This guide is meant for those of you who are brand new to weight training. If you are familiar with weight training and want to add muscle, please see our beginners muscle building guide here.
Has it been awhile since you visited the weight room? Or maybe you’re starting from scratch?
Whatever the case, Building Muscle 101 has put together a 6 week beginner’s program that will help you build a stronger and healthier physique from the start.
We’ve designed this program with the complete beginner in mind. It’s designed to take you by the hand and show you step by step what you need to do in order to start reaping the benefits of weight training. Believe me, there are so many benefits to weight training and something that can’t be overlooked in improving ones health. Whether you want to build a stronger body for health reasons or simply want to start looking and feeling good, this program will help get you on the right track.
There’s no denying the fact that weight training can help improve one’s overall health and appearance. Regardless of your age, gender, race, physical shape, or current lifestyle, weight training has been shown to improve:
Plus, it is a great feeling knowing your body and muscles are getting stronger with each passing day.
For a lot of people, weight training can be quite confusing. Where do you start? What exercises should you do? How much weight do you use? When should you weight train? What about diet? When can one expect results? What about cardio? It’s understandable because there is so much information out there and it can all be very confusing.
However, we’ve written this guide specifically for you, the complete beginner.
This is a simple but effective program that will help provide you with a solid weight training foundation.
This foundation will set the stage for additional progress on your weight training journey.
This is very important and something that needs to be understood from the start. Weight training success is all about constant progression and improvement.
What we want to do is prime your body for that progression. This program will help you familiarize your body with specific movements and the weight associated with that movement. We will help improve your balance and stability by utilizing movements that use a “system” of muscles as opposed to individual muscle groups. These types of movements are much more efficient and effective at providing a solid base for your weight training success.
By doing so, your body will start to employ better balance, improve mobility and range of motion, and improve overall strength levels. These benefits are the first signs that weight training is working. That is, your body stops shaking when performing specific movements, you start moving the weight in a balanced, more fluid motion, and you start feeling more confident with the movements.
Once your body starts to adapt to weight training, secondary results such as improved muscle tone (Not muscle bulk), bone density and other benefits associated with weight training will occur (provided you make the necessary improvements, of course). This is what I like to call the “Honey Moon” period of weight training because the body starts to reap the positive benefits of weight training.
Here’s a simple way of looking at the progressive nature of weight training:
The Beginning – First 6 – 8 Weeks
This stage is meant to help improve balance, stability, mobility, stamina, and inner body awareness. As you progress in the first 6 to 8 weeks, your body will start to adapt to weight training and will improve in all of these areas.
This is the initial foundation building phase that will prime your body for further progression such as improving strength and muscle tone. This is a very important phase because you will learn proper form and technique as well as understand how your body reacts to lifting weights.
The Start Of Something Wonderful – 8 – 20 Weeks
This stage takes you to the next level of weight training. Your body is now accustomed to weight training and now has improved balance, mobility, and range of motion. At this stage, you will be experiencing improved strength levels as well as improving muscle tone. Your body will start to feel a little tighter and your muscles will start to feel stronger. Your body is responding in a positive fashion to weight training.
At this stage, your body is able to improve on a more consistent basis and able to handle a little more weight, more sets, and additional repetitions. That is, you can now incorporate higher intensity levels and exert a little more effort in order to produce additional results.
You are now ready to take your body to the next stage of progress. Of course this is up to you and whether or not you are ready to advance to the next level. However, if you’re happy with the current results, you can stay at this level.
The Intermediate Stage 20 – 42 Weeks
If you’ve been making constant improvements with your weight training program, it is now time to start thinking of adding more advanced strategies to your routine. By now, your body is very familiar with the exercises and can now adapt to new stimuli. At this point, it takes a little more effort to stimulate further improvement so it is now time to add more additional elements to your routine such as new exercises, more weight, additional repetitions and more sets.
This stage will set the tone for more advanced techniques that will further stimulate additional benefits from weight training such as enhanced strength levels, additional muscle tone / growth, bone density improvement, and other important benefits.
The choice will be up to you whether you want to progress to a more advanced stage or continue with your current routine.
Intermediate – Advanced Stage 42 – 60 Weeks
This stage will introduce you to more advanced techniques to further stimulate additional improvements. You may use different exercise combinations or other methods such as increased repetitions and set combinations. This stage is meant to further enhance intensity levels which will further stimulate additional benefits from weight training. At this point, your body will have much improved muscle tone, strength levels, and mobility.
If you’ve been making the necessary improvements, you can now decide if you want to take your body to the next level of development. The next level is the advanced stage and you will employ more advanced techniques that will further stimulate additional benefits from weight training.
You can now decide if you want to stay at your current level of progress or advanced to the next level of weight training.
Advanced Stage – 60 Weeks +
Your body is now primed for additional growth. You will employ the use of more advanced techniques such as additional sets and repetition combinations, using more weight, reducing rest times, and other advanced techniques such as super sets and drop sets.
Your body is now much stronger with greatly enhanced muscle tone. You will now stimulate further improvements by using higher intensity levels and putting in more effort and time into your training. Your body is now ready for other advanced techniques meant to stimulate further growth.
You can now make the choice to use more advanced techniques to take your body to the upper levels of weight training.
This is a very basic look at the progressive nature of weight training. At each stage of development, one can either choose to stay at the current level of progress or continue to the next stage. This will all depend on your goals and objectives. For example, a person may be recovering from an injury and may choose to include weight training as part of the recovery process. In this case, that person may stay at the beginning stages of weight training for a longer period of time. However, given the nature of weight training, this same person will only get stronger and healthier.
Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.
Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.