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Before I begin, please note that I have read this post and the linked duplicate. I am asking not for general advice (which is wonderfully given there), but for a few specific exercises.

Context:

  • I am a stereotypical nerd. Glasses, braces (had them, gone now), horrible acne. I have never exercised properly in my life. I am an absolute beginner to going to a gym, but I want to start.
  • I am currently in college. I cycle a lot to commute from the dorms to classes/market and back.
  • I am trying to cut down on dairy products (recommended as protein sources) for my skin.
  • My goals: get stronger, get abs (of course!), and increase my overall stamina (running/zumba tires me out extremely fast).
  • The only gym I have access to at the moment does not have any trainer. That’s why I am turning to this community.
  • I would prefer exercising in the evening, for 0.5-1 h daily.
  • I am male, if it matters (if male and female exercises are different)
  • Height: 5’11”, Weight: 80 kg. I am kinda skinny fat, though my tummy has grown lately. I don’t really know how to measure %Body Fat accurately.

Question: Can someone provide some kind of daily exercise routine? I don’t even know what exercises to do for a total absolute beginner.

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  • Try this: youtube.com/watch?v=UFFf3QVaU9Y. I would do the exercises every other day. Both pull-ups and push-ups are good ab exercises.
    – Andy
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 21:59

1 Answer 1

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I am asking not for general advice (which is wonderfully given there), but for a few specific exercises.

All right then! My suggestions based on the stats in your post:

Option 1 - Light Crossfit (HIIT)

Good for: Getting in shape, Getting Shredded, Boosting your Metabolism
Suitable for: Any level (it's you that you adjust the difficulty)
Average Session Length: Less than an hour
Would run this for: 6-12 months

I believe this is the best starting route, so this is why I got this first. Why? The first thing you need to get used to is committing and having a disciplined routine, even if that lasts less than 30 minutes. Crossfit has WODs (Workout of the Day), which last in the timeframe that you mentioned and it can be as easy or as hard as you want to. The purpose is to complete workouts and not feel like you're doing it by force. It is also a very fun way to get in a good general shape as you will cycle between lots of different exercises, trying new things (but mastering none). If you go that route, there are many mobile apps to choose from. The ones I have used are SmartWOD and Freeletics.

Option 2 - Stronglifts aka Starting Strength

Good for: Getting Stronger, Progressively Overloading, Building Mass
Suitable for: Beginners (as long as you learn proper exercise form)
Average Session Length: About an hour
Would run this for: Until I feel the weights are too "risky"

The original Starting Strength consists of 5 exercises (Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Military Press, Barbell Row), rotating between two workout days (A and B), and is mostly done three days per week. Your set-rep scheme is always the same which is 5 sets of 5 reps. If you can do it, you increase the weight progressively. It is a solid program, however it can become quite dangerous if your ego starts hunting numbers and you stop working on your form. Most known mobile app, as far as I know, is StrongLifts.

Option 3 - Calisthenics

Good for: Getting Shredded, Abs-Core on Fire, Mobility
Suitable for: Any level (bodyweight exercises offer many difficulty variations)
Average Session Length: Less than an hour
Would run this for: Until I get too shredded and get the idea that I need to become "bigger" or until I learn a specific cool bodyweight move.

If you would like to learn all those cool bodyweight exercises and you are willing to sacrifice being bulky for getting a tough core-abs shredded physique, Calisthenics is a good choice. The risk of injury is pretty low compared to the other two options since the only weight you will be handling is your own. That doesn't mean that you can't get injured, it just means that you will most likely not break your back or spine as someone could easily do by deadlifting an ego-weight. There are many Calisthenics athletes on YouTube that share their workouts. You won't need a full Gym, since the variety of your exercises is limited. Also, your hands will ache for a good amount of time due to hanging from pull-up bars or parallettes.

Wrapping it up

My goals: get stronger, get abs (of course!), and increase my overall stamina (running/zumba tires me out extremely fast).

Those goals seem to me that option 2 is not what you need. Classic lifting will get you stronger but it won't increase your overall stamina. Calisthenics will get you stronger, give you abs on fire but it won't increase your overall stamina as much as Crossfit/HIIT. Last but not least, getting abs is a point that should stem mostly from your diet and not so much from your workout. Hope this helps.

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