Heading back to the gym after 30

We aren’t getting any younger. Some mornings our joints are starting to hurt. Maybe we have some extra weight on us. Many of us get winded going up and down the stairs. Welcome to your 30s. While we aren’t in our 20’s anymore, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. If you have been out of the game for awhile now it can be hard to get going again, but remember this. Working out is like anything else you do: the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Getting back in the gym after 30 is easier than you think.

We know that starting a new workout regimen can be intimidating for the vast majority of people, so we’ve put together this guide for anyone getting back into shape after hitting that 30 year milestone. While getting back to your prime requires some work (or maybe a lot of work), we hope these tips and tricks will help make it easier!

How to get going, and why you need to ASAP

If it’s been awhile, you are not alone. The vast majority of 30 somethings aren’t in the best shape of their lives and only going downhill as the years go on. If you’ve made the choice to live a healthier, fitter life you are already doing better than most.

The benefits of going to the gym and exercising regularly in your 30’s are incredible: better mood, improved sleep quality and brain function (including memory), reduced risk of heart disease, and lower body fat percentage just to name a few. Who doesn’t want those things?

If you have no idea where to begin, follow the steps in this article starting with these simple concepts and building from there:

  1. Set a goal
  2. Build (or purchase) a plan
  3. Find a support system
  4. Put in the work

Sounds incredible simple because it is. Mentality is 90% of living better. Your brain will give up before your body will (yes, that is true even after 30). If you can set your brain towards living a healthier life, your body will follow.

Tips for when you’re getting (re)started

  • Find a friend to work out with.
  • Start small, don’t try to do too much on your first day. And stretch. You are 30+. You will hurt for the first few days. That’s part of the game.
  • Plan your workouts ahead of time.
  • Set goals for yourself and commit to them! Make sure that you are in good health before starting any exercise routine (this includes making sure you have the right equipment).
  • Make your workouts fit into your lifestyle. In order for any habit to stick it has to be easy to perform. You want regular exercise to become part of who you are instead of something extra added on top. It has to be sustainable. If you have to drive 30 minutes out of your way to get in a workout, you won’t do it for long. Find a gym nearby or on the way to work so you can stop on your way in/out. If you think you will go home, change, and drive 30 minutes to get there, you are wrong. Trust me. Make it easy.

Set goals.

Goals are a driving factor in any program. Are you trying to build muscle? Shed weight? Move better? Get out of bed without crackling? To be able to stand for your kids entire game? Chase your grandkids around? Whatever your goal is, write it down. Be specific and actionable with them, but most importantly be realistic. Setting a goal of losing 30lbs so you can wear a speedo in the Bahamas next month is probably not going to happen. Setting a goal of losing 30lbs in four months is much easier, sustainable, and enjoyable.

Same for building muscle. If you haven’t lifted in awhile you cannot say you want to curl 100lb dumbbells 6 weeks from now. That isn’t happening, but if you said you wanted to curl that same weight six-nine months from now you can absolutely do that if you put in the effort.

Be realistic with yourself during this phase about your current fitness level (you are getting back to the gym after 30 after all) and what you want to achieve.

Know your body.

You can’t push yourself if you don’t know what you’re capable of. You need to know where your limits are, both physically and mentally. If you push too hard too quickly and burn out, it’s going to be harder for you to get back in the game.

If something hurts, stop doing it! Now, a necessary disclaimer here and where discernment comes into play. You are over 30 and trying to get back to the gym. Everything is going to hurt the first few times. Knowing your body means knowing the difference between discomfort from moving in ways you haven’t in awhile and actual pain brought on from muscle tears, bone issues, or joint pain.

Don’t give up when things get difficult, you wake up sore, or when you don’t make the progress you want to as quickly as you hoped. By continuing on with your routine even though something is challenging you at that moment you will grow stronger. Not only that, but you will learn more about yourself and where your boundaries and limits actually are. I guarantee those limits are much further than you think.

Find your limits and push them without hurting yourself. That is the entire goal.

Need some help?

Shape Success, Live Exceptionally

Hit that button, and get started today.

Get a plan.

If you don’t have a plan to follow, you won’t be able to stay on track to achieving your goals.

Building your own plan is great, but if you have absolutely no idea what you are doing visit your gym and get a personal trainer for two or three sessions (better yet, enroll in one of our programs here). They’ll not only give you guidance about what exercises are best for your personal fitness level and goals, but they’ll also help with motivation and staying injury-free during workouts!

