Whether you have decided to lose weight, gain muscle mass or get stronger this is a great workout routine for you as a beginner. You easily get overwhelmed by all the information that is out there, which in a way is great, but when you’re a beginner you need to stick to the basics. If you haven’t worked out you need to build up some strength in order to be able to perform other exercises later on. This is important and essential if you want to continue and prevent injuries.
The golden five
In weightlifting or training in general, there are five exercises that you always should try to incorporate. These are called the golden five and they are
The Bench Press
The Overhead Press
These five compound exercises will train every major muscle in your body. What is a compound exercise you ask? A compound exercise is a multi-joint exercise where you train several muscles or muscles groups at a time. This will not only make you stronger and ready for more advanced training programs, but it will also help you put on some mass.
Let’s go through each exercise more thoroughly.
The king of exercises. It works your entire body since you put the load on both the front and back of your body, but you will primarily feel it in the glutes, hamstring, low back and upper back. With that said, you need to involve the core to stabilize the lift so your abs will get a piece of the pie as well.
The overall strength gains from practices the deadlift will have immediate effects not only on your posture but your everyday life. The deadlift is a functional exercise so it will help you to carry heavy groceries, help a friend on moving day or helping someone up that has fallen.
Make sure you start out with a low weight to get the proper form and technique. Ask a professional, or watch a good instruction video on how to make a proper deadlift.
Squatting primarily targets the lower body, but just as with the deadlift, you need core strength to stabilize the lift. The most common way to do a squat is with a barbell placed over your neck. But if you don’t have a barbell or for any other reason don’t want to use it you can just as well make variations with dumbells or kettlebells.
The bench press
Another popular and good compound exercise is the bench press. You are working your chest with this exercise but also your shoulders and triceps are activated as secondary helper muscles, making this the go-to chest builder for many gym goers.
Having a thick and wide back is a well sought after aesthetic, and incorporating the row into your workouts will help you out with that. You can switch the grip between overhand and underhand grip for variation and also change how much you will activate your biceps in the row.
The overhead press
For shoulder development, there is hard to beat the overhead press. Starting with the bar held in line with your collarbone and pressing it up and over the head before you lock-out over will engage all three heads of the shoulder.
You are going to work out three times a week with at least 24 hours of rest in between workout sessions. Each session you’re going to do three exercises for 5 repetitions 5 times.
There are two different routines that you’re going to alternate in between, I have called them 1 and 2 to keep it simple.
Squats: 5 sets x 5 reps
Bench press: 5 sets x 5 reps
Rows: 5 sets x 5
Deadlifts: 5 sets x 5 reps
Rows: 5 sets x 5 reps
Overhead press: 5 sets x 5 reps
Your schedule can look like this.
Monday: Routine 1
Wednesday: Routine 2
Friday: Routine 1
The week after would then be:
Monday: Routine 2
Wednesday: Routine 1
Friday: Routine 2
That’s it! It doesn’t seem much but these exercises incorporate your entire body and prepare you for more advanced exercises in the future.
When you start out make sure you don’t overload, it’s better to go low (even lower than you think) to get the technique right. For instance; you might want to try out a barbell squat with only the bar just to see how it feels. Try to have your back straight and don’t crumble, and let the weight be on your heels during the presses and lifts. Always consult a professional if you are unsure how to make a lift or press. Injury prevention is key, not only for your progress but for your general well-being.
When you feel the reps are getting static, add weights. In the beginning, you’re going to add weights every week, if not every workout, then later maybe every other week, every month, every quarter….you get the point.
Try this out, and remember, you’re great because you’re starting to work out!
Take care, and be safe.