The Getting Started Workout Program

A version of this post was originally published at

We talk a lot about moving your body here on Strong Inside Out, but there are a number of you out there who still haven’t started a regular exercise regimen. Know how I know? The number one qualm I hear from Strongies is still, “I’m having trouble getting started with workouts. Where do I begin?”

It’s confusing with so many different opinions out there. Most people you talk to about beginning a program will just argue for their favorite kind of exercise and unload their whole intricately-detailed plan on you. Their plans which have been years in the making, and you’ll look at them, stunned by their complexity, and think to yourself, “This is so overwhelming. I’ll just start later… when I’m ready.”

Oh no you di’nt, Strongie.

Here at SIO, there is no such thing as “ready.” We create “ready” when we want it. We CHOOSE “ready,” and there’s no stopping us when we do.

On that note, I feel you. I’ve been there in the pool of overwhelm and “not enough.”

When I first started working out after one of my many hiatuses in my early 20’s, I remember I strapped on my sneakers and went for a run to the grocery store and walked back — the first run I’d gone on since cross country in high school. It was a total of about a mile. When I proudly told my neighbor, he said, “That’s it?! That’s so short! I run 3 miles every day.”

As you could guess (or maybe, you’ve experienced), I felt deflated and drained of all motivation to go on another run anytime soon. If this 1-mile run was so insignificant — and yet so difficult for me — why would I even bother doing it again? If I couldn’t run 3 miles, it wasn’t worth the struggle. Might as well sit on my butt and eat nachos.

People who aren’t trained in coaching other people (and even some who are) will throw way too much at you at the beginning, and let their personal preferences taint their advice. It’s not out of malice; they’re just excited to help and share their wins with you! They just don’t remember that all of that at once can be paralyzing.

Here’s what I’ve found in my years of experience as a coach, trainer and ex-fitness-hater: the best route for newbies is simplicity. We want to remove all guess and check and just focus on movement in general to get you in the habit of consistent exercise. It doesn’t matter what kind of movement, just that you’re doing it.

Starting an exercise routine is a matter of motivation, determination and stimulation. A lot of -ation’s it seems. :) To turn your couple of workouts into a successful habit, you have to find the following:

  • The WHY behind wanting to get active — this can’t be passive; it has to run deep and strong!
  • The FAITH to keep going through the uncomfortable parts — this is your inner strength.
  • Something that you ENJOY — in the beginning, any new form of movement will feel hard. It’s the ones that make you feel good (whether that’s fun, accomplished, badass or any other form of “good” for you) during and/or after that you’ll want to stick with.

Given those parameters, anyone can start today with the goal of developing a consistent exercise habit.

If you want extra guided help built specifically for depressives and anxiety sufferers, check out our Strong Inside Out Bootcamp program. We’ve combined non-paralyzing, shame-free workout programming with group support to make an environment in which real change becomes not only possible, but probable! Click here to check it out.

You have the power to choose “ready.” Get started now. Let us help you make the change and stop waiting already!

Stay strong,


Amy Clover is a speaker, writer and mental health activist. This post was originally published on, a site devoted to helping you become stronger than your struggle through fitness, mindfulness & positive action. Join the email list to get weekly inspiration + goodies >> Click here.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.