Working out with weights can be intimidating, especially when you aren’t sure how to begin or even where to begin. But it doesn’t have to be! Whether you want a place to start or you’re looking to add weight training to your routine, we’ve picked out five weight workouts for beginners for you to try.
Before you just jump right in, here are seven quick tips that you should keep in mind before you begin any kind of weight training.
Seven Quick Tips Before You Begin
Weight training can be fun and enjoyable, but it should also be safe. Below, we’ve set out seven tips for you to remember when weight training or planning to weight train.
1. Start With a Short and Simple Program
First, never just jump right into an intense and heavyweight workout program. That is the easiest way to burn yourself out or, worse, injure yourself.
Try to find a short and simple program to get started. Once you feel comfortable with this workout and can do it easily, move up to a harder one or increase the weight.
Remember that it isn’t a race and that there’s no shame in starting with lower weight or repetitions. Always listen to your body and go from there — your only competition is yourself.
2. Choose the Right Amount of Weight
Similar to tip number one, never start with an extremely heavy weight. Start low and work your way up to what feels right. Starting with heavier weights than your body is used to could result in strains and injuries. In turn, this hinders your ability to work out for a period of time.
3. Make Sure to Warm Up
Always, always, always make sure to warm up before doing any kind of exercise — especially weight training. Working out with cold muscles is the easiest way to injure yourself.
A simple warmup of five minutes and some stretching will help to get your muscles ready to pump that iron!
4. Form Is Essential
When weight training, even with lighter weights, it is essential to have the correct form. Having and keeping the correct form while performing exercises will guarantee that you are working the muscles you are targeting and protecting your body from injury.
For instance, you’d be surprised by how many injuries or strains are caused by arching your back, when you aren’t supposed to, while exercising.
5. Be Sure to Rest
When you begin weight training, make sure to rest at least a day in between each session. This doesn’t mean you have to do your whole body and then rest a day and then do your whole body again. Unless you want to do that, of course.
This just means that you are giving the specific muscle group a day to rest before targeting it again. For example, you could target your legs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and target your upper body on Tuesday and Thursday.
By doing this, you give your legs a day in between each time you exercise them, but you still work out your upper body on those off days.
6. Aim for a Challenge
Simply put, you don’t have to push yourself to the brink of not being able to walk or lift your arms the next day. Challenge your muscles — don’t kill them.
7. Spice It Up!
Finally, don’t be scared to spice things up from time to time. This could involve increasing the weight, changing the exercises you do, switching up the order of the exercises, or changing to a new program altogether.
Five Weight Workouts for Beginners
Now you have a few tips to carry with you into your weight training workouts. Here are five weight workouts for beginners to get you started or to change up your routine!
1. Beginner Body Weight Workout From Nerd Fitness
This beginner workout from Nerd Fitness is a great place to start with weight training, as it’s all bodyweight or found weight. Doing exercises with found weight means that the weight you use comes from items that you have around your house. Examples include a gallon jug of water, a heavy book, a heavy decoration and others.
The workout is three circuits of six exercises, which include:
- 20 bodyweight squats
- 10 push-ups
- 10 walking lunges (each leg)
- 10 dumbbell rows (can use a milk/water jug or any other weight)
- 15-second plank
- 30 jumping jacks
To learn more about this workout and other exercises that can be substituted into this workout, check out the full outline from Nerd Fitness.
2. Dumbbell Workout for Beginners From Building Muscle 101
When you feel comfortable enough to move on to using dumbbells and other weights, this is a great place to start. BuildingMuscle101.com sets out an entire workout program with rest days built right in. And the amazing thing about this workout is that it focuses on only using dumbbells as your source of weight.
This specific workout includes nine exercises, two sets for each. These exercises include:
- Dumbbell squat
- Stiff leg dumbbell deadlift
- Standing dumbbell calf raise
- Incline dumbbell bench press
- Seated dumbbell shoulder press
- One-arm dumbbell rows
- Seated alternate dumbbell curls
- Lying dumbbell extension
You can find a full rundown of this workout at BuildingMuscle101.com.
3. Self Dumbbell Workout From SELF
Run by two workers from SELF, Rhys and Amy, this 15-minute full-body workout utilizes a single dumbbell of any weight you choose. It consists of a quick warmup, five exercises and a cool-down period. The five exercises include:
- Goblet squat
- Three-point single-arm row
- Alternating reverse lunge
- Single-arm floor press
- Alternating supine march
For this workout, simply follow along with Rhys and Amy in their 15-minute full-body workout YouTube video, pausing when you need breaks.
4. Full-Body Kettlebell Workout for Beginners From Onnit.com
Other than dumbbells, you can also start weight training with kettlebells. Kettlebells allow you to do a wide range of exercises without having to use a wide variety of different weights like dumbbells.
This full-body kettlebell workout will have you sweating in no time with these 10 exercises:
- Kettlebell goblet squat
- Kettlebell one-arm row
- Kettlebell one-arm press
- Kettlebell chest-loaded swing
- Kettlebell shoulder halo
- Kettlebell hip halo
- Kettlebell around-the-leg pass
- Kettlebell chest-loaded swing (again)
- Kettlebell single-arm squat to press
- Kettlebell chest-loaded swing (again)
This workout, created by Onnit.com, provides you with videos on how to do each exercise along with detailed explanations.
5. 4-Week Weight Program From Muscle and Fitness
The last weight workout we have for you is a four-week weight program from MuscleAndFitness.com. With this program, they set out each week for you with detailed exercises and targeted muscle groups.
This is a little more advanced than the other four workouts detailed above, but it’s still easy enough for a beginner who really wants to push themselves.
The four weeks are laid out as follows:
- Week one: Full-body split
- Week two: Two-day split (upper body/lower body)
- Week three: Three-day split (push/pull/leg)
- Week four: Four-day split (full body)
Each week has set days to work out and set days to rest. It’s as simple as finding your day and hitting the start button!
How Weight Workouts Could Benefit You
So you’ve got a few workouts to start you off. But do you know why weight training is actually beneficial to you? Here are a few ways in which weight workouts can help you in the long run:
Build Up Your Muscles and Strength
First off, weight training helps you build your muscles and your strength. Who doesn’t want to feel stronger?
Weight training can also help you avoid injury in the long run. Strong muscles stabilize different parts of your body and give you support to do everyday tasks.
Improve Your Mood
Working out, in general, can help to improve your mood. This is because working out releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in your body.
When your body feels healthy and strong, your confidence begins to increase, especially when you start to see the results you were aiming for.
Now that you have a few tips for starting your weight training and a few different weight workouts for beginners, and you know some of the benefits, it’s time for you to get into the gym and pump some iron. Good luck!