Beginners Guide to Weight Training Page 7

In this section, I am going to take you through each week and provide you with specific instructions about how to proceed. Let's take a look.



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Week 1

This will be an orientation week that will help get you situated with the new weight training routine. What you want to do here is to get a feel for each exercise and how to get into position and properly perform each exercise. At this stage, your body has no clue about what these exercises are or how to perform them. The objective here is not to dive in and start pumping iron but to introduce you to each movement and how to perform them. Let’s look at each workout separately.

Day 1 - Workout A

5 Minutes light cardiovascular

Dumbbell Squats - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Dumbbell Bench Press - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Seated Dumbbell Curls - 1 set of 12 repetitions

Day 3 - Workout B

5 Minutes light cardiovascular

Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Single Arm Dumbbell Rows - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Dumbbell Triceps Extensions - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Ab Crunches - 1 set of 15 repetitions

Important notes and instructions for week 1

It’s important that you get into the habit of performing a light cardio warm up prior to each workout. Doing so will help warm your entire body up and get the blood flowing to all the important parts of your body. This will help limber up your entire body and get it ready for the weight training session. You don’t have to go all out with this warm up because that’s not the intent. A light, 5 minute session on an cardio apparatus such as:

  • Treadmill;
  • Stair stepper;
  • Elliptical trainer;
  • Exercise bike (upright and recumbent);
  • Rower;
  • or other apparatus

If you don’t have access to cardio equipment, you may also do jumping jacks, walking/running on the spot, and other stationary activities. Weather permitting, you may also go for a 5 minute walk or bike ride.

  • If you have never performed the exercises before, I strongly suggest you try and do the movement with no weight. Each exercise requires different motions and body mechanics and some are more complicated to perform. I suggest you follow the instructions above, get into position and perform the movement with no weight (mimic using a dumbbell). Try performing 12 repetitions with no weight.
  • Once you are familiar and confident with the movement, try using a light set of dumbbells such as the 1 or 2 pound dumbbells.
  • Feel free to perform another 5 minutes of light cardio after you’ve finished your weight training session. This will act as a cool down and will allow your muscles to “unwind”. This is a good habit to get into.
  • Rest for about 60 to 90 seconds in between sets. If you need more or less rest, take the time needed to comfortably perform the exercise. However, don’t get into the habit of talking 5 minutes in between sets. This is very counterproductive and will allow your muscles to go “cold”. Once your muscles start to go cold, they are more open to injury. Complete all your exercises in a timely manner. Once you’ve completed your session, feel free to have longer conversations.
  • Remember to drink two glasses of water prior to the session and another two glasses while working out. This will avoid dehydration. If your working out at a gym, try filling up a water bottle and take that with you while working out.
  • Remember to record all activity in your log book.

Week 2

You have now completed the first round of workouts in week 1. You are now going to keep familiarizing yourself with each exercise and concentrate on proper form and technique. If you are having trouble using dumbbells, try using no weight and mimic the movement. You should have an idea of what each exercise is.

Day 1 - Workout A

5 Minutes light cardiovascular

Dumbbell Squats - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Dumbbell Bench Press - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Seated Dumbbell Curls - 1 set of 12 repetitions

Day 3 - Workout B

5 Minutes light cardiovascular

Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Single Arm Dumbbell Rows - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Dumbbell Triceps Extensions - 1 set of 12 repetitions
Ab Crunches - 1 set of 15 repetitions

Important notes and instructions for week 2

Remember to perform 5 minutes of cardio prior to each session. As I mentioned before, this will provide your body with a general warm up and will get the blood flowing to all major muscles.

This week, I really want you to concentrate on your form and technique. This will help you balance the weight and accustom your muscles to the movement. You may notice that your arms and legs are shaking when you are performing the movement. This is totally natural response to weight training and its your bodies way of adapting to the weight. Over time this will lessen and eventually disappear. Make sure all movements are fluid.

  • If you are having problems with some of the movements, try using no weight until you are comfortable getting into the correct position and properly performing the movement. Once you are confident with the movement, try using a light pair of dumbbells such as the 1 or 2 pounders.
  • For this week, I want you to keep the weight constant, even if 12 repetitions with a light pair of dumbbells is easy to perform. I really want you to concentrate on using proper form and technique.
  • Remember to rest about 60 to 90 seconds in between sets. If you need more time, feel free to take another 20 seconds to catch your breath. The important point to remember is to proceed at a comfortable pace. This isn’t a race. I want you to focus all you efforts of properly getting into position and correctly performing the exercise.
  • Feel free to do another 5 minutes of light cardio upon completion of your session. This will provide a cool down time and allow your muscles to “unwind” - Very important.
  • Drink two glasses of water prior to each session and another two glasses while working out. If your working out at a gym, try filling up a water bottle and take that with you while working out.
  • Your muscles may be a little sore after the workout. This is a totally natural response to working out. Keep drinking plenty of water and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. There’s really not a whole lot you can do about muscle soreness. Let the body heal itself and over time it will get stronger and stronger.
  • Remember to record each of your exercises in your trusty log book. Very important.


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Go the the next page to continue for weeks 3 to 6.

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As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.



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