I am sorry if the question was very vague, Ill clear it out here, I am 26 soon turning 27 by August, I weigh 70 Kgs, I have thin arms but a very fat belly, all I want is a healthy body, maybe work out on my arms and belly fat.

I was always thin, considered thin most of my life, i got a chance to try in gym at the age of 21 in trial period, I went but there was no one to guide me, i was confused about what i want and confused/stupid when someone ask me about my goals, exercises, I did some exercise but no clue now what it was, all i remember is people around me realising me a noob and laughing cause i was probably doing all the exercise wrong. I have had that fear ever since but i now plan to do what is needed, a fat belly looks very bad on a slim person.

I know it is a very stupid question i was just wondering for a newbie like me what exercises should I be doing - my intention is mainly to know atleast the equipment/exercise name that i should do try as a fresh meat for a healthy body , so that even if someone asks me I can state them the exercise and tell them what I intent with it so that I don't make a fool of myself like last time.

sorry again if the question is very stupid, this is how awkward it got in the gym last time. Thank you

  • 3
    You need to find and follow a reputable fitness plan/program that is in line with your goals. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are qualified to make your own program, instead take advantage of the knowledge and experience of others. Mar 27, 2019 at 1:11
  • 1
    You never need to apologise for asking questions. Though the question may feel stupid to you, chances are there are a lot of people who have the same question, but who're simply not brave enough to ask. We learn by asking questions and making mistakes, and the fact you're willing to ask, and willing to go back and try again after what happened last time is very commendable.
    – Dark Hippo
    Mar 30, 2019 at 9:09

4 Answers 4


In short, following a competent fitness program is the single best thing that you can do.

But let's explore your question more and extrapolate on why that is. First and foremost I want to point out that this isn't a stupid question, it's entirely valid. The stupid thing to do would be to NOT ask questions and pretend to know what you're doing, in that scenario you're wasting A LOT of time. Both your time in the gym and timeline of progress would suffer. Why? Even if you look at a bunch of popular exercises and put together a list of ones you plan on doing, how do you make the most of it? How do things like reps, sets, supersets, progressive overload, and more all work together? A competent fitness program gives you a strategy to make the most of your time at the gym while also providing you with the best stimulus for progress towards whatever goal is central to the program.

Which leads me to the next point, goals. You mentioned that you were confused when the topic of goals was brought up in the past. You seem to have a clearer idea now with mention of "a healthy body, maybe work out on my arms and belly fat", and that's a good starting point. But I think the source of confusion is in understanding the idea of fitness goals in the first place. Here are some common broad fitness goals; fat loss, hypertrophy, athleticism, strength/power, and flexibility. Here are some common specific fitness goals; "get a six pack", "feel better", "do good in a competition", "pass a physical", "play with kids without running out of breath", etc. When determining what sort of program you should follow, you should find something that matches your broad goals (and yes, you can have and pursue more than one). With regards to exercise selection, this is why a person would be asking about your goals.

Another goal you mentioned was to learn about different exercises and equipment. Guess what a competent program does? It gives you the names of everything and sometimes even demonstrates how best to perform the exercises. It will teach you a variety of things and you'll soon know your way around the gym.

As an untrained individual you will benefit greatly from building a solid foundation. The definition of which will vary from endeavor to endeavor, but the point is to not worry about more intermediate or advanced goals like chasing numbers. Whatever sort of foundation you pursue, your biggest goal should be learning good form for the exercises you perform and mastering that. Make sure that you are challenging the muscles that you are supposed to be working, feeling and engaging them, and you'll make progress. When choosing a program, if you have no specific goal, then any beginner friendly program will work.

One last thing, nutrition. Some fitness plans will offer nutrition advice while others don't. This actually doesn't matter. There are constants that you should keep in mind, and everything else is up to you. Your total daily calories (see TDEE) will determine whether you gain, lose, or maintain weight. It's entirely possible and probable as an untrained individual with extra bodyfat to maintain total body weight while building muscle and losing fat. Your total daily protein intake will determine how much muscle will be built (in conjunction with your training stimulus), 1.8 grams per kilogram is generally the maximum that your muscles can use. There are other things to consider as well, but calories and protein are the two most important concepts to remember. You don't have to count calories if you don't want to, but they exist whether you count them or not. The important thing is to find an eating strategy that works for you.


