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How Do I Start Doing Sport as a Beginner?

Have you ever thought to yourself: “I really should start exercising”? But then you put it off again because you didn't know how and where to start?

Good thing you ended up here!

In this article, we'll tell you how to get started in the world of sport as a beginner - from the right type of sport to tools that will help you with your training.

Why should I start doing sport at all?

Athlete reaching for a dumbbell

A perfectly valid question. But: even if it is of course comfortable to just hang out on the couch - your body is made for movement!

Here are a few reasons why you should definitely exercise:

  • Health benefits: exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, reduces the risk of chronic diseases and helps you maintain a healthy weight. A fit body simply feels better and is less susceptible to illness. Regular exercise can also lower blood pressure and strengthen the immune system.

  • Mental benefits: Regular exercise can reduce stress, improve your mood and boost your self-confidence. After a stressful day, exercise acts as an outlet that relieves the pressure. Endorphins, the so-called “happy hormones”, are released and you feel more relaxed and happier.

  • Long-term effects: An active lifestyle contributes to a longer, happier and healthier life. Not only will you feel better, but you'll also have more energy to enjoy your life. In addition, regular workouts can help prevent age-related diseases and maintain cognitive function. You may not think about it now, but it will come ;)

What is the best way to get started with sport as a beginner?

Group of people training outside

The first step is often the hardest. But don't worry, we have a few tips for you on the best way to start exercising:

  1. Set yourself clear goals: Think about why you want to start exercising. Do you want to lose weight, get fitter or simply reduce stress? Specific goals will help you stay motivated.

  2. Start slowly: You don't have to become a marathon runner straight away. Start with small, doable units such as a 20-minute walk or light jog. Your body needs time to get used to the new exertion.

  3. Choose a sport that you enjoy: there are so many options - from running and swimming to yoga and strength training. Try out different activities and find out what you enjoy the most. If you enjoy exercise, you're more likely to stick with it.

  4. Plan fixed times: Integrate your training sessions into your everyday life. Schedule fixed times when you exercise and stick to them as if they were important appointments.

  5. Use apps and tools: Apps such as the SmartWOD Timer and the SmartWOD Workout Generator help you to structure your training. The timer helps you to time different training intervals (e.g. AMRAP, EMOM, Tabata), while the workout generator creates suitable workouts based on your available equipment.

How do I find out my current fitness level?

Woman doing yoga outside

Before you get started, it's important to know where you stand. Here are a few steps that can help you:

Assess your current fitness level

Ask yourself: How much exercise do you get in everyday life? Are you more of a couch potato or already a bit active? Observe how you feel after short efforts such as climbing stairs. Are you about to collapse or are you still okay? Document your daily activities for a week to get a better picture.

Set realistic goals

Set realistic goals that match your current fitness level. Short-term goals could be to be able to jog for 10 minutes without getting out of breath. Long-term goals could include a 5km run or simply being fit enough to keep up with your kids or grandchildren. It is important that your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).

Take health restrictions into account

If you have any health concerns, it's important to consult a doctor before you start. This will ensure that you are not overstraining your body and that you are exercising safely. Medical advice is essential, especially if you have existing health problems.

Which sport suits me?

Two sportswomen giving each other a high five

Choosing the right type of sport is crucial for your motivation and success. There are countless options - from running and swimming to yoga and strength training. Find something that you enjoy and that suits your lifestyle.

Different sports and their benefits

  • Running: Ideal for beginners, because all you need are good running shoes. Running improves your stamina, strengthens your cardiovascular system and helps you lose weight. And: you can do it almost anywhere.

  • Swimming: Easy on the joints and trains the whole body. Perfect if you have problems with your joints or back.

  • Yoga: Promotes flexibility, strength and inner peace. Ideal for reducing stress and developing body awareness. There are many different styles, from relaxing to vigorous.

  • Strength training: Strengthens the muscles and improves posture. You can start with simple exercises at home or go to the gym.

