How I would train if I was a beginner to strength and fitness

“The Shed”  where results become reality.


I love to write exercise training programs.  I have written well over a hundred.  The only thing I love more than writing programs is the joy I get when a client tells me about the awesome results that got from completing one of my programs.

If I was a complete beginner or someone who had not touched a weight since high school this is exactly what I would do.

I would lift weights 3 days a week.  Something like Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  As long as there is 48 hours in between sessions you are good to go.

At the beginning of any workout I would start with 10 minutes of cardio to warm up.  Treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, a walk, jump rope, or something similar.  This is to get the blood flowing and the oxygen pumping.

Next is 5-10 minutes of mobility  and activation work.  You need to get your joints lubricated and your muscles flexible. Leg swings, mountain climbers, hip circles, glute bridges, planks,jumps and throws.

Now you are feeling athletic and warmed up.

Day 1 (Monday)

  • Barbell Squats: 3 sets of 5
  • Bench Press: 3 sets of 5
  • Dumbell Row: 3 sets of 10
  • Situp: 3 sets of 15

Day 2 (Wednesday)

  • Standing Military Press: 3 sets of 5
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 5
  • Lunges: 3 sets of 10
  • Dumbell Farmer’s Walk:  (Grab 2 dumbells at your sides and walk 50 feet and turn around) 3 sets

Day 3 (Friday)

  • Front Barbell Squat: 3 sets of 5
  • Incline Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets of 5
  • Pullup: 3 sets of 10 (If unable to do pullups start with lat pulldown machine)
  • Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets of 10 (If unable to do Hanging Leg Raise lay on floor and doing leg raises)

At the end of each workout I would do 10 minutes of hard cardio.  Intervals on the stairmaster, incline sprints/walks on the treadmill, or punching bag.

Then, I would finish with static stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, lower back, chest, and shoulders.

On 3 of the off days I recommend going for a 30-minute walk.  This is good for your heart, lungs, and muscle recovery.  If you don’t want to walk you can do another form of cardio such as the elliptical or bike.

Important Points:

  1. You should stick with the same weight for all 3 sets for the first workout.  This will give you the ability to conquer that weight.  If you bench press 135 for 3 sets of 5 you can move up to 140 next week. 
  2. Do as many warm up sets as you need to get to a weight that is somewhat challenging for 5 reps. (For example, if 135 lbs  x 5 on the deadlift is challenging, warm up with 45×5, 65×5, 95×5 and 115×5) The warm up sets are meant to get your form right. 
  3. Don’t change the exercises!  I picked this specific exercises to hit every muscle in the body and get you stronger.  Strength creates muscle and muscle burns fat. 
  4. Rest 2 minutes between each set.  This is enough time to get ready for the next set without being too long to lose focus.
  5. Aim to add 5 to 10 lbs each week on each exercise.  Start with 5 lbs until you know you own a weight. 
  6. Each workout includes warm up, mobility and activation, 4 lifting exercises, 10 minutes of hard cardio, and static stretching to finish. 
  7. Never sacrifice form for weight.  This is how you get hurt. 
  8. Workouts should take about an hour.  If it takes you longer you are staring at your gym crush too much.


Give this a try for 8 weeks if you want to see your strength sore and your physique improve.  LET THE GAINS BEGIN!


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