Training

Weight Training | A Beginner’s Guide


Written by Jamie Bantleman


Weight Training For Beginners


When beginning a training plan for the first time you should focus on implementing a strategy that will help you increase strength unilaterally. The reason for this is that we often find that our body is imbalanced with one side over dominant; this is usually down to our structural balance, controlled by the way we do every day things such as standing, sitting and carrying.

 

To begin, you should also focus on the improvement of your mobility at your shoulders, hips and knees. To do this, you should maintain a quality stretching routine prior to working out alongside a unilateral movement protocol.


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A key bit of advise in this phase is to not push too hard for getting immediate results to the detriment of long term success in what is your end goal. You will see results early on due to the simple fact of moving more than you were before. It is rare to see a lack of results early in a training programme when you have never done anything before, however the hard bit is when you come across your first plateau and therefore have to make intelligent changes to your programme. For this reason, you should not use all of your tools at once. These tools are:

#1 Resistance Training

#2 Steady State Cardio

#3 High Intensity Interval Training


As well as increasing fatigue, using all of these tools in one programme will simply not allow you any movement in what you can introduce to your next phase. Therefore you should only do resistance training in your first phase of training, and this plan will be solely focused on increasing strength and lean muscle tissue. A bi-product of this will then increase fat loss and improve the aesthetic look to the body.

Phase 1 – Unilateral Movement Protocol:

Day 1:

Exercise A1: Unilateral Lat Pull Down 5×10 10s rest

Exercise A2: Unilateral Lying Leg Curl 5×12 60s rest

 

Exercise B1: Unilateral Bodyweight Hip Bridge 5×15 10s rest

Exercise B2: Unilateral Dumbbell Row 5×10 60s rest

 

Exercise C1: Unilateral Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 5×12 10s rest

Exercise C2: Front Foot Elevated Split Squat 5×8 60s rest

 

Exercise D: Plank 10s on elbows followed by 10s on hands followed by 10s rest x5


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 Day 2:

 Exercise A1: Unilateral High Cable Row 5×12 10s rest

Exercise A2: Unilateral Leg Press 5×15 60s rest

 

Exercise B1: Bulgarian Split Squat 5×8 10s rest

Exercise B2: Standing Cable Flies 5×15 60s rest

 

Exercise C1: Unilateral High Step Up 5×10 10s rest

Exercise C2: Cable Lean Away Lateral Raises 5×8 60s rest

 

Exercise D: Abdominal Crunch over Bosu Ball with hands vertically above head 3×15


These programmes should be repeated once more per week making a 4 per week training programme with a frequency of:

 

Monday: Day 1

Tuesday: Day 2

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: REST

Friday: Day 1 repeated

Saturday: Day 2 repeated

Sunday: REST

Once this programme has been completed for 4 weeks an initial baseline of strength should have been achieved. This will have also introduced you to a structure of a quality training programme and all the benefits it provides, such as knowing exactly what you are aiming for in the programme, know what you are doing on a day to day basis without any forward planning and being lost when walking into the jungle of people also know as the gym!


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Moving forward in your programming, we can introduce some bilateral movements and begin to increase the intensity of your plan. These exercises will follow on from a unilateral movement as maintaining this element in your programme will further increase your development in any lagging areas that are still imbalanced. We will continue with a frequency of training 4 times per week by 2 days on, 2 days off, 2 days on, 1 day off.

Phase 2 – Unilateral into Bilateral Movement Protocol

Day 1:

 Exercise A1: Unilateral Pull Down 5×12 10s rest

Exercise A2: High Foot Leg Press 5×20 60s rest

 

Exercise B1: Unilateral Standing Shoulder Press 5×10 10s rest

Exercise B2: Leg Extension 5×25 60s rest

 

Exercise C1: Dumbbell Walking Lunges 5×20 10s rest

Exercise C2: Dumbbell Chest Press 5×12 60s rest

 

Exercise D1: Vertical Jumps 3×20 10s rest

Exercise D2: Medicine Ball Slams 3×20 30s rest


Day 2:

Exercise A1: Unilateral Low Foot Leg Press 5 x20 10s rest

Exercise A2: Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 5×12 60s rest

 

Exercise B1: Bulgarian Split Squat 5×10 10s rest

Exercise B2: Standing Barbell Push Press 5×12 60s rest

 

Exercise C1: Front Foot Elevated Split Squat 5×20 10s rest

Exercise C2: Assisted Chin Up 5×12 60s rest

 

Exercise D1: Plank 10s on elbows followed by 10s on hands followed by 10s rest x5

10s rest

Exercise D2: Crunches on Bosu Ball with hands vertically above head 3×20 30s rest


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Monday: Day 1

Tuesday: Day 2

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: REST

Friday: Day 1 repeated

Saturday: Day 2 repeated

Sunday: REST

 

This programme will then take you 8 weeks into your training plan and will of developed a greater level of strength and endurance to ensure you are capable of going into more advanced training programmes.


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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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