Starting Exercise – Where to Begin

Starting Exercise The Right Way

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior” – Confucius


Welcome to 521, and kudos on being willing to rip off the band aid and get stuck in. Here I’ll outline what it takes to get healthy and look after your body. I’ll give exercise recommendations, fat-loss pointers, healthy goals (as in goals that are achievable), joint and muscle health recommendations, strength training recommendations, and unfortunately a bit of tough love.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re crazy excited to have you here, but we’re also sick of people being misled by social media bullshit… so, with this series, I’m gonna call a spade a shovel and be done with it. Yes, you can lose weight. Yes, you can get healthy and fit. Yes, you CAN get the body you always wanted AND you can get as strong as you need (both within the limits of what is humanly possible without pharmacological intervention). That said, there’s a lot of mis-information that somehow ends up with an authoritative spin put on it, and the result is a lot of disappointment.

For every unrealistic expectation you have, an excuse will have to be created to explain why it didn’t work out quite like “that article” (written by “that guy” who looked at a highly scientific article… once… kind of) suggested. Eat as many bananas and pineapples as you like. That’s it! The weight’ll start FALLING off. Slap on a few BS testimonies and a guy with big glasses that got his Doctorate from Cal-Tech (Calipso Ice-cream College Technicolour Rainbow School, a far superior establishment for exercise and nutrition), and you start to think it CAN’T be them that’s wrong… it must be me! These guys can explain why squatting is bad for your knees (except that it’s not), or how calories don’t matter (except for the laws of thermo-fuckin-dynamics), or how “skinny jeans” were ok for guys (if you didn’t have “room” issues, this here isn’t a safe place for you).

Excuses Don’t Help

I’m 100% not saying it’s your fault. You’ve been blamed on both ends! Overweight? “You’re lazy and not exercising enough“. Can’t stick to your training routine? “Oh, you probably overdid it”. Stuck with it but not seeing the results? Probably leptin eating your brain and resulting in pancake butt… it’s more prevalent than you think! (For the record I’m just poking fun at the mainstream media leptin sales pitch… It can’t eat your brain). At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is – excuses/blame won’t help you get in better shape. It’s wasted energy.

So what do we expect of you???


It’s pretty simple! Your wallet : ) (Just kidding, it’s FREE!)

We expect you to make one change today, as your reading this. Then one change next week when you go shopping. Then one change the week after that (when you start exercising). That’s it! There are literally 3(!!!) things standing between you and anything you want. (1) Accountability (2) Environment (3) Time invested

For us, (1) means not being afraid of mistakes. EVERY – SINGLE – TIME – YOU – SLIP – UP (every one) is a chance to learn and improve, a chance to tweak your approach so that eventually health is no longer a chore, it’s just as easy as not being healthy was before you started. Possibly the stupidest and most unforgivable thing the “health industry” has done in the last 5(more???) decades is put a timeline on health. “Lose 10kg in 2 weeks!” …it’s a good thing we only live for 7 weeks or otherwise that rush would be a little ridiculous. DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAVE A BAD DAY, and whatever you do, don’t quit when things get tough! That’s where all the lessons live.

EVERY SINGLE top athlete, top model, top business person, top performer at anything has made mistakes. It’s a necessary part of the process.

521 Starting Exercise - Gym Equipment(2) Environment is everything! For us this means gym bag prepped right after you get back from the gym (not in the morning before you leave), all essentials in the bag. No junk food around the house, as this will result in you EATING said junk food (you are only human!). Now, this is where you’re responsibility comes into it. I can already hear some of you sitting there saying “I caaaaan’t get rid of all the junk food, I have a family! My husband likes biscuits, my cat likes Mars bars, Tesco keep delivering cheesecake for some reason”. This may all be true but if you want to see change, find a way to counteract this. Make healthy snacks (or get fruit) and keep them closer at hand than the junk. Keep a FOOD DIARY, it’s a great way to keep an eye on yourself. Try to preempt your sneaky eating and plan for it. Ultimately, though, you just have to make it happen.