  • Cycling: Good for endurance and joints. You can use it as a means of transportation and do something for your fitness at the same time.

  • CrossFit: An intensive workout that combines strength, endurance, agility and speed. Perfect if you want to work out and train in a group.

  • Functional fitness: This involves exercises that work several muscle groups simultaneously and mimic everyday movements. Ideal for improving general fitness and flexibility.

  • Hyrox: A new fitness format that combines endurance and strength training. It consists of a series of workouts that are suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

  • Group sports: Activities such as soccer, volleyball or dance classes are not only great for fitness, but also help you meet new people and network socially.

How do I find the right sport?

It's simple: try out different activities to find out what suits you best. Many gyms and clubs offer taster courses to help you get started.

  • If you like being outdoors, running or cycling could be right for you.

  • If you prefer to stay indoors, try yoga, strength training or CrossFit.

  • Think about whether you prefer to exercise alone or in a group. Group activities can be extra motivating and fun.

How do I create a training plan for strength training as a beginner?

Woman doing a plank in the living room

If you decide to start strength training, your training plan should be based on your goals, your current fitness level and the time you have available - and of course the equipment you have at your disposal!

How to get started with your individual strength training plan:

  • Frequency: Plan two to three training sessions per week. This allows your body to recover and get stronger.

  • Duration: Each session should last around 45 to 60 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down.

  • Variation: Change the exercises and intensity regularly to make progress and avoid boredom.

Perfect for the start – Full body workout

Full-body training is recommended for beginners, as it addresses all major muscle groups in every training session. This promotes balanced muscle development and saves time.

Choose exercises that cover the most important muscle groups in your body and that you can perform both without equipment and with minimal equipment such as dumbbells or resistance bands.

Here is a selection of exercises for full-body training at home:


  • Squats: Without weight or with dumbbells.

  • Lunges: forwards, backwards, sideways. Without weight or with dumbbells.

  • Calf raises: On a step or flat on the floor.


  • Superman: Lie on your stomach and raise your arms and legs at the same time.

  • Reverse Snow Angels: Lie on your stomach and move your arms in a “snow angel” motion.


  • Push-ups: different variations (normal, wide, narrow).

  • Chest press: With dumbbells or improvised weights like water bottles.


  • Shoulder presses: With dumbbells or resistance bands.

  • Side raises: With dumbbells or water bottles.


  • Bicep curls: With dumbbells or resistance bands.

  • Tricep dips: On a sturdy chair or bench.


  • Planks: front and side planks.

  • Russian twists: With or without weight.

Full body workout for beginners: Structure of the training plan

A typical weekly schedule for full-body training could therefore look like this:

Monday: Full body workout

  • Squats: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

  • Push-ups: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

  • Planks: 3 sets of 30 seconds each

  • Superman: 3 sets of 15 repetitions

Wednesday: Full body workout

  • Lunges: 3 sets of 12 repetitions per leg

  • Chest press: 3 sets of 12 repetitions (with dumbbells or water bottles)

  • Side raises: 3 sets of 15 repetitions

  • Russian twists: 3 sets of 20 repetitions

Friday: Full body workout

  • Calf raises: 3 sets of 15 repetitions

  • Shoulder presses: 3 sets of 12 repetitions (with dumbbells or resistance bands)

  • Bicep curls: 3 sets of 12 repetitions (with dumbbells or resistance bands)

  • Tricep dips: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Take breaks between sets, but make sure they are not too long! One to two minutes is ideal. If you are unsure about how to perform the exercise, ask a trainer or watch online tutorials.

Progression and adjustment

To make progress, it is important that you regularly adjust the intensity of your training. You can do this by increasing the weight, the number of repetitions or the number of sets.

A good principle is progressive overload - this means that you gradually increase the load to give your muscles new stimuli.

  • Increase the weight: If you can easily perform an exercise with the current load, increase the weight by about 5-10%. If you don't have any weights, you can use improvised weights such as water bottles or backpacks.

