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  • EXERCISE NUTRITION EDUCATION

  • LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR JANUARY 25% OFF

  • EXERCISE NUTRITION EDUCATION

  • LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR JANUARY 25% OFF

  • EXERCISE NUTRITION EDUCATION

  • LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR JANUARY 25% OFF

Beginner's Weights Workout Routine

If you are new to the world of resistance training, then implementing this three day routine would be a pretty solid start! If you only have two days available that you can dedicate to weight training, then eradicate "day three" and only perform the first two.

1. Workout sample

2. Determining total volume

3. Volume performed

4. Isolation movements

5. Rest between sets

6. Progression on the novice routine

7. How to change the routine over time

 

 

DAY ONE
MONDAY

A1. FLAT BARBELL BENCH PRESS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 12 SECONDS REST

B1. BARBELL ROW: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

C1. MILITARY PRESS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

D1. SIDE DELT RAISE: 3 SETS, 8-10 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 60 SECONDS REST

E1. ROPE FACE PULL: 3 SETS, 8-10 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 60 SECONDS REST

F1. BACK SQUAT: 4 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 180 SECONDS REST

G1. STIFF LEG DEADLIFT: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 180 SECONDS REST

 

DAY TWO
WEDNESDAY

A1. INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

B1. PULL UPS OR LAT PULL DOWN: 4 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

C1. INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS: 2 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

D1. CABLE TRICEP EXTENSIONS: 3 SETS, 8-10 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 60 SECONDS REST

E1. DUMBBELL HAMMER CURLS: 3 SETS, 8-10 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 60 SECONDS REST

F1. LEG PRESS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

G1. SUMO DEADLIFTS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

 

DAY THREE
FRIDAY

A1. FLAT BARBELL BENCH PRESS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 12 SECONDS REST

B1. BARBELL ROW: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

C1. MILITARY PRESS: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 120 SECONDS REST

D1. SIDE DELT RAISE: 3 SETS, 8-10 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 60 SECONDS REST

E1. ROPE FACE PULL: 3 SETS, 8-10 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 60 SECONDS REST

F1. BACK SQUAT: 4 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 180 SECONDS REST

G1. STIFF LEG DEADLIFT: 3 SETS, 8 REPS, 3010 TEMPO, 180 SECONDS REST

 

DETERMINING TOTAL VOLUME

A 2007 meta-analysis compiled data from a multitude of training studies to provide evidence-based training recommendations.

They found that training every muscle group 2-to-3 times per week with 30-60 repetitions per training session appears to produce the most favourable results. This comes down to a weekly volume range of 60-180 reps per muscle group (Wernbom et al., 2007).

The above example routine does just that, it uses those training recommendations as a starting point.

 

VOLUME PERFORMED

Considering novice lifters do not need to perform a lot of volume to grow, we will opt for the lower end of the provided volume range (60-90 repetitions per muscle group in a week). If we take into account that compound movements target several muscle groups, we see that these volume goals are met well in the full-body routine (Gentil et al., 2013).

The rep ranges in this routine are kept moderate assuming that novice lifters (more often than not) haven’t yet perfect their lifting form (Riley et al., 2015). The 8-to-10 rep range provides plenty of resistance, while leaving room for some “practice reps.”

For the compound movements, you need to pick a weight that you can perform around 8 repetitions on all 3 sets. For the isolation movements, pick a weight that you can perform for 8-10 repetitions on all 3 sets. This means you do not go to complete failure on your first set, because you still have more sets to go with that given weight.

 

ISOLATION MOVEMENTS

The prescribed isolation movements will allow you to focus on those muscles that typically get neglected during compound movements.

The military press for example has been shown to be a front-deltoid dominant movement, so additional side and rear deltoid work is necessary to effectively train all three heads of the shoulder (Saeterbakken et al., 2013).

And even though the push and pull movements will target your arms to an extent, this routine contains arm isolation exercises too which are to be performed once per week so you can rest assured, your biceps and triceps get the volume required in order to help maximise growth (Radaelli et al., 2015).

Because we are at the beginner stage and to prevent very long training sessions, abdominal and calf training has been left out. If those are however lagging body-parts, simply add 4 sets of calf raises (8-10 reps per set) and 4 sets of hanging leg raises (8-10 reps per set) 2-to-3 times per week.

 

REST BETWEEN SETS

Your main goal in training should be to overload your muscles. Progressively putting more tension on your muscles by making volume increases over time has been suggested to be the main driver of muscle growth (Goldberg et al., 1975).

Let’s assume however you only take 30 seconds of rest between sets, the amount of weight you can lift in subsequent sets is almost guaranteed to decrease due to fatigue (Souza-Junior et al., 2011).

You must therefore give yourself enough rest between sets (around 2-3 minutes) when you perform compound movements to allow yourself to perform an adequate workout volume and realise greater progression (Schoenfeld et al., 2016).

Isolation exercises are less taxing and therefore only require 1-2 minutes of rest between sets (Miranda et al., 2007).

 

PROGRESSION ON THE ROUTINE

Two progression models work particularly well for novice trainees:

-  Single-Progression
-  Double-Progression

If you are a novice lifter, you should be able to make a little bit of progress nearly every workout, particularly on your compound movements. You can either increase the weight or the reps performed (while keeping your form adequate of course).

This is commonly referred to as “Single-Progression” and below is an example of a single progression for any given compound exercise:


TRAINING SESSION 1: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 180

TRAINING SESSION 2: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 182.5

TRAINING SESSION 3: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 185

TRAINING SESSION 4: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 185

TRAINING SESSION 5: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 187.5

TRAINING SESSION 6: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 190


Progressing in weight nearly every workout on isolation exercises is more difficult. As a result, a “Double-Progression” model is better suited when isolating a muscle. When using the “Double-Progression”, you only increase the weight after reaching a certain repetition count.

Below is an example of “Double-Progression” for any given isolation exercise. The weight can be increased once 10 repetitions are reached.


TRAINING SESSION 1: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 30

TRAINING SESSION 2: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 30

TRAINING SESSION 3: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 30

TRAINING SESSION 4: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 30

TRAINING SESSION 5: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 32.5

TRAINING SESSION 6: 8 REPS, LOAD LIFTED: 32.5

 

HOW TO CHANGE THE ROUTINE OVER TIME

As you advance in your training, progress will begin to slow down and therefore you need more training volume in order to progress.

If you use this routine as a starting point and are not able to progress in your training at all (while your nutrition and your recovery are in check), that’s a clear sign showing you need more training volume.

This means that some individuals need to implement a different training split and/or adopt a different progression model in order to organise their training efficiency.