If you are interested in building strength, I think Starting Strength and Strong Lifts 5x5 both are a great starting point. The lifts they suggest are pretty technical, so time spent with a trainer or youtube will be important to make sure you get the technique right.

Some good videos: squats deadlift

In general, look for Mark Rippetoe. He's got lots of great, no nonsense advice.

  • I looked at Starting Strength, and in its very first week it recommends you start with Deadlifts as one of three exercises. You are right that the Deadlift is a technical exercise. In fact, it is probably probably the most technical exercise in the gym. This is like someone is interesting in the piano, and you say, lets start with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major. If a person hasn't been exercising, as the original poster seems to be, they will lack the body awareness to do this properly. It isn't a smart place to start.
    – Chris
    Mar 29, 2019 at 20:01
  • I'm also a novice, and I was hesitant about both deadlifts and squats. There are a LOT of videos and articles out there. Read up, watch what's right, figure out what's right. Then get a partner or a camera that can point out what you're doing wrong. They are both learned movements centered around the hip hinge, but they're not impossible. Apr 1, 2019 at 12:03
  • 1
    @Chris the deadlift is not even close to being the most technical exercise in the gym (Olympic and strongman lifts would like a word with you regarding that claim), and the piano metaphor is completely off, due to the fact that the load in the deadlift can be modulated. Anyone, even with no instruction, could safely deadlift an empty bar on their first day walking into a gym, and it's pretty much impossible to go too heavy, as the only consequence of that would be that the trainee couldn't move the bar. Contrast this to a squat or bench where overloading the bar could result in being crushed. Apr 5, 2019 at 2:43
  • @David Scarlett You think a bench press is more technical than a deadlift?
    – Chris
    Apr 5, 2019 at 4:06
  • @Chris what I said was that a bench press is more likely to result in the lifter being crushed under the bar than a deadlift. This, unlike how "technical" an exercise is, should be a genuine concern when instructing a new lifter to include an exercise in their program. Apr 5, 2019 at 5:29

I would suggest that you train compound lifts with barbells: squat, deadlift, bench press and overhead press. This is the most efficient and practical way of getting stronger and more muscular. Using these exercise you can train your whole body each workout and 2-3 workouts a week will be enough. Full body workout also makes you strong in a functional way. You will not have to worry about straining your back eg. if you have to lift a washing machine any more.

It is however important to do these lifts with good technique or you may hurt yourself. I suggest you start by following the Starting Strength (SS) program for a few months. That way you will learn the lifts and probably get a lot stronger. Watch the Starting Strength videos on how to perform the lifts. You may want to buy the Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training book. It is a hard read though, but is at least useful as a reference. It is a good idea to join the Starting Strength forum. There you can post videos of yourself performing the lifts and get feedback from actual coaches :-). You can also ask questions. However bear in mind that Starting Strength unfortunately is very dogmatic. The Starting Strength book is its bible. Everything in the book must be followed to the letter. Don't ask why. Also do not follow Starting Strength advice on nutrition unless you are skinny. This is very bad and may make you really fat. Instead eat a lot of protein, some carbs and some fat. If you have a lot of body fat you will start to loose this.

If you can afford it; is a really good idea to take a course or pay a good trainer for some hours of instruction so you make sure that you perform the lifts correctly.

Do not stay on the Starting Strength basic program for more than 2-4 months. Once you are certain you master the lifts you should start adding some assistance exercises at the end of each workout. The SS program focuses a lot on the legs. Likely you want to add some assistance exercises that targets your arms. I suggest chin-ups for biceps every workout and lying triceps extensions for triceps on bench press day.

To keep your shoulders healthy is also a good idea to add facepulls. You can do them in between sets of benchpress. Use lighter load and more reps (10 ca.) than other exercises.

Also the volume in SS is a bit low for muscle growth. Instead of only doing sets of 5 you should start doing more reps per set. One easy way you can do this and also get some periodization is this: every other week you do 3x5 and 3x10. Eg. week 1: 3x5, week 2: 3x10, week 3: 3x5 etc.


