Whether you're new to exercise or want to get into or even get back into the shape you use to be a key rule is to build a foundation. Start with where you're at and build from there. Doing basic exercises doesn't sound pleasing as much as people think but when you begin a program the basics are always the best. The reason why that is its because no matter how far advanced you are in any program or whatever level you're at doing the basics takes you further beyond your will to develop strength, conditioning, stamina and flexibility.
One of the main things I really don't like about most trainers is that they tend to put people on programs that is so general its stupid. Lets see how this works, take an obese person and put them through the same program that a trainer has with a skinny person who never works out. Who do you think will be in better shape? Truth is its difficult to tell on many different things. The structures are different, the shape is different they're body chemistry's are different so why put them on a generic program that a trainer "thinks will work." Fact is whether you're big, small, weak, strong or whatever, you have to train at your own pace because no one should have the same exact program. Its more efficient and logical for a trainee to set their own pace so when they get stronger the better they'll be.
I've said once I'll say it again, do not fall for that 30 min. of cardio and the hour of weights crap. Again see the generic outlook? People train differently so they're bodies need to train differently. If you start with 5 min. of exercise a day you will have a better chance at progressing then doing the boring hour and a half bulls*it. I personally cannot do an hour and a half of training because for one, its boring, two I'm very ADD when it comes to stuff like that. Give me 20 min. and I'm set easy. That works for me so I train at my own pace. Others do shorter or longer sessions which is fine but for an individual it shouldn't be so long they lose interest. I have done the 2 hours 3x a week stuff and I lasted barely 3 weeks so safe to say it sucks big time. What works for one may not work for another so that's why one needs to find what works for them.
In my friend Ed and his twin brother Andy's Baran Brothers' Basic Bodyweight Building Blocks they take the new trainee and help them through a series of exercises with progressions. Progression is one of the keys to building muscle and burning fat. Progressions help you reach from a beginning phase to a very difficult exercise. Start at your own pace and work your way up. In any program you can't just jump into an advanced program, that can lead to injuries and you can get bored or burnt out. Progressing with a starting point will help you find what works, how your body works and how your mind progresses as well.
If you're new to training a good tip to use is to see yourself in your mind how fit you are and that you are happy with not only what you have but that you want to keep going and train well. Training safely and progressively can help you lead an active lifestyle and help you be healthy and vibrant. Happiness and having a positive mindset along with patience and goal-settings you can build a great foundation for life-long health and fitness.