  • Increase repetitions: Alternatively, you can increase the number of repetitions if you don't want to increase the current weight.

  • Incorporate new exercises: Switch up some exercises every 4-6 weeks to add new stimulus and avoid plateaus.

Warming up and cooling down

An effective warm-up prepares your muscles and joints for training and reduces the risk of injury. A typical warm-up program could include 5-10 minutes of light cardio (e.g. jumping rope, jumping jacks) and dynamic stretching exercises.

After your workout, it's important to cool down your muscles with light stretching and easy running or walking. This helps to maintain flexibility and prevent sore muscles.

Training as a beginner with the SmartWOD apps

SmartWOD Workout Generator on the tablet

As a beginner, it can be difficult to get a feel for your own body and for training. You tend to train without a system and take far too long breaks.

With the SmartWOD apps, you are already taking the first step towards “I know what I'm doing!”. You have two apps at your disposal: The SmartWOD Workout Timer and the SmartWOD Workout Generator.

The SmartWOD Timer is ideal for timing different training intervals. For example, different workout types that are common in CrossFit or HIIT, among others. Above all, however, the timer helps you to keep your training sessions efficient.

You can set this in the timer:

  • AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible): Set the timer to a set time and try to complete as many rounds as possible of a particular exercise set. For example: 20 minutes AMRAP of 10 squats, 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups.

  • EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute): Choose one exercise and perform it at the beginning of each minute, followed by a rest until the next minute. Example: 10 burpees at the beginning of each minute for 10 minutes.

  • Tabata: 20 seconds of “work” followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds. Example: 20 seconds of jump squats, 10 seconds rest, 8 rounds. Short, but extremely strenuous and efficient!

  • For Time: Choose a certain number of exercises that you “work through” one after the other, i.e. do for time. Example: 50 squats, 40 sit-ups, 30 burpees.

  • Mix: If you really want to escalate and combine several workout types, the “Mix” premium function is perfect for you! Here you can combine any number of workout types and breaks. First an EMOM, then an AMRAP and maybe a round of Tabata at the end - no problem!

Are you on vacation or training at home and only have limited equipment? No problem at all! The SmartWOD Workout Generator creates suitable workouts for you based on your available equipment.

This is how it works:

  • Select equipment: Specify what equipment you have available (e.g. dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.).

  • Generate workouts: The app creates various workouts for you that match your equipment. These combine exercises from strength training, cardio and functional fitness.

  • Customization: Adapt the workouts to your fitness level by varying the intensity, duration and repetitions accordingly.

With Premium, you have even more options:

  • Targeted workouts: Don't want to be surprised, but want to train a specific muscle group? Or do a specific exercise? No problem! Simply select the desired body parts or movements and the app will show you the corresponding workouts.

  • Filter workouts by time: Only have 15 minutes for your training session? Then let the app suggest workouts that fit exactly into this time frame. This way you get the most out of your training!

How do I stay motivated and keep going?

Sometimes the hardest part is not getting started, but sticking with it.

Here are some tips on how to stay on the ball:

  • Set yourself small, achievable goals: This will give you a quicker sense of achievement and keep you motivated.

  • Find a training partner: It's more fun together and you can motivate each other.

  • Vary your training: Variety keeps motivation high and prevents boredom.

  • Create a playlist: Good music can also motivate you and boost your training. Do you already know our SmartWOD playlists on Spotify?

  • Document your progress: Make a note of your training progress and watch how you improve. This can be extremely motivating.

  • Don't be discouraged by setbacks: Setbacks are part of the process and are completely normal. Accept that things aren't going so well at times and focus on getting back up and carrying on. Every small step counts.

Let's go!

Now you have all the tools and information you need to start exercising.

Whether you choose running, swimming, yoga, strength training or CrossFit - the most important thing is that you find something you enjoy. Use the SmartWOD apps to structure your training and stay motivated.

And if you have a bad day, don't worry - tomorrow is guaranteed to be better!




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