Help! I don’t know were to start.

I recently met with a friend who wanted me to help her start a weight training routine. She has minimal time to spend working out before her 5 kiddos wake up each morning. She is truly an inspiration to me as I only have 2 children and rarely will you find me waking up before them to get my workout in. I usually cart them to the gym in the afternoon or nighttime so I can get some “me time” while they play at the gym daycare. My friend told me how helpful the routine was along with the tips I shared. She said that I should share more information for beginners who want to lift but have no idea where to start. So, today I will share with you a lifting schedule specifically for beginners. If you have been lifting for some time you could still follow his plan and still see results. This is a great plan for beginners and those who have a smaller window of time to try and fit in a workout at home workout. It’s no “8 minute abs” but you will save commute time to and from the gym and it  takes less time than many other workout routines. 

All you need is dumbbells and exercise ball (no gym required!) A treadmill or elliptical would be helpful if you would like to fit in some cardio, but it’s not a must. If you have a lack of space for dumbbells, you can buy  a pair that can have weight adjusted (like these that go up to 25lbs each).

free weights and exercise ball

A fat burning routine just isn’t complete without some sort of resistance training. Cardio may help you shed some weight, but add in lifting and you can transform your body. And some less vain reasons to lift weights 😉 are:

There are different ways to go about lifting. You can do a total body routine in one day (and repeat that a few times each week) or you can focus on different muscle groups. Each technique has it’s pluses and minuses. This plan separates muscle groups. It’s a 4 day plan but you could easily make it into a 3 day  plan by combining back and biceps with shoulder.  I have labeled each day but you can do any muscle group any day you like depending on what your schedule permits. I have the week starting on Tuesday because if you lift legs Saturday you then have 2 days for your legs to recover before you do any kind of cardio again (if you choose to do cardio).

Start each workout by warming up with some dynamic stretches.

Give yourself about a minute rest in-between sets and lifts.

Do each set to “failure” (the last rep in each set should be extremely difficult-where you couldn’t do another one with proper form) or near failure.

Maker sure you watch your form on each exercise to avoid injury and get the most out of your lift.

If you would like to see a video demonstration just click on any of the exercise links below.

4 day lifting routine:

Tuesday: Back and Biceps

Wednesday: chest/triceps/abs

Friday: shoulders

Saturday: legs

So there you have it, no gym needed. Cardio is optional so if you have a treadmill, great, if not no biggie since this plan doesn’t require running of any kind. If you can run outside and would like to, even better!

Now you may be thinking, “Why is cardio optional? How will I burn fat?” Cardio is optional for the first 3-4 weeks of your beginners plan for a few reasons:

  1. First, you don’t want to get burnt out by doing too much too quick. How many people do you see in January in brand new workout clothes who are super excited for their new workout routine for their brand new New Years resolution? LOTS. And how many of those people are still going in February… or March? Not many. Half of the problem is those people take on much more than they can handle right away. Sure they can keep it up for a week or maybe even a month. But over the long haul, they probably wont last. By adding cardio in after getting a good foundation and your body has time to adjust to the changes you are making to your workout routine.
  2. Second, all your calories will go to muscle growth. If you cut out cardio and focus on lifting alone for a bit then the food you eat will go towards muscle growth rather than getting burnt up from all that cardio. And yes, this is a good thing. Women, you won’t bulk up and look like men (We just aren’t built that way, and the women who do look like that are taking supplements and eating massive amounts of food. You can’t accidently get huge). AND, all that lean muscle mass you are building will speed up your metabolism. Lifting weights burns calories while you are lifting and after you lift (thanks to your new muscles).

Disclaimer: However, if you work out all day but still make poor food choices you wont get the results you desire (unless said desired results are higher body fat percentage). You can’t out run, out lift, or out burpee what you eat. Portion control and clean eating are what has worked best for me. Combined with lifting and some moderate cardio I have gotten my best results. Notice I do say “my”. I understand that everyone is different. Everyone is different (some have different body types, hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues etc…). Some people are blessed with amazing metabolisms and barely have to lift a finger to look and feel amazing. Others struggle in the gym and can’t look at a doughnut without gaining a pound of fat. However, the vast majority of people will find great benefits from adding a good lifting routine into their workout week as well as eating clean (or cleaner).

If you would like some beginners tips check out my latest post “15 Basic Lifting Tips“.

Have any questions are comments? Feel free to post in the comment section below.

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1 Response

  1. November 20, 2014

    […] Set weekly goals: Plan out what you will do each day for an entire week. If I write that I’m going to do 5 different lifts one day I will do them all. If I go into the gym having no idea what I plan to do, I may slack off and only do 3 avoiding my least favorite lifts. If you are looking for a beginner’s lifting routine check out this post which includes a basic lifting plan. […]

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