Summer Shape Up Beginner Information Page

Welcome To The Summer Shape Up! 

Useful Information For Beginners


I hope this page is of great use to you. Below I’ve added a collection of health & fitness information that I find is asked a lot by new clients and those new to fitness. I am purposely keeping this short and concise, we could add pages of fitness info but at first there is no sense in overwhelming new trainees.  This is just the fun basics 🙂

If you have any questions please just get in touch.



*PS: One important tip:  Don’t obsess over your body weight on bathroom scales. A better way to view progress is to visually look for changes and note how clothes fit. 😉


Types of Exercise

As a beginner you might find exercise and exercise selection quite daunting.  Don’t worry, the moment you get into it your learning curve increases rapidly.

Body weight workouts:  This uses body weight as your form of resistance and is a great place to begin.  It can be modified for total beginners right through to advanced.

Resistance / weights:  Using dumbbells, barbells, machines and other tools can offer further resistance to really work your muscles. A mix of body weight and resistance exercises is a great plan to work towards.

Circuit workouts: These are a great way to increase fat burining.  The simple plan here is to perform a series of exercises one after the other. i.e. 6 exercises in a single circuit.

Rep: A rep is one complete exercise movement from the start position to the finish.

Sets: this is a collection of reps: i.e. 1 set of 10 push ups.

Timing: Many times you can set a timer for an exercise: i.e exercise one is performed for 20 seconds, exercise 2 is performed for 25 seconds and so on…

Rep Count: Another way of recording or charting your workouts: i.e. perform 10 reps of push ups (instead of timing this exercise for 20-30 seconds etc)

What is Cardio?

Cardio exercise is simply any form of exercise that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe heavy.

Of course you can say that almost any exercise is cardio and it is to a certain degree, particularly the bootcamp and class fitness sessions we use.

But also Cardio is considered by most people to be the machines you see in many gyms.  And this is correct.

Cardio machines are great to use for warm ups and also long duration sessions that can be very good for fat loss.

I particularly like and recommend HIIT or interval cardio which is fun, easy to understand and saves time – and most importantly hasd been shown to really be better at burning fat.

We’ll discuss this more in class.

How Many Days To Exercise Per Week?

Different fitness programs will offer different training day programs.

For a total beginner or someone getting back into exercise I find a 3 day split is a great option.  Monday / Wednesday / Friday

This allows for a very good recovery period which is in fact almost more important than the exercise days as your body repairs itself and muscle is ‘built’ during off days.

I’m A Woman And Scared Of Building Muscle…

Don’t worry!

This is the simple goal of exercise for men and women:

As a woman you will NOT get big, bulky or muscular like a man.  You have less testosterone than a man and it wont happen. What is important to understand is the best goal for anyone starting to exercise is to aim to build lean muscle because muscle burns fat.  The more muscle you have the more your metabolism (fat burning) is ramped up.

A female body with more muscle becomes leaner, tighter and shaped proportionately as nature intended.

Always remember building lean healthy muscle is the goal, especially as we get older and our bodies naturally lose muscle mass.

*Men: the same applies but of course you may WANT to build muscle more than ladies: I get it 😉

How Do I Lose Fat?

The million dollar question.  We will discuss this much more in our classes I know.  But below I’ll add a list of fat burning tips I share with my subscribers. They may answer some questions you already have. And will point you on the right track.

But right here let me try to make it as simple as possible to understand:

It all comes down to ENERGY BALANCE.

Essentially what we all want to do to lose stubborn body fat is burn off MORE calories than we consume (Negative energy balance or state)

For example: 

If a person eats 2500 calories in a day but during the day they actually burn off 2600 calories (TDEE – Total Daily Energy Expenditure) they are then in a calorie deficit of 100 calories per day.  

If they do this daily for a week, then in a week they lose 700 total calories.

To be successful in losing body fat you will need to combine sensible eating (though never crash dieting) with sensible exercise that increases your calorie burning.

That is a very simplistic explanation for you.

At this link I have a calculator you can use to work out how many calories you yourself burn in a day so you know with reasonable accuracy how many calories you should be eating.

Click here to view the BMR Calculator and info on RMR and TDEE.

Fat Loss Tips?

These can be used now or just kept in mind as you progress on your health and fitness journey:

1) (One of my favorites) Exercises on an empty stomach / fasted.
2) Drink plenty of water both during exercise and throughout the day.
3) Eat carbs in the evening (especially around your exercise times if you train in the evenings).
4) Stick to proteins and healthy fats throughout the day.
5) Perform interval cardio for 7-12 minutes AFTER a workout or on off days for an extra fat burning boost (I’ll share an interval cardio workout template on Facebook soon).
6) Perform FitStickz Abs workouts as many times per week as you like. (FitStickz on Amazon)
7) Enjoy burpees 😉 lol – can be modified for total beginners.
8) keep track of your workouts with a notebook or the FitStickz Simple Workout Journal gift so you can see your rest times and decrease them during the next workouts.  Ideally try to change a variable like rest times or reps completed to ‘push yourself’ a little more each workout.
9) Stop drinking soda (if you do) replace with water / tea.
10) If you can move up to the next ability level or intensity level (add a rep, 10 seconds or change a variable)in a workout do it.
11) Stretch AFTER a workout (use FitStickz 4 warm ups before a workout).
12) Rest when needed and don’t over-train.  Better to move a workout to the next day if you need to.
13) Don’t watch the scales. This will simply drive you mad and as you gain lean healthy fat burning muscle your weight could even go up (but you’ll look tighter and healthier) so the scales are a waste of time.
14) Don’t trust the calories burnt read outs on cardio machines.
15) Set a timer for 15 minutes to get up from your desk to stretch or move and sip some water.
17) ENJOY your life and don’t get silly about calorie counting.  IF you get off track a few days no biggy… (If you want to count calories which is a good idea as you progress and easier than you think – grab an app from the app store.  I like ‘myplate’.)
18) Have a day once a week where you eat what you like.



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