Have you just started strength training and still have no idea what exactly you can do to achieve optimal results? You are in the right place!
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know for your first year of training.
If you are active in sports (ball sports, athletics, martial arts, gymnastics, swimming, etc.) your primary goal in strength training is to protect your body from injuries – only then will the performance increase.
Accordingly, your training must be adapted to your sport. Of course, you can still use the concept presented here as a basis for your training.
However, this article is primarily intended for pure strength athletes, so it is best to discuss with your trainer how often and what you should do.
What Should Strength Training For Beginners Look Like?
2-3 units per week for 30-60 minutes each are sufficient. Your muscles need time to recover.
Especially if you have never been physically active before, this time will initially be a little longer than for someone who has been training 3-4 times a week for years.
If you feel like it, you can of course also do something on the training-free days, for example:
- Work on your mobility (stretching or black roll)
- Start meditating (this will train your self-discipline and body awareness, both of which will have a very positive effect on your strength training ). You can find out more about mindset and training here.
- Do something for your coordination (it’s great to have muscles; it’s even cooler to be able to use them)
- You are welcome to do something for your stamina 1-2 times a week (jogging, cycling, swimming)
Strength Training For Beginners: How Should I Train?
The basic structure of your training unit looks like this:
- Warm-up 5-10 minutes
- The main part (strength unit) 20-40 minutes
- Cooldown 5-10 minutes
In other words, a training session lasts 30-60 minutes in total. In order for this to work, you have to really train during this time!
Put your cell phone on the side and only touch it again after the workout, tune in to your music or audiobook beforehand and concentrate fully on your workout! Work first, then the selfies!
The aim of the warm-up is, on the one hand, to mentally arrive at the training & to forget all every day worries.
Furthermore, you prepare your body for the coming strain.
Your heart rate increases, your blood is transported to your muscles, your body temperature increases, etc.
You should be able to move all of your joints and get slightly out of breath.
Jog, run through the coordination ladder, circle your arms, do lunges, rotate your upper body, throw a few balls against the wall. Have fun and get moving.
2. Unit Of Power
In case you’re wondering, isn’t 20-40 minutes a bit too short? No, because you can either train hard or train long. You will train hard!
Whether you train with equipment or your body weight, you need a maximum of 20-40 minutes to set the training stimuli that you want to set.
So: into the weight room, FULL GAS, out of the weight room, into regeneration!
A full-body workout makes the most sense to start with and of course, you can continue to do it. We have already summarized for you how you can create a full-body training plan.
If you want, you can alternatively think about it after about 6 months, on day 1 the upper body and day 2 the lower body or on day 1 triceps, pectoralis & shoulders, on day 2 biceps, and trapezius and on day 3 the workout lower body.
You can decide whether you want to structure your training as a HIIT unit or work through it sequentially (then you have to make the breaks longer and will take longer accordingly).
For effective HIIT training, plan 5 exercises per unit, do 5 sets with the 30s of work each and 30s of rest between exercises.
You do all 5 exercises per round. After round 3 you can take a break if you need it.
The 5 exercises should train the whole body, eg 2x legs, 1x arms, 1x abdomen, 1x back.
You can find out how to choose the right exercises for your interval training in this article:
If you notice that an exercise is too strenuous or too easy, or you are generally over or under-challenged, adjust the interval accordingly (20s load – 40s break, or 40s load – 20s break).
This Is How You Go Through Your Training In Order
Alternatively, you can also do 3-5x exercise 1, then 3-5x exercise 2, etc. This will take you longer because you need more rest to regain fitness for the same exercise.
Instead of a time limit, here you train to muscle failure. This type of training makes more sense in the gym on machines or with training equipment (except bench press and squats).
Make sure that you assess your limit correctly. You have all the time in the world. Rather than overdoing and harming yourself, train at underweight for a week and adjust slowly.
This is where you initiate regeneration. Depending on what options you have, you can stretch, have a massage, or take an ice bath.
You should then eat something rich in carbohydrates and protein for the first 60-90 minutes after the end of the strength session.
You’ve just used up energy reserves that your body needs to replenish and have caused muscle damage that your body needs to repair and super compensate for.
Your body is now restoring its starting level and making initial improvements to be optimally prepared for the next training session.
Which Strength Training Exercises Should You Do As A Beginner?
In principle, quality > quantity applies. It’s better to get 5 push-ups right and technically correct than 20 wrong push-ups.
This is especially important for training with additional weights.
A clean squat is one of the best exercises you can do. One improper squat can damage you for the rest of your life.
So you see, doing the exercise correctly is extremely important!
We have put together a free guide with the most important exercises, detailed instructions on how to perform them, and tips for strength training as a beginner:
Train your whole body and pay special attention to training in a balanced way.
If you only train your abdominal muscles for weeks or months, but never your back muscles, imbalances will occur.
This can lead to poor posture or, in the worst case, even injuries.
Strength Training At Home
If you’re short on time, it’s a good idea to train at home. Not only is it free, but it also saves you travel time to and from the gym.
A home workout can be just as effective as a workout in the studio.
You can still think about two purchases if you are serious about your training at home and you have no other options:
- A pull-up bar that you can hang on your door.
- A coordination ladder that fits in your room or in your yard. Alternatively, you can also use a swing in the garden or horizontal bars on a playground.
How To Train Your Legs
- Jumps (high, wide, sideways, one-legged, two-legged)
- Nordic hamstrings (especially good for soccer players, handball players, hurdlers, sprinters)
- Extend bridge with leg (one-legged, two-legged)
How To Train Your Core
- Side Plank
- Crunches, V-ups (Straight, Oblique)
- Dragon Flag
- Quadruped Stand
How To Train Your Arms
- Handstand, Handstand Push Up
- Inverted Row Dips
Strength Training For Beginners In The Gym
The advantage here is that you have more choice of equipment and can therefore vary your training more.
You also have trainers as contacts who can give you feedback on your form and training tips.
As soon as you have reached a certain training level, the additional weights become relevant for you.
How To Train Your Legs
- Kettlebell Swing
- Barbell lunges, Bulgarian squat
How To Train Your Core
You should also plan at least 5-10 minutes in the gym with or without equipment.
- Rotational throwing exercises with the medicine ball
- Standing with your arms outstretched, hold light dumbbells/rotate your upper body without moving your hips
How To Train Your Arms
- Bench press with barbell or dumbbells
- Shoulder press
- Bicep curls
- Lateral raises
Do you live for fitness and a healthy lifestyle? You have probably already thought about turning your hobby into a job or maybe you are already doing so and are looking for constant further development.
Find out more about being a certified strength coach here!