So you want to kickstart your fitness but need guidance on how to start strength training for beginners? We know starting weight training for women can be a little overwhelming, but we’ve rounded up the best way to get started with building strength and muscle in the gym.
First of all, do you even know how to define strength training and how it differs from other forms of exercise? Strength training is basically anything that gets you stronger, and it’s done by putting your muscles, joints, bones and tissues through resistance.
This can be in the form of resistance band exercises, dumbbell exercises, kettlebell exercises, or you can use a barbell, rucksack or household item – heck, you can even do bodyweight exercises as resistance if done effectively. Let’s do.
Now that we’ve defined that, you might be wondering why you should start strength training in the first place. Well, Research Current Sports Medicine Reports describes strength training as medicine based on how well (deep breath) it improves physical performance, movement control, functional independence, cognitive abilities and self-esteem.
Suffice it to say, you’ll be fitter, healthier and happier and important That strength will keep up with the natural physical decline that occurs as we age. “Strength training is one of the simplest ways to bulletproof your body for the long term,” says Caroline BraggA personal trainer and leader in prenatal and postpartum fitness give me strength app,
“Strength training will stay with you for a lifetime, not just when you’re young, because it fends off osteoporosis and arthritis and helps you maintain the strength you need for daily living, now and in the future.”
Here, Caroline and I, chloe gray, a health and fitness author and qualified personal trainer who has been strength training for nearly a full decade, shares how to get into strength training as an absolute beginner. Three, two, one, pick up.
Don’t Miss Our Guide to How Much Weight You Should Start Lifting (opens in new tab) and gym anxiety (opens in new tab)while you’re here
Strength Training for Beginners: Your Guide
For someone who is a total newbie to exercise, don’t overcomplicate it, says Carolyn.
“I really recommend gym classes that have a strength element, even Body Pump style classes, because they are accessible, safe forms of walking. You know there’s someone checking your form.” will be doing and you can learn something about what the moves are called and how to do them,” she says.
Not ready for group classes but want to start running? You can try these free home workouts that will get you started with moving your body.
When you’re ready to get seriously strong, it’s time to hit the gym’s weight room. Rather than scrolling Instagram and embarking on a complicated workout put together by an inept person, the best way to get the most out of strength training for beginners is to follow a program.
“Movement is movement, and sometimes it’s great to just up your activity level. But if you really want to build strength and get serious about your fitness, it’s important to follow a strength training program. is important,” says Carolyn. “Follow a decent program consistently and you’ll be able to see the results you want much better than going to the gym and doing random exercises.”
But even if you’re going to follow a guide written by someone else, it’s really important that you read up on strength training exercises so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
What are the best strength training exercises for beginners?
The best strength training exercises for beginners are called compound exercises. This means they work more than one muscle group at a time which will help strengthen your entire body.
Compound exercises are also functional — they mimic movements that are common in daily life so that your strength is transferred outside of the gym.
Some examples of the best strength training exercises for beginners include:
- squat (like goblet squats or barbell squats)
- deadlifts (like dumbbell deadlifts or sumo deadlifts)
- lungs (such as reverse lunges or walking lunges)
- overhead press (such as shoulder press or military press)
- rows (such as bent over rows or single arm rows)
- chest compressions (such as press ups or bench presses)
If every single strength session includes a variation of each of those ranges, your whole body will be getting pretty strong.
However, some people require a certain emphasis on set body parts because their genetics or lifestyle determine that they are weaker in some areas than others. “I always think that people who have lives that do desk-based exercises that target the back of their body, so I would emphasize deadlifts and rows,” suggests Caroline. However, you’ll figure out your weaknesses as you go.
How many sets and repetitions should a beginner do during strength training?
“To start out, I encourage people to do eight to 10 reps of an exercise with a set weight,” says Caroline. BTW, if you’re confused, we’ve got a complete guide on how to start lifting weights here.
The goal is for the last rep to feel really challenging, so if you feel you can do more than 10, you need to add extra weight. As you get stronger, you should start to feel more comfortable doing eight to 10 reps with the weight you choose. “Don’t stick with a weight that feels comfortable—when you no longer feel challenged, change the weight,” says Caroline.
How often should a beginner strength train?
Caroline says please don’t go to the gym every day. “Two to three times a week, with each session lasting about a half hour to 45 minutes is sufficient to build strength,” she says.
If you end up loving strength training (which we have no doubt), you can always work to add more sessions — about four or five times a week. But when you’re a beginner, less may be more as your body learns to adapt to exercise and resistance.