With an intense and effective weight training program, fitness buffs can jump-start their bodybuilding journey to improve strength, balance, and endurance.
In this article:
- Bust Out Some Front Squats
- Squeeze in Some Three-Point Dumbbell Rows
- Strengthen the Upper Body with Some Push-Ups
- Sculpt a Lean Butt with the Single-leg Bridge
- Stretch the Pecs with Some Dumbbell Pullovers
- Train the Abs with Some Planks
- Complement Weight Training Workout Plan with Other Routines
- Decide on Weightlifting Goals
- Give Weight Training Some Rest
- Focus Also on the Range of Motion
Weight Training for Beginners | Step-by-Step Workout Plan
Step 1: Bust Out Some Front Squats
Perhaps the best way to start one’s weight training routine is with some intense compound movements that work different major muscle groups, such as the squat.
Front squats are heavy-weight training exercises that focus on the quads while working the glutes, calves, and hammies.
- Stand inside a squat rack and place the bar about chest high.
- Place the bar across the shoulders, grab the bar tight, and assume a shoulder-width apart foot stance with the toes slightly pointing outward.
- While keeping a straight back, lower the body by bending the knees until they hit a 90-degree angle.
- Once the thighs are parallel to the ground, drive the heels down to the ground to push the body back up to the starting position. This is one rep.
- Do 2-3 sets of 8 reps
Note: Be careful when lifting heavy weights. To prevent injury, one should always mind their form when doing a squat.
Step 2: Squeeze in Some Three-Point Dumbbell Rows
When strength training for weight loss, one needs to perform heavy isolation movements that target specific muscle groups.
The three-point dumbbell row is an intense move that isolates the lats while working the traps and rhomboids at the same time.
- Place a dumbbell on each side of a flat bench.
- Put the right knee on the bench, bend down until the torso is parallel to the floor, and then plant the right hand on the bench below the shoulders for support.
- Grab a dumbbell using the left hand then pull the weight up toward the chest.
- Squeeze the lats for one count before releasing the weight back down. This is one rep.
- Do 2 sets of 12 reps on each side.
Step 3: Strengthen the Upper Body with Some Push-Ups
The push-up is one of the most popular bodyweight training exercises. In fact, it has been a favorite since the dawn of fitness.
It’s a great exercise both beginners and advanced gym-goers can benefit from. It mainly works the pecs while strengthening the forearms, biceps, and deltoids, as well.
- Place hands about shoulder-width apart on the ground, extend legs behind the body, and keep a straight back. This is the starting position.
- Once in a stable position, bend elbows to lower the body until they’re just a few inches away from the floor.
- Push down on the ground to lift the body back up to the starting position. This is one rep.
- Do 2 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Tip: Are these too easy? Gym-goers who want to ramp it up can try doing more intense push-up variations.
Step 4: Sculpt a Lean Butt with the Single-leg Bridge
This is perfect for gym-goers who are weight training for weight loss. Apart from sculpting a solid pair of glutes, the single-leg bridge also strengthens the core.
This isolation exercise can surely add more definition to the glutes, hammies, and quads.
- Lie on the back, plant feet firm on the ground, keep arms at the sides, and bend the knees.
- Raise the left leg up until it extends straight in front. This is the starting position.
- Drive the right heel down on the ground to push the body up toward the ceiling.
- Squeeze the glutes at the top then lower the body back down to the ground. This counts as one rep.
- Do two sets of 12 reps on each side.
Step 5: Stretch the Pecs with Some Dumbbell Pullovers
Dumbbell pullovers are great weight training exercises that focus on stretching and widening the pecs. It’s the perfect move to end a solid weightlifting workout plan.
The key here is to perform slow controlled movements. Make sure to place the load on the chest, not the forearms or triceps.
Also, start by using weights one can comfortably lower and lift behind the head. Using weights that are too heavy may lead to accidents.
- Grab a dumbbell with both hands, lie down on a flat bench, and then extend arms straight in front. This is the starting position.
- Carefully lower the weight down behind the head as deep as possible.
- Hold for one count then lift the weight up back to the starting position.
- Do two sets of 12 repetitions.
RELATED: Best Workout To Gain Muscle
Step 6: Train the Abs with Some Planks
End this intense weight training session with a core-strengthening, abs-sculpting exercise: the plank. It helps sculpt abdominal muscles while improving balance, strength, and lean muscle mass.
It might seem easy, but it definitely takes 100% of one’s focus to finish even just a 60-second set.