If you prefer to wing it, there are tons of resources on how to build your own program here, on Youtube, and across the internet.

That plan should include making small changes every day instead of big ones all at once and cover both the nutritional and gym based portions of living better.

If you want to start eating healthier, cut out sodas first, then move on to other sugary drinks like lattes and smoothies until eventually replacing them all with water instead. That way there’s no shock factor when it comes time for change since it happened slowly!

Same for the gym aspect. Start slow and build up. Your first day should not be 100 burpees for time. Maybe start a bit slower, with bodyweight exercises and more walking before increasing intensity. Getting back in the gym after 30 is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t force it.

Bodyweight movements to start with.

Push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, and core exercises are great movements to start with. You can do them at home, or in the gym—they won’t take up much space or cost anything. All of these exercises will help you build upper body strength and back strength, which will make a huge difference as you get older and more active.

Push-ups are easy to learn and start doing immediately. Knock out a few sets

Pull ups may be harder for some people because they require grip strength and decently strong back muscles, but don’t give up on them! It takes time to build that kind of upper body strength, and it will happen if you keep practicing every day until it does.

Air squats will help you build a small layer of muscle in prep for weighted exercises and core exercises can help strengthen your abs so they can support you during weighted squats, heavy deadlifts, and all the other stuff you want to get on to.

The best part of bodyweight exercises is that you can do them without any sort of investment and you can get most of the soreness out of the way before you even step foot in the gym. Can’t let the youngin’s at the gym see you (in your 30s) sore after all, can you?

Do you need a strength coach or trainer?

If you’re just starting to work out again, chances are that you want to achieve a specific goal. Maybe it’s to get stronger for your kids, or maybe it’s to lose some weight. Whatever your reason is, you don’t try and do this on your own if you don’t want to.

Sure, you can go hit the gym with your plan and run through the movements, but there is a good change you may do them wrong since you have been out of it for quite awhile. Muscular imbalances, tight muscles, structural issues can all play a role in you not following proper form.

Now that your 30s have arrived and you haven’t worked out in awhile means that the chance of moving wrong and spending the next week on the couch with an ice pack has dramatically risen. Weak muscles can contribute to lower back pain and all sorts of fun stuff. Strength coaches and trainers can help with everything from setting goals (i.e., “I want my squat max to be 300 pounds”) to form and technique (“I want my elbows directly under my shoulders when I deadlift”). A good coach will also keep you motivated during those tough workouts when all you want is an excuse not to go back into the gym tomorrow morning.

A quality trainer/coach is worth more than what they charge most times. Just do your research before committing to one.

It’s never too late (or too early) to get fit.

It’s never too late (or too early) to get fit!

Getting in shape is something that most of us do at some point. But sometimes, we go through periods where our health gets a bit out of whack or we just get busy building our lives and we forget about regular exercise and healthy eating. It happens—we’re only human after all. But now that you’re in your thirties, there are specific things you can do to help yourself get back into shape.

There are lots of benefits from staying active. It’ll help keep your body strong and flexible, which means less chance of injury, as well as help give us longer lasting energy levels throughout the day. Plus it helps boost self-esteem by making you feel good about how you look and feel inside too!

The best way to start getting fit after 30 is by taking small steps towards achieving bigger goals over time so that it doesn’t feel like such an impossible task

You just need a plan, dedication, and hard work. The most important thing is to start somewhere. You don’t have to start with an hour-long workout every day at the gym; even ten minutes of activity counts if it’s something you enjoy doing like walking after dinner or taking the stairs instead of waiting for an elevator. Don’t let being over 30 mean getting back in the gym isn’t happening.

Let Us help You Out

At CONDITIONerd we are here to help you achieve better physical and mental health through exercise. Check out the plans we offer to our customers and see if you could benefit from working with our team. And if you have questions, you can always contact a CONDITIONerd team member

Personal trainers, like those found here, can help guide you on your pathway towards reaching your fitness goals, whether that is getting bigger, stronger, faster, more lean, or just generally feeling better.

We can get you setup with a periodized workout plan, supplement information, and advice on nutrition to help you reach your goals.

The only thing you need is some motivation and a willingness to change some old habits.

Get into contact with us to find out what membership is right for you. In a CONDITIONerd program, you’ll be surrounded by others who can help you to get where you want to be.

Generally, our clients start to see some pretty awesome changes in 2-3 months time, some sooner.

Scroll to Top