As you can see, starting a workout routine is pretty simple, but that does not mean it’s easy. 

Ultimately, the success of your workout routine comes down to how you formulate your goals and how consistent you are.

Being too vague with what you are trying to accomplish and not being consistent will backfire on your workout routine. 

To recap, the 6 steps are:

  1. Your goal 
  2. Find your commitment level  
  3. Optimise your plan 
  4. High vs. low intensity workouts  
  5. Muscle building vs. Fat loss workouts
  6. Get support 

However, getting a successful workout routine requires hard work. 

To read more about how to create a successful workout routine, check out my other guide on how to set successful workout goals

Now, it’s your turn, why not start your workout routine today? 

Start now by downloading my free workout journal or by joining Fitbit and get instant access to an online community that will provide you with endless support. Fitbit will also give you the opportunity to connect with your local workout community as well as your friends! 

For further reading about research used in this guide:




In this post I include products I think are useful for you. If you buy through links on this page, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you.

1 thought on “6 easy steps to start a workout routine 2023 (clear step-by-step guide)”

  1. Pingback: How to choose workout equipment for your home 2023 (clear step-by-step guide) - hannamir.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *