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Get Strong Fast! A Beginner’s Gym Guide

beginner's gym guide

You’ve probably experienced paying for a huge looking PT(Personal Trainer) to overlook your training. He’ll give you 6-8 lifts on a single day and frankly, it feels awesome. Some of you probably read a magazine and decided that, hey, I can do that too!

But…

At the 2nd month mark, you realize that you’re barely improving. The weight increase is low and your body isn’t exactly getting toned despite what your PT and magazines say. You can’t even appreciate the strength increase because these lifts just aren’t working for you.

There are a number of reasons why you’re not getting stronger. But the most important reason is, you don’t have the foundation to do these exercises. You have to understand that the human body needs to have a fully proportional strength before trying to get “toned”, or at least, if you want to actually get results.

Here is the beginner’s gym guide, where we’ll teach you how to grow strong fast!

The Ultimate Beginner’s Workout Routine

People often begin with body split workouts at the beginning. Olympic-tier workouts that burn them out before they even finish the month. It might’ve been given to you by your PT or something that you got out of an article, magazine, or a YouTube video. A body split and a fully body can make a lot of difference for beginners. There are a lot of reasons for this but the first thing you need to know is that beginners grow strong fast and their muscles adapt to stress quickly.

Our objective here is to take advantage of that adaptability. So basically, at the first 4 months it’s “strength > body”. Our bodies attain a lot of strength through low repetitions. Hypertrophy or making your body look jacked can be attained through 10-12 repetitions per set of lifting. Doesn’t that sound familiar? But, the lower your body’s strength foundation or overall strength is, the harder it is to get really jacked. You just don’t have the ability to lift high weights for 10-12 repetitions.

These low repetition exercises are best used with compound exercises. Evolution dictates that your body should use a lot of muscles when lifting objects; which is the opposite of curling dumbbells on the squat rack.

The more motor units that are “recruited” in an exercise, the more that exercise encourages actual muscular development. –Sean10mm Fitness Blog

The best tool for compound exercises is the barbell. Your exercises per day should compromise of compound exercises like the Squat, OHP(Overhead Press), Bench Press, and the Deadlift rather than isolation exercises. These exercises will tire you and make you feel sore the next day. I promise you that.

These exercises should ideally be done on 3 non-consecutive days in the order it was written. You are however, required to alternate OHP and Bench Press. Ideally, at least 3 rep and 5 sets of each exercises will work. You’re looking to acquire a consistent workout rather than burning yourself out. It is acceptable to add 2 more reps as long as it’s consistent. Add more repetitions or sets to the workout and you’ll receive a different workout.

Machines Or Free Weights?

Machines are the beginner’s favorite object on the gym. Hell, I’ve even had PT’s tell me to use the machine first, even though I’m a perfectly healthy young male! It’s often attractive to beginners because it’s less intimidating and generally seems “safer”. That’s why you’ll hear a lot of excuses or ideas that they’ll use the machines first before using the barbell. However, it makes you be unable to maximize the strength increase your body could get. The machine stabilizes the weights which, in turn makes you use less muscles.  And our objective here is to use more muscles in one exercise.

If you fear injuries from using barbell or for your general safety, you can learn form through low weights. A good form will help you prevent injuries. You can find a lot of resources about weight lifting form online. I find Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe a great book that teaches you the basics of weight training. Once you’ve gotten a good grasp on what the form should be about, it’s a great idea to get someone to take a video of your lifts. You can ask bodybuilding forums for criticism to improve your form.

How Much Should I Add Weight?

As a beginner, you’ll get strong real quick. You’ll able to increase the weight every workout. Soon, you’ll get addicted to adding weights and ideally learn more about fitness. And if you don’t allow your ego to take over, you’ll be able to reach intermediate level within a year.

If you’re starting out, avoid overestimating yourself! At the beginning, go lower than what you think you can lift. You have no idea of how much you can lift. You’ll just get yourself stuck on your lift or at the worst case, injured.

For young males that weigh between 150-200 lbs., deadlifts can move up 15-20 lbs. per workout, squats 10-15 lbs., with continued steady progress for 3-4 weeks before slowing down to half that rate. Bench presses, presses, and cleans can move up 5-10 lbs. per workout, with progress on these exercises slowing down to 2.5-5 lbs. per workout after only 2-3 weeks. Young women make progress on the squat and the deadlift at about the same rate, adjusted for bodyweight, but much slower on the press, the bench press, cleans, and assistance exercises.

– Mark Rippetoe, Practical Programming, Pg. 12

The best way to determine your first 3×5 set is to warm up with the bar and gradually increase the weight until your lift speed decreases. Here is a good tips from Rippetoe on increasing weight as a beginner.

Research Facts and Studies.

A good understanding on how the human body works can be beneficial for your health and help you avoid injuries. Health and Fitness especially weight lifting may be complicated at first but it starts simple and you’ll learn over time. Grab all the books, studies, and research that can improve your knowledge on fitness. It should also give you an overall advantage over people on the gym.

If you need a head-start, you can find tons of information online. There are a lot of F.A.Q.’s on sites like reddit, 4chan’s /fit/, and body building forums. I find Reddit’s getting started and Liam Rosen’s website overall helpful for beginners.

Conclusion

There are a lot of information mixed with marketing when it comes to fitness. And while we at TSB Mag will be able provide you a lot of information regarding fitness, it isn’t enough. No website is enough! There are a lot of information out there regarding human fitness and you shouldn’t fall victim to a marketing fad. Feel free to come back and we’ll give you even more awesome fitness tips!

If this article interested you, spread it to people you know! Share or tell your friends looking to get into fitness! We at TSB Mag are looking to improve the reader’s lifestyle any way we can.

Disclaimer: If you have any preexisting disability, consult your physician first. We are not liable for anything you do to yourself.

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About Christopher Cuna Christopher Cuna is a content writer. He loves writing about fitness, fashion, and technology. He currently manages contentserviceguide.com and offers content writing services.

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