- Assume a pillar position keeping the legs together and back straight.
- Make sure the torso is parallel to the ground.
- Squeeze the abs and core muscles and then hold for 60 seconds without rest.
- Rest and then repeat one more time for a total of two repetitions.
Tip: To burn more calories, combine planks with some intense HIIT weight training exercises. It’s the perfect routine for fitness buffs who are dead set on shedding fat fast.
Pillar Position Definition: Similar to a push-up position but the forearms are flat on the ground and the elbows bend at 90 degrees.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT is a form of training that shifts between quick bursts of intense exercise and leisurely breaks.
Step 7: Complement Weight Training Workout Plan with Other Routines
For the longest time, there’s always the question of whether weight training and cardio (or resistance training) should mix.
The answer is yes as all of them can complement one another. To understand this, it’s important to define them.
- Resistance training is a strength training program that involves improving the muscles by letting them work against a certain force. A typical resistance training routine can involve free weights or bands, although a person can also use their body weight.
- Cardio endurance training is a program that raises the heart rate for a certain period. These include plyometric exercises and vertical jump.
What are plyometric exercises? These are types of exercises that encourage muscle power by increasing speed and strength.
Cardio exercises can help increase the supply of oxygen in the body, which the cells use for energy production. They also increase endurance so a person can perform a routine or workout for a long period.
Resistance training is necessary to increase the function of the muscles and reduce common health issues such as back pain, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia or muscle wasting.
Step 8: Decide on Weightlifting Goals
People lift weights for a variety of reasons. Some do it for muscle strength gains—they just want to feel strong.
Others may want to increase muscle mass or muscle size in a process known as hypertrophy. This is one effective way to appear bulky.
Then there are some people who want to work only on particular major muscle groups. For example, they may want to have broader shoulders, more defined biceps and triceps, or leaner-looking arms.
The reason for weightlifting is one of the bases for drafting a weight training program. It can determine the best types of exercises such as bicep curls or weightlifting pullovers.
The goal will also provide the criteria that can help both the person and the trainer monitor the progress and adjust the program when necessary.
Step 9: Give Weight Training Some Rest
Lifting weights, resistance exercises, and other forms of strength and conditioning programs are what a person needs to promote muscle growth or leaner arms.
They, however, are not exercises one should do on a daily basis. It’s essential a person gives their body a time to rest and recover.
Here’s why: when a person lifts weights, performs resistance exercises, or does other activities that work on the muscles, they are affecting the muscle fibers.
In fact, these fibers develop tears. Proper nutrition such as sufficient protein intake and supplements can then encourage healing for these muscles.
In turn, the muscles begin to build more layers until a person experiences an increase in muscle size. Allowing oneself to rest will provide these hardworking muscles enough time to repair themselves and prevent possible workout injuries.
Resting can also be good for the heart and blood pressure. When a person exercises, blood pressure tends to increase due to more blood being pumped.
When not in the training session, a person can work on improving muscle growth and strength with supplements such as Battle Ready Fuel Build Muscle and Mass Bundle.
The question is, how often should you do them? On average, it’s already okay to do resistance and weight training three times a week.
The best people who can help one decide are their doctors and trainers. After all, the priority is still safety.
Step 10: Also Focus on the Range of Motion
When it comes to a weight exercise program or any other workout for that matter, sometimes, it’s not only the number of reps that matter, so does a person’s form and even range of motion.
What is the range of motion? Also known as ROM, it refers to how far the joints can go without resulting in injury.
ROM offers many benefits such as exercising the bones, joints, and muscles, making them more flexible. Others also claim that ROM can speed up muscle growth or hypertrophy due to maximum stretching and contraction.
Note, though, not all full range-of-motion exercises may be beneficial. For example, a full ROM bench press may potentially lead to a shoulder injury, especially if the person already has a poor form.
Brett, a personal trainer, shares an effective at-home workout with free weight exercises courtesy of DoctorOz in this video:
This is just a simple guide to weight training for runners, wrestlers, and football players, among other fitness buffs. What’s important is to engage in physical activity for at least a few minutes whether it’s at the gym, during work, at home, or even on vacation.
Remember that the quickest way to build rock-hard muscles is to combine regular anaerobic and aerobic exercise with a healthy meal plan.
If one doesn’t eat the right nutrients, the body won’t have enough energy to stimulate the repair and growth of muscle tissues. Create a weight training routine that suits your needs and stick to it, no excuses!
Have you tried these weight training exercises? Share your fitness journey with us in the comments section down below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 4, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.