Now that you’ve decided to start lifting weights, you’re probably wondering where exactly you should begin. Learning a new style of training can be confusing, and at times intimidating, which is why we created this guide to get you acclimated to lifting weights. This program is designed to first and foremost introduce you to weightlifting, and second help you build lean muscle — and yes, you’ll lose fat as well.
You’ll work out three times a week for four weeks. Ideally, we’d like you to do the strength sessions with a lighter activity day in between (swimming, yoga, etc.), but we do understand that life happens, so move them around to fit your schedule! The first two weeks will be very simple but still challenging. On weeks three and four, the sets and reps will increase. A sample week will look like the following:
- Monday: Week 1, Workout A
- Tuesday: Foam roll for 15 minutes
- Wednesday: Week 1, Workout B
- Thursday: 20-minute easy run
- Friday: Week 1, Workout C
- Saturday: Hour-long walk
- Sunday: Yoga
For the exercises that require weight, we recommend starting with either 7.5-pound or 10-pound dumbbells but also realize that everyone’s strength levels are different. If this feels too light or too heavy, make necessary adjustments — here’s an in-depth guide on how to choose the right weight. No matter what weight you end up using, it’s more important to master the movement than to move carelessly with heavier weights.
Don’t forget to warm up and cool down after every workout. For your warmup, you can do an easy run or dynamic exercises to activate your muscles like butt kicks, high knees, plank saws, and glute bridges.
Since you’re being more active, you will more than likely notice that you have a larger appetite. Listen to your body and fuel it with nutritious foods like vegetables, protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Drink lots of water, and be sure to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost with a sports drink or electrolyte tablets.