Creating a Strength Training Routine for Beginners: What You Need to Know
18% of gym memberships go unused. This is probably because many people don’t know where to start on their fitness journey. The weight room can be an unfamiliar and intimidating place for new exercisers.
But if you’re serious about getting stronger, you’ll have to face your fears and build a strength training routine for beginners. Your body will thank you for it.
Strengthening your muscles will give you more energy, help you lose weight, and improve your posture. You’ll also feel powerful and more confident.
Ready to get started? Read on for tips to become stronger than ever!
Table of Contents
What Is Strength Training?
Strength training is a type of exercise that uses resistance to build muscle. It helps you reduce the risk of injury when engaging in other physical activities and improves your balance for better everyday function.
Strength Training vs. Bodybuilding
Bodybuilding focuses on building muscle size, while strength training focuses on increasing your overall power. Bodybuilding workouts require you to lift heavy weights for many reps. Strength training workouts involve fewer reps than a bodybuilding session.
The goal of both exercise routines is to increase muscle mass over time, but they do so in different ways. Strength trainers are more interested in improving their performance on specific tasks.
Strength Training vs. Powerlifting
Powerlifting is a competitive sport. It requires special equipment and there are rules regarding how much weight you can lift, how long you wait between lifts, etc. The major difference between strength training and powerlifting is that the latter involves fewer reps (i.e., 1-5 reps per set).
Strength training emphasizes slow movements with heavier weights so that you’re focusing on building up your muscles rather than trying to get the weight off the ground as quickly as possible.
Strength Training vs. Cardio
Cardio refers to any activity that raises your heart rate. There are many types of cardio, including running, swimming, and cycling.
Strength training is great for building muscle, but it won’t burn fat as efficiently as cardio. Your best bet is to combine strength training with cardio into one workout routine that fits your schedule and goals.
The Importance of a Gym Membership
Most people don’t have heavy weights available at home. If you want to get the most out of your workout, you’ll need a gym membership.
Not only will you have access to all kinds of equipment, but you’ll also meet other people who are on similar journeys. You’ll be able to talk about your progress, share tips, and even make new friends!
Strength Training Routine for Beginners
If you’re a beginner and want to get started with strength training, it’s important to know what your body can handle. Here are some tips for setting up an effective strength-training routine.
Start Without Weight
Exercising without weights will help you get a feel for the exercises. This allows your body to better adjust to the increase in physical activity.
It also helps you build muscle memory. When you add weights, your body will know exactly how to perform the movements.
Focus on Form
If you don’t have proper technique, then your muscles will not be working as efficiently and you won’t get the results you want. For example, if you’re doing bicep curls and your elbows are not bent at a 90-degree angle, then you’re not getting the full range of motion. You should be able to feel the burn in your muscles, but not in your joints or tendons.
Always Warm Up
Warming up helps you get into the right mindset for working out. It also prepares your body for the physical demands of exercise. Other benefits of raising your core temperature before training include:
- Better oxygen delivery
- Reduced risk of injury
- Increase in endurance
- More flexibility
A warm-up should take about 5-10 minutes. You don’t have to strain yourself. Some simple stretching exercises and jogging in place for a few minutes will do.
It’s best not to engage in an extensive warm-up before exercising because it makes your muscles tired.
Upgrade to Light Weights
Start with a weight that feels comfortable. You should be able to lift it about 10 times with little effort.
Using smaller weights will help you focus on technique, which is crucial for building muscle. If you’re not sure what weight is best for your fitness level, start with a half-pound weight, then work your way up.
Once a weight doesn’t feel challenging to you anymore, increase the size by 2-5 pounds. If you feel like your muscles are too sore after exercising or if any joints hurt afterward, reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting until your body has had time to recover.
Stretching helps you avoid injury, recover faster, and feel less sore. It’s also good for preventing muscle cramps and preserving flexibility in your joints as you age.
There are many stretches, so choose the ones that feel good for you!
Rest allows your muscles to recover and rebuild after a workout, which enhances their performance. In between your sets, take a brief break. A few seconds should be enough.
After working out for 2 or 3 days in a row, take one day off. Having a rest day is important for your muscles and joints so they avoid overuse injuries and fatigue.
Rest days are also important for your mind. It gives you time to relax, recharge, and prepare for the next workout.
Sample Fitness Routine
For a beginner, the most important thing to remember is to start slow. A good rule of thumb is to do strength training twice a week for 20-30 minutes. You can also add in cardio on off days.
If you’re just starting, try doing each exercise for 12-15 reps with minimal rest between sets. Here’s an example of a routine you can follow.
