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Exercising can greatly improve your well-being. While there are many types of exercises out there, one of the best workouts that you can do to become healthier is strength training.
Also known as weight training or resistance training, strength training has become a fundamental part of most exercise programs. This is because strength training exercises can help reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass, burn calories, and more.
If you’re an exercise beginner and want to start building strength and muscle, read on to know how you can begin your strength training workout journey.
How Long Should I Strength Train as a Beginner?
According to experts, individuals should have 45 minutes to an hour of strength training sessions regardless of their fitness level. This amount of time is enough to warm up and get a solid training workout in and cool down at the end.
Longer sessions may not lead to better results and instead may increase burnout and muscle fatigue.
How Many Days a Week Should a Beginner Do Weight Training?
You may feel like you should be weightlifting seven days a week but fitness experts advise against doing so, especially if you’re a beginner.
If you’re just starting out with strength training, it’s best to only do it two to three days a week. This allows your body time to recover between workouts, which is important.
How Many Sets, Reps, and Weights Should Beginners Do?
As a beginner in weight training, choosing your reps and sets can be very confusing. The amount of reps and sets, as well as how much weight you should lift, depends on your goals.
In general, beginners should first start with the same weight for all their exercises, and then proceed to slightly heavier weights as they progress.
If you want to lose weight and build muscle, use enough weight that is challenging to complete 8 to 12 reps and 1 set at the most. Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute and have at least one day between your strength training sessions.
If you’re aiming to gain muscle, use weights that you can complete 4 to 8 repetitions and in 2 to 3 sets. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes between sets, and have 2 to 3 days between sessions.
It’s also important to note that you should give your body several weeks of conditioning before you tackle weight training with this degree of difficulty.
If you’re weight training for health and muscular endurance, you should only use enough weight that you can only complete 12 to 16 reps and 1 to 3 sets. Rest for 20 to 30 seconds between sets and have at least one day between your sessions.
What are the 5 Exercises of the Starting Strength Workout Program?
Starting Strength is a beginner workout program that can be broken down into two workout days, Day A and Day B. Your entire body is worked on in each session.
The goal of the Starting Strength routine is to add weight each and every time you lift. It is specifically designed for beginners as it allows them to make progress quickly. As you progress through the weight training program, the workouts are slightly modified to take the adaptations of your body.
The original Starting Strength training routine consists of 5 exercises, namely squat, bench press, deadlift, military press, and barbell row. These exercises are rotated between two workout days and done three days per week.
For example, your first workout is on a Monday, so you started with the Day A workout, then your second session on Wednesday will consist of your Day B workout. Then your Friday session will consist of your Day A workout. This A, B, A, B pattern will then continue onto the next week.
What is a Good Beginner Strength Training Workout?
When it comes to a beginner weightlifting routine, most experts recommend starting with your larger muscle groups and then proceeding to smaller ones. This is because the most demanding exercises are those performed by your major muscle groups, and you will need your muscles to get the most out of them.
This is why it’s recommended for beginners to start with a full-body workout 2 to 3 times per week and a day of rest between each workout. It’s important that 4 to 5 compound exercises are included in this full-body routine.
This is because a compound movement is an exercise that recruits a lot of muscles simultaneously, forcing the body to work in unison. Compound movements are also multi-joint exercises, meaning that they involve more than just a single muscle group. This makes them way more efficient and effective at building pure strength than doing a number of different isolation exercises.
With that said, here are some of the best workouts that you can include in your strength training routine. To yield the best results from these exercises, start slow and focus on doing them in the proper form. As you progress, slowly add more weight or resistance or increase your reps and sets.
Squats are considered a vital part of the traditional strength training routine. This workout is the most popular out of all the lower body exercises out there as it works out all the muscles in the lower body. It’s also a great workout foundation for building muscle and strength.
For your starting position, stand with your feet a bit wider than hip-distance apart, toes slightly out.
Keeping your weight in the mid-foot and heels, sit back and down. Keep your knees in line with your toes and focus on keeping your chest lifted. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor, if possible.
This workout is a great isolation exercise that allows you to feel the burn without needing a lot of weight. Start by standing with your legs hip-width apart. Lean forward from the waist, elbows bent 90 degrees at the sides. Then, straighten your arms.
Dumbbell Bench Press
A bench press works the upper body, and this one is no exception. Moreover, this exercise can help improve your push-up performance. To do this, sit on a bench with a medium-weight dumbbell in each hand, resting on your thighs.
Next, squeeze your elbows tight to the ribs and slowly lower your torso down onto the bench to lie face up, holding the dumbbells in front of your armpits. Open your elbows to the sides so the triceps form a 45 to 70-degree angle to the torso. Press your feet flat into the floor and engage your core. This is your starting position.
On an exhale, press the dumbbells away from your chest, straightening your arms so the dumbbells are directly over your shoulders. On an inhale, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, pausing when they are just above your shoulders.
Push-ups use all the push muscles in your body such as your chest, shoulders, and triceps, making it beneficial for building upper body strength. Begin in a plank position with your arms straight. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and your body should form a straight line from head to toe.
Keep your core engaged and don’t let your hips sag. Then, slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor. Then, press upwards back to the plank position.
Pull-ups aren’t easy to do at all but they are a great strength training workout that can help you improve your back muscles. You will need a pull-up bar for this one. First, grab onto a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip. Ensure that your palms are facing away from you.
Hang from the bar, lifting your feet off the ground. Pull yourself up by engaging your core, contracting your back muscles, and pulling your elbows down toward the floor. Raise your body until the bar is at chin or chest height. Lower your body back down in a controlled manner until your arms are fully extended.
If you already go to the gym regularly to exercise, level up your routine further by adding strength training workouts. Strength training consists of several types of exercises such as body weight workouts, resistance workouts, free weights, and weight machines. These exercises can help with muscle building, losing fat, and becoming healthier overall.
Start weight training today and trust us, your own body will thank you for it. Always remember to only add a slightly heavier weight after each week and always focus on the proper form to avoid injury.