Weight training for beginners

If you decide to add some weight training to your workout regime, it can be quite daunting. Many people start out by visiting a gym and end up discouraged as there’s so much equipment and so many options that they don’t know where to start. Instructors, although well trained and well meaning, design programs that include many exercises so that every major muscle group is trained.

If you are looking to constrain costs, you might decide to buy your own weight training gear and work out at home. But you still need to decide what to do. And then you’re back in the same place where there are literally hundreds of exercises to choose from.

What do you do?

I’m going to make a suggestion. Weight training is really quite simple. Although, there are hundreds of exercises to choose from, you can create an effective program that will work all your major muscles with just a few exercises. The secret is to focus on compound exercises. These work several major muscle groups at the same time.

The exercises

My suggestion is to start with a small number of exercises. There are four I’d focus on.

Deadlifts
Squats
Bench press
Rows or pull-ups

I’d also add some crunches and planks to strengthen your abdominals and core muscles.

There are plenty of guides on YouTube on how to perform these exercises correctly. When you start out, keep the weights light and focus on form and technique. You might use lighter weights initially, but you’ll protect your body from injury.

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Equipment

The great thing is that you can do all of these with just a set of dumbbells when you start outalthough a barbell will be handy as well.

There’s no need to buy a bench straight away- an exercise ball is far cheaper and will suffice.

If you’re not ready for weights, there are good bodyweight variations of these exercise (I’m a fan of one-legged squats) that you can use. The great thing is that you can use those variations anywhere – even when you’re travelling.

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