Beginner weight training is all about the “newb gains”. Beginners who have never picked up a dumbbell or followed a weight lifting program will experience great gains in the beginning. You will easily put on more muscle than any other time – weight training. You won’t be as strong or lift heavy weight like you will later, but enjoy the “newb gains”.
The best advice I can give a person who is new to lifting weights is to start with weight that will allow you to lift with perfect form. Leave your ego at the door and learn the movements with very strict form. You can only do this with light weight. Make small increases in weight once you have the right form, and your muscles can handle the weight. It’s very easy to get caught up in the whole “throwing weight around”.
You can do that later, but in the beginning, work on range of motion and form. Beginner weight training is all about learning. Learn how to lift correctly from the start to avoid injuries down the road. Light weight and proper form trumps heavy weight and poor form.
I recommend those new to weight training to start with an easy to follow beginners weight program. Don’t try to start with strength training programs like the 5×5 or 531. Those type of lifting programs are for intermediate to advanced lifters. Your “newb gains” will carry you for a while before you plateau. Whole body training is a great place for beginners to start. This will get your body and muscles ready for the more advanced split routines and heavy training days.
Beginner Weight Training: Making Gains
Train your whole body three times a week or every other day, allowing your body at least one to two days to recover. When you’re in the gym, focus on your lifts with mind-muscle connection. Think about the movement and the muscle/muscles you’re using during that lift. Training your mind to lift is as equally important as training your muscles. You’ll learn later how the mind and CNS plays a big role in your weight training. Try to progress and lift more each week, without sacrificing form.
Find a program that includes and focuses on whole body or core movements like: squats, deadlifts and bench press. These lifts will make you stronger and you’ll also grow faster. Make sure you do these three exercises properly. If not, you can definitely injure yourself. Squats can give you knee, back and hip pain if not performed properly. Deadlifts can ruin your back if not done properly and you can tear a pec or tricep while bench pressing – if not done correctly.
Give your body adequate rest in between sets and workouts. Two minutes is a good time to rest between sets for beginners. If you need more than two minutes, you might need to improve your cardio and/or use lighter weight. Do some light to moderate cardio for 20-30 minutes on days you don’t train.
Beginner Weight Training: Tips & Techniques:
Focus on progression and getting stronger each week. Start cleaning your diet up and learning as much about weight training and nutrition as you can. There is a lot of good information and people out there willing to help you make gains. I’d also recommend keeping a log of your workouts when starting out. Track how much you’re lifting, reps and the sets. This will help you track your progression and gains. Take advantage of your newbie gains – cause they won’t always be around. One of these days (down the road), you’ll have to work hard for every ounce of muscle.
Good information in this bull body workout video for beginners.