8 reasons why weight training is incredible for your health

FULL BODY Training vs BRO SPLIT Routines | Which Workout is Better?

Barbells vs. Machines vs. Everything Else

The Case for The Starting Strength Model

GreySkull LP Isn't Good, It's Great

Get BIG Biceps By Doing Chin-Ups!

The Lying Triceps Extension with Mark Rippetoe


Forget the goals. Just get yourself to the gym. Start with baby steps. Look up five exercises on YouTube. Can you remember five exercises? (I suggest five below) Study these five exercises in multiple youtube videos until you know them. Then go to the gym and do those five exercises, two sets each, with light weights. Your done. Leave the gym and go home. Don't make this a big deal. Also, turn your cell phone off at the gym; don't waste time; take care of your business, and then get the hell out there. Your goal is to finish your workout so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

(I see too many people just lounging around gyms these days as the do facebook and twitter and whatever on their cell phone.)

If you keep the weight light, then you don't need to worry about hurting yourself. If you need to, you can write down the five exercises on a piece of paper, but I would advise that you memorize them. Start with twice a week just to get started.

As far as four simple exercises, how about 1) bicept curls, 2) McGill Curl ups 3) Lateral shoulder raise 4) Back Lunges with dumbells 5) Goblet squat. All the exercise can be found on Youtube. I suggest fifteen reps in each set. These are simple (non-technical) exercises. The Goblet squat is slightly technical, but if you keep the weight light and you don't try to go too deep, then you won't get hurt. You can do the Goblet squat with a dumbell if you don't have a kettlebell.

Some people will say this is not an optimal workout. I agree. It isn't an optimal workout. I'm just giving you something simple and concrete so you can stop thinking about it, and get started. I'm not going to tell you that this simple workout is going to get you great results. It won't. But don't worry about results yet. First, you need to gain some confidence around weights and exercise, and you need to feel comfortable in a gym environment. If you enjoy the experience, you can move on heavier weights and more technical exercises, and maybe hire a personal trainer. But don't think about all that yet. For now, keep it five exercises, keep the weight light, do your business at the gym, don't waste time, then get the hell out of there and enjoy the rest of your day.

  • 3
    While this answer has sprinkles of useful information, it is largely irrelevant to the question being asked and also consists more of bad advice than good advice. It can be summed up as “Make going to the gym a habit, have good gym etiquette forget about goals, don’t have any sort of plan, and don’t worry about results because you won’t have any.” - Wow. Mar 27, 2019 at 14:40
  • 1
    JustSnilloc. You say I don't offer any sort of plan. That is absolutely wrong. I offer a simple, clear, concrete plan. I say pick five exercises, and I even list them. I tell the person how many sets and how many reps. My gosh, how can you say that is not a plan? It is a first baby step plan that he can implement today. The person asking the question is obviously overwhelmed by the big picture. I say, forget the big picture and get started. Goals, technique, results will never happen if he doesn't start.
    – Chris
    Mar 27, 2019 at 15:38
  • 3
    Your suggestions of random exercises with light weights and X number of reps is pointless though. Your suggestion of not wasting time is sadly ironic because that’s exactly what a person following this advice would be doing. And sure, one step in the right direction is better than nothing, but when a journey takes 1,000 steps, a single step that ultimately leads nowhere is useless. And that is the crux of the problem here, simply building a habit of going to the gym and doing random exercises will lead nowhere. Mar 27, 2019 at 17:52
  • 1
    Your are correct that my plan for him might go nowhere, but it might not. At this point we are just speculating. What we do know, from his message, is that the current path he is on isn't working. I"m glad we both agree that "one step in the right direction is better than nothing".
    – Chris
    Mar 27, 2019 at 19:18
  • 1
    I must agree with JustSnilloc, you start with "forget the goals", I think that is the worst advice I've ever seen on this board. His goal might be to get more confident in the gym, or his goal might be to simply lose some fat or his goal might be to do the exercises he has planned correctly. If you go into the gym without a goal you're never going to find what you're looking for.
    – MJB
    Mar 28, 2019 at 6:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.