5 Weight Workouts for Beginners
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If you want a sculpted physique, one of the top ways to strengthen and tone is by lifting weights. However, if you’re a beginner, all the grunting and groaning in a traditional gym can intimidate you. How can you get started on your fitness journey without feeling awkward?
While it’s always wise to book a session or two with a trainer when you are first starting, you can get going solo, too. The following five weight-based workouts are simple enough for beginners to master — however, that doesn’t mean you won’t feel them. Prepare yourself for some serious sweat with these programs appropriate for all fitness levels.
AMRAP stands for “as many repetitions (or rounds) as possible,” and that sums up the goal of this workout plan. All you will need to get started is a set of resistance bands or hand weights. A timer also helps with some variations on this theme. You can perform some movements such as burpees with no equipment at all — there goes your excuse that you need to save up to buy gear.
Then, select the exercise you want to do. In the first variation of this program, you do as many repetitions of that movement as possible. When you get to the point where you struggle, you stop. Another technique involves setting a timer to do as many reps as possible before it sounds. Finally, if you are short on time, you can do a full-body AMRAP workout consisting of squats, pushups and box jumps in only 15 minutes. Challenge yourself to do as many rounds, instead of repetitions, as possible.
Another time-saving workout for busy folks involves the use of compound movements. These are what they sound like — you combine working multiple muscle groups at the same time. For example, you might do a squat followed by an overhead press, known in some circles as “thrusters.” Other compound exercises that you can do right in your living room with hand weights include the following:
- Squats with a row: Begin standing tall with the weights in both hands and squat down. At the bottom of the movement, lean forward and perform a lat row. Extend your arms and return to standing.
- Biceps curls with Arnold press: Begin with a standard biceps curl with your palms facing away from your body. When you reach the top, rotate your wrists so that your palms remain forward and press the weights over your head.
- Reverse lunge with a lateral raise: Step back so that both knees bend at a 90-degree angle. When you reach the bottom of the movement, do a lateral raise before returning to standing.
Do you want to combine the strength-building benefits of weight training with your cardio? If so, turn to interval training. In this style of workout, you alternate sets using weights or resistance bands with cardiovascular movements like jogging in place, jumping jacks or the ever-popular burpee. You can use a timer with these workouts to remind you when to switch.
How did they build the pyramids? One block at a time. In this style of workout, you sculpt your body by progressively increasing the amount of weight that you use in each set and decreasing the reps. Then, as you descend the pyramid, you lower the weight and increase repetitions. For example:
- First set: 12 biceps curls with 5-pound dumbbells.
- Second set: 10 biceps curls with 7-pound hand weights.
- Third set: 8 biceps curls with 10-pounds in each hand.
- Reverse the pyramid: Do the same circuit in reverse.
You can play with this format to make it unique to your needs. For example, if you’re trying to achieve your 1-rep max, your peak may consist of only 2-3 repetitions.
The Trusty Machine Circuit
Finally, if you have access to a fitness facility, or you have a complete home gym, you can’t go wrong with a weight-training circuit. The benefits of using machines include keeping your body in alignment and isolating specific muscle groups. The only drawback to this form of training is that you don’t get as much of a calorie blast as you do with some other workout variations. However, if you are a true beginner, such formats help you to prevent injury as you gradually adapt to physical activity.
Try These Weight Workouts for Beginners to Strengthen and Tone
If you want to sculpt and tone to look fabulous in your summer clothes, why not give one of these weight workouts for beginners a try? The only thing you have to lose are excuses — and excess pounds.