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Week Beginners Training Routine



Designed for absolute beginners to get their joints, tendons and muscles ready weight training. If you have never trained with weights, the routine is for you.
Everyone has to start somewhere. If you have never trained with weights before, you need a routine to get your muscles prepared for more serious training. It's essential that you complete a full body routine (like the one in this article) for 12 weeks before starting a split routine.
If you're new to the gym and working out, head over to our forum and get some advice to make sure you're on the right path and don't waste your gym time!

Weeks 1-6: Total Body Circuit Workout
  • Complete the following on two non-consecutive days per week.
  • During the first three weeks, do each exercise for one set of 15 reps: during the last three weeks, do two sets of 12 reps for bodyparts indicated (using a slightly heavier weight on all sets)
Weeks 1-3:
  Bodypart   Exercise   Sets   Reps
  Quads/Glutes   Leg Press   1   15
  Hamstrings   Lying Leg Curl   1   15
  Upper Back   Seated Cable Row   1   15
  Chest   Flat Bench Press   1   15
  Shoulders   Dumbbell press   1   15
  Traps   Dumbbell shrug   1   15
  Triceps   Pushdown   1   15
  Biceps   Barbell curl   1   15
  Lower Back   Back extension   1   15
  Calves   Standing calf raise   1   15
  Forearms   Barbell wrist curl   1   15
  Abdominals   Crunches   1   15

Weeks 4-6:
  Bodypart   Exercise   Sets   Reps
  Quads/Glutes   Leg Press   2   12
  Hamstrings   Lying Leg Curl   2   12
  Upper Back   Seated Cable Row   2   12
  Chest   Flat Bench Press   2   12
  Shoulders   Dumbbell press   2   12
  Traps   Dumbbell shrug   2   12
  Triceps   Pushdown   2   12
  Biceps   Barbell curl   2   12
  Lower Back   Back extension   2   12
  Calves   Standing calf raise   2   12
  Forearms   Barbell wrist curl   2   12
  Abdominals   Crunches   2   12

Weeks 7 – 12 : Split Workout with Increased Intensity
  • Divide your body into two parts (upper and lower), increasing weight training days to three non consecutive days per week (i.e., Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
  • Alternate between the two exercise routines. In the first week, you'll end up doing Workout 1 twice, while in the second week you'll do workout 2 twice etc.
  • Do sets and reps as indicated.
  • Rest 60-90 seconds between the sets.
  • Choose exercise alternates on occasion to work the muscles a little differently
Workout 1: Upper Body
  Bodypart   Exercise   Sets   Reps
  Chest   Flat Dumbbell Press   2   10-12
    Pec Dec Fly   1   10-12
  Upper Back   1 arm dumbbell row   2   10-12
    Seated Cable Row   1   10-12
  Shoulders   Seated dumbbell press   2   10-12
    Dumbbell lateral raise   1   10-12
  Traps   Dumbbell shrug   2   10-15
  Triceps   Pushdown   2   10-12
  Biceps   Barbell curl   2   10-12
  Forearms   Barbell wrist curl   2   10-12

Workout 2: Lower Body
  Bodypart   Exercise   Sets   Reps
  Quads/Glutes   Smith machine squats   1   8-12
  Quads   Leg extension   1   10-12
  Hamstrings   Lying leg curl   1   10-12
  Lower Back   Back extension   1   20-30
  Calves   Standing calf raise   1   12-15
  Abdominals   Crunches   2   15-40
    Reverse crunch   2   15-30

Exercise for Beginners - Setting Up a Complete Program
A well-rounded program includes cardio, weight training and flexibility. Knowing how to put these together in a week of workouts can be confusing. Should you do cardio and strength training on the same day? Which one should you do first? This will depend on your goals, schedule and fitness level, which means there are endless ways to set up your workout program. Below are some basic guidelines for getting started with a complete exercise program.

For Beginners: You should start slowly with a basic cardio program and a full body resistance training routine. You'll want to have recovery days to allow your body to rest and your muscles to heal from your new routine. A typical beginner program will include about 3 days of cardio and 2 days of strength training. If you're not sure about your fitness level, you can take the quiz, What's Your Fitness Level? to get insight and resources to help you get started. Below is a sample schedule just to give you an idea of a typical week of workouts.

Sample Routine for Beginning Exercisers

Monday:
Cardio 20-30 minutes. You can choose from one of the following Sample Cardio Workouts:
  • Beginner Stationary Bike
  • Beginner Walking Workout
  • Beginner Elliptical Workout
Tuesday:
Total Body Strength and core training. You can choose from one of the following Sample Strength Workouts
  • Beginner Total Body Strength
  • Beginner Total Body Strength - Level 2
  • Beginner Total Body Strength - Level 3
Wednesday:
Rest or gentle yoga/stretching

Thursday:
Cardio-20-30 minutes. You can choose from one of the following Sample Cardio Workouts
  • Beginner Stationary Bik
  • Beginner Walking Workout
  • Beginner Elliptical Workout
Friday:
Total Body Strength and core training. You can choose from one of the following Sample Strength Workouts
  • Beginner Total Body Strength
  • Beginner Total Body Strength - Level 2
  • Beginner Total Body Strength - Level 3
Saturday:
Cardio-20-30 minutes. You can choose from one of the following Sample Cardio Workouts
  • Beginner Stationary Bike
  • Beginner Walking Workout
  • Beginner Elliptical Workout
For Intermediate Exercisers: If you've been exercising for a while and your goal is to lose weight, you want to shoot for 20-60 minutes of cardio about 5 or more times a week. Your strength training schedule will depend on what type of workouts you're doing (e.g., total body training or a split routine). You can do cardio and weight training on the same day, depending on your time constraints. It doesn't matter which one you do first, so vary your routine and try different combinations to find the one that is right for you.

Sample Split Routine for Upper and Lower Body

Monday:
30-Minute Cardio Medley Workout, Upper Body Training

Tuesday:
45-Minute Treadmill Interval Workout, Core Training

Wednesday:
30-Minute Low Impact Cardio Blast Workout (2 circuits), Lower body

Thursday:
Rest, stretch or yoga

Friday:
Total Body Strength or Circuit Training

Saturday:
Cardio-60 minutes, stretch

For Intermediate/Advanced Exercisers:
If you're more advanced, you can split your routine further, focusing more attention on each muscle group. You can also increase the intensity of your cardio, incorporating interval training and other advanced techniques to burn calories and build endurance.

Sample Split Routing for Advanced Exercisers:

Monday: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, HIIT Cardio

Tuesday:
Lower Body and Core

Wednesday:
Back & Biceps, Boredom Buster Cardio

Thursday:
Rest, stretch or yoga

Friday:
Basic Total Body Strength

Saturday:
Advanced Intense Intervals