The stopwatchOnwards and upwards! We’re now looking at the third piece of the puzzle (3), time! it’s 7 hours. That’s it. We did say simple… Fine, I’ll complicate it a little. That is four 90 minute training sessions, and two 30 minute recovery sessions per week. If you’re new to this and want to start with bodyweight exercises and HIIT, then 3 hours a week will suffice (to begin with!). That’s five 25 minute HIIT sessions, and two 25 minute recovery sessions per week! Simple! (You even have 5 spare minutes to bask in your own wonderfulness)



This is designed to be a reasonably comprehensive course in getting started with exercise

Each of the subsequent pages are anything from 2-6,000 words (yes, that’s thousand) plus linked articles/videos, so treat each of them as though they are the chapter of a book. If you aren’t even willing to put in the work to read a few chapters, then… good luck with your health journey but this ain’t the place for you. There are 3 distinct “courses” outlined below depending on your goals. Read through each and be honest with yourself about what you are willing to commit to.

So what do you need to get started???

1. Healthy food – Here’s your list!
2. 7 Hours a week – Ideally training Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, with recovery sessions on Wed and Sat
3. Clothes – Any old tracksuit bottoms or shorts, an old t-shirt, and an old hoody or jacket
4. Access to some dumbbells (if you’re training at home) would be a bonus! (though not essential)
5. If you’re planning on getting stronger or want to build muscle, access to a gym is a huge bonus

Look through the tabs below and after you’ve decided which stream you’d like to follow, then…


OverviewHome Workouts (Beginner)Body Composition (Shape)Strength (Kicking Ass)

There are 3 streams in our health and fitness programme, with the first (working out at home) being most suitable for those new to training, those who haven’t trained for a long time, those who feel they are too old for the gym (that’ll last about 2 months) or have mobility issues, and those with very limited time. The second is the Body Composition Stream, which is designed for people who want to look better and get in shape. This will be a good all-round programme that will help you get stronger AND lose fat. The third stream is for those with the psychological condition “Heavy-Metal-itis“. While it is a rare condition, it’s becoming more prevalent as more people are being correctly diagnosed. This is a condition, not a choice, and as such commitment should never be an issue. 

This stream uses the Green Tea Diet Plan as the foundation for your nutrition plan, and HIIT for your exercise routine. It’s the easiest to fit into your day, costs nothing, and is pretty fool-proof if you stick to it. It’s also the least physically demanding which means, unless you’re a complete beginner, your body will stop responding after a few months. This isn’t a bad thing, and HIIT is very effective, but if you want serious change you might need to start including weight training. If you’re not sure about joining a gym, start here and throw yourself into kicking ass at HIIT. Make sure you amend it if you have any mobility issues, medical issues, or are over 50 (we’ll cover this more as you progress through the stream). Next up is basic mobility, then your Green Tea Diet Plan, then your HIIT/Exercise for over 50, and lastly some recommended reading to help keep you on track!

There is a lot involved in this. First off, supermodel bodies don’t take months to build, they take YEARS, and being able to be happy with your self and the progress you make will be far more beneficial than the motivation gained by trying to look like photoshop-boobs lady. This stream will give you the exercise advice you need, progression plans, nutritional advice (and you can use the Green Tea Diet Plan if you just want something simple), and basically just explain the reality of getting in shape. Next up is mobility, then Diet/The GTDP/WDATA, then your exercise plan, and then we’ll put it all together with some recommendations. 

This stream has a LOT in it. We’re not bothered with your diet to any major degree – we’ll outline a few basic principles, and then it’s on to learn about programming – plan, train, record, review, repeat. We’d recommend you read through all of the information on the “Strength Page” and have a look through our strength newsletter. After you’ve gotten a feel for what’s important you can put together a routine (based off of one of our templates or one of the many other templates) and start to see what works for you. If you’re unsure about any aspect of how to structure your training/exercise selection, there is a LOT of material here to help!