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Simran Gill » Blog Archive » A Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting & Strength Training
Nov
12
2005

ArticlesA Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting & Strength Training

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picture by Jon Tunnell
Beginner Workout Program (838)

It’s actually less of a guide, and more of a simple program – but I thought Beginner Workout Program (838) (PDF) for anyone looking to get started in the weight room.

I recently created a foundational program for a weight lifting novice. The program hits all the major muscle groups, and provides 2 alternating workouts: workout A, a push day; workout B, a pull day. If you are a man, or a woman – the program (or any program) will be equally applicable. For more on this outlandish statement – read here.

Input Sheet

Each exercise is composed of sets. Between each set take approximately 2-3 minutes of rest. Each set will be composed of repetitions, which are the number of times you complete the weight lifting motion. This workout calls for 5 exercises per workout, 1 warm-up set & 3 working sets for each exercise, and 6-8 repetitions per exercise.

For each exercise, the approach is as follows:

  1. Do 1 warm-up set with a weight that is light enough that you can do 12 repetitions easily
  2. For the first working (or real) set, choose as much weight as you can do for 8 repetitions
  3. If you can do more than eight repetitions, increase your weight so that you can no longer do 8 reps per set. It’s ok if you can only do 6 reps at the new weight. Maintain at the new weight until you can increase above 8.
  4. The final repetitions of each set should be a struggle – Lifting weights is work, and you should push yourself as far as you can at each opportunity.

Workout A - Push day
Workout A – Push Day

Guidelines for the program:

  • Get Clearance – Make sure you’re medically cleared to lift weights – see your doctor
  • Get Advice – Have someone who knows what they’re doing show you how to do the exercises properly – Either a Professional trainer, or someone of equivalent knowledge (not the guy at the local gym who spends all day talking to anybody who’ll give him the time of day)
  • Stretch before and after you lift – Flexibility is very important – and something that I need to develop more of (At one point I was very flexible, but times have changed)
    Set goals, track your goals, and record your daily progress
  • Eat properly – Make sure you get enough protein! Make sure you eat enough of fruits and veggies! If you pound meat (low cholesterol meat) and fruits and veggies all day, you won’t have any temptation to eat crap.
  • Sleep enough – This is one where I fall short – It’s recommended to sleep 7 hours a day – If you sleep more than that, you will die earlier, less than that, you will not develop your body, and will also die earlier

Workout B - Pull day
Workout B – Pull Day

Resources I used for putting this program together (and whenever I need training information):

  • exrx.net - One of the best and cleanest resources around
  • T-Nation – Excellent articles by some outstanding writers (Including John Berardi)
  • Bodybuilding.com – There are pre-made programs, and exercises
  • JohnBerardi.com – Great articles here. He’s one of my most trusted sources of workout knowledge.

2 Responses to “A Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting & Strength Training”

  1. Very good article.look forward to more informative reads like this.

  2. Russ Egan says:

    One of the best tips that you have there is about sleeping enough. A lot of people don’t understand the importance of rest and recovery. It is when you are not at the gym that the real gains occur as the muscle heals itself bigger and stronger than before. If you are not giving your body enough time to recovery, then you are not working to your full potential.

    Russ Egan

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