The Beginner Weight
© Steve Holt
March 4, 2008
Here’s a quick and dirty “how-to” on weight training,
designed to get you into the gym with a minimal amount of fuss.
For our purposes, the body can be divided into five main
regions. They are back, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs. You cannot leave out
a region, even if you don’t care what it looks like or if you’re happy with the
way it looks. For example, when I first started lifting weights I had no
interest in training legs. I wanted a better looking upper body, and thought my
legs were fine the way they were. If you do leave out a region, it will soon
catch up with you. You will end up being out of proportion, you’ll look
strange, and – most importantly - injuries will occur. Work on all five regions
of the body.
Beginner Compound Exercise Routine (2 Day
- Start with 5 minutes on the exercise bike or walking on
the treadmill to warm the body. Definitely not more than 10 minutes of
light aerobic work here. Then it’s off to the weight room
- Prior to each exercise, have a “warm-up set” at 50% of the
intended working weight.
- Make your movements slow and controlled.
- Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
- Sip water between exercises.
- Finish up with another 5-10 minutes on the bike.
Reps = repetitions. How many times you lift the weight without
Sets = When you put the weight down and rest for a couple of
minutes, you have completed 1 set.
3x8 means you must do 3 sets, each set consisting of 8 reps.
Day 1 -
Chest - Bench Press 3x8
Chest – Pec Deck Machine
Back – Lat Pulldown Machine 3x8-10
Back - Seated Row 3x10
Delt - DB Shoulder Press
Delt - DB Lateral Raise 3x12
Day 2 – Legs, Arms
Quads – Leg Press 5x8
Quads – Leg Extension
Quads – Leg curl Machine
Calf - Standing Calf Machine
Biceps – Seated DB Curl
Triceps – V-Bar Cable
- Find your working weight for each exercise. This takes
some trial-and-error. You need to find how much weight to lift and in
order to complete the required number of reps. For example, our first
exercise in the list is Bench Press. You’re going to do 3 sets of 8 reps
each. You need to find the weight such that when you get to your 8th
rep in each set, you can get it done, but it’s not easy. (You would fail
on your 9th or 10th rep.) That’s the appropriate
weight for the exercise. It takes a bit of time to find these numbers.
- After Day 2, take a rest day, then repeat. Typically, you
might try Mon 1, Tues 2, Wed Rest, Thu 1, Fri 2, Sat rest, Sun rest.
- Do this for eight weeks. During the eight weeks, increase
the weight incrementally as you get stronger (which you will), so that you
maintain the same muscle stress and thus you can barely do the last rep of
- After 8 weeks, it will be time to move on to something