- Exercise 1: Crunches (12-15 reps; 3 sets)
- Exercise 2: V-ups (12-15 reps; 3 sets)
- Exercise 3: Bicycle crunches (10 reps per leg)
- Exercise 4: Bench press (12-15 reps; 2 sets)
- Exercise 5: Lat pulldown (12-15 reps; 2 sets)
- Exercise 6: Dumbbell bicep curls (10 reps per arm)
You can take a 1-minute break between sets and a 2-minute break between exercises. Once you get comfortable with the routine, increase the weight or reps if needed. You can also switch out certain exercises for ones that better target your areas of concern.
For example, if you want to work on your abs more, add planks and side plank variations into your routine.
Top Strength Training Exercise
If you’re just getting started with strength training, it’s important to choose exercises that will help build a foundation for your fitness routine. The following five exercises are great for beginners because they require minimal equipment.
The squat is one of the most effective exercises for developing lower-body strength and power. Squats work your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, calves, core muscles, and upper back muscles.
Perform squats by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. You can hold weights at a 90-degree angle above your shoulders or place a barbell across your back. Some athletes keep their weights hanging straight down.
Bend at your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Rise by pushing through your heels until your legs are straight but not locked out at the knees. Repeat for the desired number of reps per set.
While working out, remember to keep your knees behind your toes when they’re bent. Maintain a straight back, with your shoulders back and down. Keep your head up, eyes forward, and chest out.
The chest press is a great exercise for growing muscle in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It also strengthens your core muscles, which will help improve your posture.
To perform the chest press, lay down on your back and grab a barbell. If you’re using dumbbells, place them in the air at a 90-degree angle.
Lift the weight above your chest, keeping your arms straight and squeezing your chest muscles together. Slowly lower the weight until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle again.
This movement targets your obliques, which are the muscles on either side of your torso. You can do this workout lying down or standing up. Here’s how to do a standing side twist.
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms at your sides with your palms facing the floor. You can hold a dumbbell in each hand to make the workout more intense.
Twist from left to right while keeping your feet planted.
Go as far as you can without losing your balance or letting the weight fall from your hands. Standing side twists relieve back strain and help you boost core strength.
Hip thrusts build your glutes. You can perform them on the floor or use a bench to increase the difficulty.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your feet should be hip-width apart or wider. Place one hand behind each knee for support if needed.
Squeeze your glutes to lift off the ground until only your feet remain on the floor. Lower yourself back down again as far as comfortable before repeating.
Bent-over rows strengthen your back muscles. This compound movement works multiple muscle groups at once, including the biceps, shoulders, and core.
To perform bent-over rows, stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold dumbbells in each hand with arms hanging down at the sides. Your palms can face outwards or inward depending on which feels more comfortable to you.
Bend forward from the waist until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Maintain this position as you pull weights up towards your chest. Pause and squeeze your back muscles.
Then lower the weights back down until your arms hang straight down from your shoulders.
How to Improve Muscle Growth
Sleep is essential to muscle growth. It’s the time when your body can repair damaged muscles.
The recommended amount of sleep for an adult is 7 or more hours. You must get this amount consistently; not just on some nights and not others. You’ll notice your muscles grow faster when you’re getting enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can cause your muscles to atrophy (get smaller). The best way to improve your sleep is by avoiding stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the evenings.
Besides sleep, you can make a few diet changes to give your muscles the best chance at growing.
Protein is important for muscle growth, recovery, and building muscle mass. Protein also plays an essential role in helping your body maintain its current state of fitness. If you want your muscles to grow and stay strong, eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
SARMs are selective androgen receptor modulators. They’re a class of drugs that are similar to anabolic steroids, but with milder side effects. SARMs improve muscle growth and enhance fat loss.
You can find SARMs for sale online in powders or pills. They’re also available as injectable solutions.
SARMs are not approved by the FDA for human consumption, so they’re technically considered illegal if you use them for anything other than research. However, many SARMs products are made in countries where they’re legal to use for medical purposes, so it’s possible to buy them without a prescription.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of hormones produced by the adrenal glands. They can help you build muscle faster and recover more quickly from workouts.
Note that anabolic steroids have a variety of negative side effects, from acne to erectile dysfunction. Compare the risks and rewards of this option before moving forward.
Get Stronger Than Ever
If you’re new to exercise, the strength training routine for beginners that we have above is a great way to get started. It’s designed with the average person in mind, so you won’t need any special equipment or supplements.
If you’re looking to get stronger than ever, improve your protein intake and consider using SARMs as an alternative to steroids.
For tips on how to make your fitness journey as natural and effortless as possible, check out our health section for inspiration.
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