• Beginner Workout Plan

    beginner workoutThe Plan:  A 3-day, full body, workout plan for those newer to lifting.   It is appropriate for multiple phases (reset, cut, or maintenance).  This Beginner Workout routine will allow you to become more familiar with the gym, and get your muscles accustomed to lifting heavier loads.  For safety purposes, this plan is mostly machine based.  If you are brand new to all exercise, feel free to start with only 1-2 days of exercise, and 1-2 sets of each exercise and take longer rests as needed.  Progress to the full amount of days/sets/reps as your body adapts.  (“Sets” = the number of times you repeat the required amount of “reps,” or repetitions, per exercise before moving on to the next)

    Weights:   Begin every weight session with a 5-10 minute warmup on a cardio machine, and 1-2 warmup sets of each exercise (using lighter weight).  Then proceed to select a weight that presents a slight struggle for the last few reps.  Remember to keep track of your weight selection, and increase weight whenever possible.  If you can do 2-3 more reps than specified with your chosen weight, your weight is too light, and it is time to increase.  You must push yourself for maximum results, so once you are familiar with the exercise, every set should be challenging.  There must be at least 48 hours in between each day in this program. Do not perform any days back to back, due to the nature of the exercises targeting similar muscles. End with 5-10 minutes of stretching, while the muscle is still warm to prevent injury.

    Cardio: 2 days of optional cardio included in the plan.  If you are accustomed to cardio only workouts, and are pressed for time, skip the cardio options, until your schedule permits.  Cardio has many benefits, but so does lifting.  Incorporating them both is best, but to get the max from this plan,  the weights take priority.  Once you see how your body responds to lifting, cardio can be performed as desired for fun or to help aid in recovery.  If performing cardio and weights on the same day, opt to do weights first (this doesn’t include the warm-up done before weights). If including more than 2 cardio days, choose to lower intensity every other session to reduce leg swelling. Be mindful, though, that the amount of cardio that you intend on doing is figured into your food allowance.

    Food:  For best results, eat at TDEE (maintenance) or cut.  This is to provide sufficient energy for lifts, yet also maximize fat loss.  The EM2WL weight loss calculator (set goal at “lose fat, -15%”) will give you an idea of your best calorie range for losing body-fat, with minimal muscle loss.  Attempt to eat 1-1.2g of protein per lb of lean body mass, or 30-35% of your calorie intake, and sufficient carbs (around 40-45% of your total intake), mostly surrounding your workouts. (If diabetic, insulin sensitive, etc., eat carbs as per doctor/nutritionist orders).

    **Follow plan for 4-6 weeks**

    Day 1

    Done straight set fashion.  Finish all sets for that exercise before moving to the next.  Rest 45-60 seconds between set.

    Exercise:

    Reps

    Sets

    Chest- Machine Chest press   10,10,12,12 4
    Back – Machine row   10 3
    Legs –Leg press
      10 3
    Shoulders – Cable lateral raise
      10 3
    Legs -Hamstring curl
      10 3
    Legs – Standing calf raise
      15 2
    TricepsV-bar pressdown
      10,10,12,12 4
    Abs – Crunch   15 2

     

    ~Rest/Yoga/Cardio (opt.)~

     

     Day 2

    Done straight set fashion.  Finish all sets for that exercise before moving to the next.  Rest 45-60 seconds between set.

    Exercise:

    Reps

    Sets

    Back Lat Pulldown 10,10,12,12 4
    Chest -Machine Incline press
    10 3
    Back -Leverage Isolated row
    10 3
    Legs Leg extension 10 3
    ShouldersCable Front Raise
    10 3
    Legs – Walking lunges
    10 3
    Biceps – Machine Preacher Curl 10 3
    Legs – Seated Calf Raises
    15 2

     

    ~Rest/Yoga/Cardio (opt.)~

     

    Day 3


    Exercise:

    Reps

    Sets

    Chest -Pec Dec Machine/ Dumbbell flye 10 3
    Back – Machine High row
    12 3
    Legs – Lying Hamstring Curls
    10,10,12,12 4
    Shoulders – Machine OH press
    10,10,12,12 4
    Shoulders – Reverse pec dec flye
    10 3
    LegsLeg press
    10,10,12,12 4
    Triceps – Machine tricep extension
    10 3
    Abs – Reverse Crunch 15 2

     

    More of a visual person? Check out the “at-a-glance” options, by clicking on the desired day.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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8 Responsesso far.

  1. Sunnie says:

    I want to start lifting/strength training, but have no access to a gym and limited weights. Is there a plan that modifies exercises that use machines?

  2. Sunnie Bass says:

    So what do we do if we have no acess to a gym or weight machines? all i have are free weights. Do you have an alternative plan?

  3. Diane Talbot says:

    I have a home gym with free weights and would like the beginner program to be used at home. I have a bench that inclines Thank you!

  4. For beginners, it’s better to reduce the repetitions of the sets and increase thereafter. It will be a challenging and a painful experience for them while lifting more weights at beginning.

  5. Lenora says:

    Hello ladies! I would like to incorporate weight training into my exercise program and I would like to start with the beginner workout above. One question please….are the warm up sets included in the total number of recommended sets for each exercise? Thanks

    • EM2WL says:

      Hi,

      Yes one warm up set is included whenever a new body part is introduced in the workout (that is when you’ll notice that there’s one extra set than others). But feel free to do 2 or more warm up sets (or 5-10 min cardio beforehand) on your very first exercise of the day to make sure that you are completely warm before starting.

      Let us know how you do!

  6. Karli says:

    Ok, I feel a little silly, but I don’t understand when there are multiple numbers for the reps. Example: Chest-Reps:10,10,12,12 – Sets:4. Does that mean 4 sets of 42? Thanks for helping out a newbie :) Thank you for this example plan.

    • EM2WL says:

      Hey Karli! No problem! Glad you asked :). When there are multiple numbers you just follow them in order. So if it says 10,10,12,12 – you would do 10 reps – rest, another 10 reps -rest, then 12 reps -rest, & 12 reps again. Then you’re all done with your 4 sets (as each rep/rest period counts as one of your “sets”) – Hope that made sense? Lol