Know the Four Basics of Fitness

This is a great article that was posted by a fellow Beachbody Coach and friend, January Shea Robbins, and it’s been a major topic of discussion with many customers and friends about the basics to getting back into shape.   They are BASIC, straight forward and a must to follow if you want to find success in your fitness goals.

Knowing the four basics listed below will help you to have successful results. Don’t just know them… DO THEM!

By: David Gluhareff

Resistance training
Cardiovascular training



Resistance Training Exercises

These are anaerobic (without oxygen) exercises that help build muscle. Resistance training can be performed with free-weights, rubber bands, plate-loaded machines, weight stack machines, or by using your own body for resistance such as a push-up or walking lunge. The muscle your body builds will aid in continuous fat burning twenty-four hours per day.

You can work multiple muscles at once by doing exercises such as bench presses (works pecs, front shoulders, forearms, and some triceps), squats (works quadriceps, hamstrings, buns, and inner/outer thighs), and dead lifts (works traps, rhomboids, forearms, low back, buns, inner/outer thighs, quads, hams, and some calves). By doing compound movements such as these your body will work more muscles at once which will really stoke the fat-burning furnace.

Keep variety in your resistance training always! Never keep doing the same exercises week after week. You will only bore your body and progress will be stagnant. Resistance training not only helps burn fat, it helps keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at normal levels, helps strengthen bones, and also helps relieve stress. Always study and learn different exercises, which use different equipment.

Most importantly learn proper form to prevent injuring yourself when performing an exercise. To be on the safe side always look like a chicken when performing an exercise. Keep your chest forward, butt back, and lower back in. Always stretch each muscle after you work it. This will increase your flexibility and decrease post workout muscle soreness.

Cardiovascular Training Exercises

These are aerobic (with oxygen) exercises. These train the most important muscle in the body, the HEART. Aerobic or cardiovascular training, helps burn fat, keep blood pressure and cholesterol in normal ranges, relieve stress, strengthen heart, lungs, and the rest of the cardiovascular system, and also promotes perspiration to help your body sweat out any excess water it does not need.

Examples of aerobic activities are: walking, biking, roller blading, rowing, using elliptical machines, stair stepping, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, basketball, jogging, hiking, and aerobics classes at fitness facilities. Always remember to do a light warm-up for five to ten minutes before really getting into the exercise, and remember to do a five to ten minute cool-down after you do the exercise. Do not forget to stretch the muscles you worked after exercising.

Nutrition and Supplementation

When you workout you expend energy, which eats up your body’s nutrients. You need to replenish those nutrients as soon as you workout. Within forty-five minutes after a workout consisting of weight training and cardiovascular training you need to eat a meal.

This meal should be a small serving (one handful) of simple sugars (banana, grapes, 12-16 oz. sports drink, or post workout carb drink), a medium serving (two handfuls) of complex carbs (brown or wild rice, sweet or red potatoes, veggie pasta, whole grain bread, or oatmeal), and a large serving (three handfuls) of proteins (lean red meat, deer meat, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, buffalo, egg whites, whey protein powder, soy protein powder, cottage cheese, or tuna) and of two tablespoons of a monounsaturated fat (extra virgin olive oil or canola oil).

That meal was just post workout, which should make you a little full. Your whole day should consist of five to six small meals that should never make you full, but keep your metabolism in high gear. Each small meal, except post workout, should contain a small serving (one handful) complex carbs (brown or wild rice, sweet or red potatoes, veggie pasta, whole grain bread, or oatmeal), a medium serving (two handfuls) of proteins (lean red meat, deer meat, chicken breasts, turkey breasts, buffalo, egg whites, whey protein powder, soy protein powder, cottage cheese, or tuna), and a medium serving (two handfuls) of green vegetables.

With every meal and throughout the day always drink water. Even with all this healthy food your body will not get certain nutrients or enough of them. This is where supplements come in. Taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement will help give your body important vitamins and minerals it may be missing. Sometimes you may not be able to cook or prepare all of your food on time. This is where meal replacement bars and powders can come into your daily diet routine.

Rest and Recuperation

You can workout hard and eat right for ten years, but never see lean muscle appear or see your body take shape if you do not get enough rest and recuperation. By rest I mean you need to get at least nine hours of sleep at night or eight at night and an hour nap after your workout. Sleep is important because this is when your body is producing its greatest amount of growth hormone which aids in repair and growth of your body.

You can have the best workout of your life and get no growth from it if you go out and party all night and get no sleep. By recuperation I mean not over-training. Do not as a beginner do a total body workout everyday with the weights. If you do you will not ever progress. Your muscles will constantly get beaten up every day and never have time to recuperate and repair themselves. As a beginner give yourself at least a day to two days rest between resistance training exercises. If you are still sore two days later, then do not work that area until the soreness has passed.

Your partner in health & fitness.


  1. While we’re on the subject of Know the Four Basics of Fitness, Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long lasting energy. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Studies have shown people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart.

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