A lot of questions I get surround what strength training for beginners entails, along with what the benefits of incorporating strength training into your routine are.
For years, cardio has been touted as the best form of exercise for overall health and overall well-being. I am so happy to say that the tables are beginning to turn.
Resistance training (strength training) is far more beneficial and versatile than cardiovascular activity. Problem is, it has been ignored by the mainstream for years because it was judged as the “bodybuilders way of exercising” or “what you do if you want to get massive muscles”. Both of those statements are certainly true, but resistance training is not exclusive to those effects and offers so much value to the general population that has been ignored for far too long.
As of late, resistance training is beginning to be more and more popular as the staple form of exercise for all people, as it should be. The benefits of strength training are simply far too great to neglect. Here are some of the benefits of strength training:
Despite all the benefits, there hasn’t been a massive increase in the amount of people regularly strength training, simply because there is a greater barrier to entry.
It’s far easier to mindlessly move on the elliptical than it is to do squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows as you learn how to master your form and technique over time. Though it may not be as easy to jump into as a beginner, it is no excuse to avoid it. The benefits are far too great to continue mindlessly moving from one piece of cardio equipment to the next.
So, what does strength training for beginners look like? Truthfully, you won’t become a strength training expert after reading this article. You will however, have a tangible takeaway that you will be able to implement in order to become more familiar and confident with strength training.
One of the biggest areas that people get hung up on is what to do when they are in the gym. What exercises? How many reps, how many sets, etc.? This leads them to understandably become so overwhelmed that they just say “screw it” and hop back on that elliptical.
So what I’d like to do is give you a few different exercises to work on in a very simple format.
Here are the most beneficial exercises to learn:
Many people make the mistake of treating their workout like punishment instead of practice. Treat your workout like practice. Each movement is a skill that you are practicing. Don’t work out just go through the motions. Take your time. Practice the movement and think about what you’re doing to improve the skill, form, and technique.
You may be thinking, how do I know if I am doing it right? Well, if you’re a beginner to strength training, you probably won’t at first. And this is why I recommend hiring an experienced personal trainer to take the time to teach out how to do these movements. Heck, one of the better things you could do is have them come to your house and help you use your FT2 Functional Trainer to learn these moves I’ve listed. Getting a set of adjustable dumbbells would be one of the best investments you could make as well.
You can perform each of these movements for 5-10 reps, at 2-3 sets each. This will give you a chance to really practice the form and technique.
Here is what a couple of sample days could look like:
This doesn’t have to be concrete. You can have your trainer create something for you that fits well for you, your goals, your movement patterns, and your experience. Regardless of what you chose to do, know this. Strength training is for everyone. Don’t let uncertainty keep you from reaping the benefits and improving your health. There is strength training for beginners, too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam is a fitness professional, baseball fan, and cookie fanatic based in Fort Collins, Colorado. After hanging up the cleats, he found a strong interest in the human body and how it performs. Since then, Adam has been transforming lives through fitness in a fun and encouraging atmosphere. As an ACE CPT and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, he is constantly moved to help people improve in all walks of life.