You don’t have to go far on the internet before you start running into a billion different tips telling you what exercises to do, how often to do them, and all the reasons why you’re not seeing results — which can make figuring out how to get in shape seriously confusing.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of BuzzFeed Health’s best tips from both trusted experts (like professional athletes, certified strength coaches, personal trainers, and registered dietitians) and everyday people who have successfully made healthy lifestyle changes that led to achieving their fitness goals (whether that’s running a mile, lifting more weight, or reaching a certain body composition).
We’ve shared lots of great advice over the years, so we decided to gather a bunch of our best fitness roundups here in one place, so you can either read them now or bookmark them for later.
All right, get into it!
1. For some tips you need to hear if you really, REALLY hate working out.
Like this sage advice:
Your non-scale victories should be celebrated…
«I’ve found that the things that excite me the most are the little things — like an old pair of jeans fitting, or willingly choosing the healthy option instead of the more convenient one. Progress is progress, whether it’s losing those 30 pounds or feeling like your workout didn’t totally kick your ass that day!»
Set your own standard for what being ~fit~ actually means.
«Fitness comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. Don’t judge yourself by the standards pop culture has set out there for you.»
—John Robert Lindsey, Facebook
Check out 27 Tips That Will Make Working Out So Much Better for more.
2. For totally doable advice on how to start lifting weights.
Like starting with some exercises that work out major muscle groups, and then figuring out how to do those moves with dumbbells or machines; trying to lift three times per week as part of a full-body workout routine; and remembering that the basic recipe for a good beginner full-body workout is doing one or two exercises per muscle group.
Check out 15 Tips On How To Actually Start Lifting Weights and also 11 Dumbbell Moves You Should Know To Start Lifting Weights for more.
3. For all the info you need on getting shredded abs.
Like that the way your abs look mainly has to do with how much body fat you have. But also that it takes more than just doing a million sit-ups, crunches, and planks to get bigger abs, and that you should definitely start out by doing exercises like rollouts and pikes with a Swiss ball.
Check out 15 Things You Should Know Before Trying To Get Shredded Abs for more.
4. For how to get in shape when «lazy» is your middle name.
Like trying to do just 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups every day even if they aren’t consecutive, doing your research and going into every workout with a plan, and using your couch to work out if you can’t scrape up the energy to go to the gym.
Check out 24 Clever Tips To Get In Shape That Lazy People Will Appreciate for more.
5. For all the crucial things you need to know in order to get a bigger butt.
Like if you want a bigger butt, the best cardio will be high-intensity moves that target your glutes (like stair sprints and hill repeats), that the appearance of your butt is related to how much fat is covering your glutes, and that you should start building up your glute strength by training with bodyweight exercises like glute bridges and hip thrusts first.
Check out 17 Things You Should Know Before Trying To Get A Bigger Butt for more.
6. For certified strength trainer–approved tips on how to get seriously jacked arms.
Like that the exercises you need to do are squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, and chin-ups; that you should save the arms-only exercises for the end of your workouts; and that you may want to beware of doing too much high-intensity cardio so you don’t lose your #gainz.
Check out 15 Things You Should Know Before Trying To Get Jacked Arms for more.
7. For exactly how to deal with that obnoxious post-workout hanger.
Like to keep in mind that most people seriously overestimate the amount of food they need when they’re starving after a workout, to avoid making food decisions based on what a calorie tracker tells you, and to go slowly so your body has a chance to feel full when you finally do sit down to eat.
Check out 15 Ways To Keep That Crazy Post-Workout Hunger From Ruining Your Results for more.
8. For exactly how to get started using a barbell at the gym.
Like always warming up with some empty barbell reps before getting into it, making sure you can do at least 12 reps with perfect form before trying to go up in weight, and definitely NOT doing barbell exercises that require heavy lifting at the end of your workout (that’s just asking for injury, tbh).
Check out 13 Things You Should Know Before You Pick Up A Barbell and also 3 Badass Barbell Moves That Will Make You Stronger Than Ever for more.
9. For understanding which habits of yours could be holding you back from seeing progress.
ike finding out cardio is not the holy grail of getting lean, that you shouldn’t be lifting just any weights, that longer workouts are not necessarily better, and that you may not be doing your workouts in the right order.
Check out 11 Ways To Build Muscle And Lose Fat Faster for more.
10. For how to dominate the gym if it actually is secretly terrifying for you (which is totally normal, btw).
Like finding workouts that will help you achieve your goals, writing them down, and bringing them with you; paying attention to the brand of machines in the gym so you can look up instructional tutorials later online; and starting out by hitting the gym during off-peak hours so you can take your time feeling your way around.
Check out 17 Super Helpful Tips For Anyone Who’s Terrified Of The Gym for more.
11. For how to work out harder and start seeing the results you’re looking for.
Like not trying to make gains in tons of different areas at the same time and focusing on one muscle group instead; going hard(ish) three times a week with workouts tailored to your goals, and then actually going lighter the rest of the time; and that if you’re not seeing changes in your body (and you want to), you might need to take a look at your eating habits.
Check out 15 Ways To Work Out Harder And Actually See Results for more.
12. For things you should really know if you’re trying to bulk up.
In this post, BuzzFeed editor Spencer Althouse shares some insightful tips he’s learned from his own fitness journey, such as: Understand that your goals may change along the way, keep in mind that there are some things you literally just can’t control (and that’s okay), and most importantly, you should continually try to discover new reasons to love yourself.
Check out 17 Things I Learned After Trying To Bulk Up For A Year for more.