Beginner Strength Training Routine – Regain Control At Home or in the Gym

Are you tired of endless scrolling through fitness articles, trying to find the perfect beginner strength training routine?

Well, look no further, my friend! I’m here to guide you through the ins and outs of building strength from the ground up.

No fancy equipment or complicated exercises are required. Just pure, raw determination and a bit of sweat.

Now, let’s cut to the chase. Picture this: you, a beginner, stepping into the realm of strength training.

It can be overwhelming, right? The maze of equipment, confusing jargon, and conflicting advice can leave you scratching your head.

But fear not, my friend. I’m here to strip away the complexity and provide you with a straightforward, no-frills approach to building strength.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from what a beginner should do for strength training to how many days a week you should devote to this journey.

We’ll explore whether it’s okay to focus solely on strength training or if you should sprinkle in some cardio.

And hey, I’ll even tackle the age-old question of whether you should do cardio before or after hitting the weights.

But wait, there’s more! We’ll also delve into the mysterious realm of reps and sets, uncovering the secrets behind these fundamental building blocks of strength training.

And for those of you who prefer the hustle and bustle of a gym, I’ve got a killer beginner gym workout tailored just for you.

So, grab a seat, fasten your seatbelt, and get ready to embark on a transformative journey. I’m not here to sugarcoat things or feed you fluff.

I’m here to be your honest, down-to-earth fitness mentor, guiding you with a touch of humor and a whole lot of grit. Together, we’ll build the discipline you need to train anytime, anywhere, with minimal equipment.

Let’s sculpt the body and lifestyle you’ve always wanted through training, nutrition, and good habits. It’s time to unleash the strength within you and become a force to be reckoned with. Buckle up and let’s get started!

What Should A Beginner Do For Strength Training?

Beginner Strength Training Routine - Fitness mentor performing push up variation

I’ll give it to you straight, no fluff or fancy footwork. When you’re starting out, simplicity is your best friend.

We’re going to focus on the basics, the foundation upon which your strength kingdom will be built.

First things first, let’s start with compound exercises. These bad boys are the bread and butter of any beginner strength training routine.

Squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses—these are the moves that will lay the groundwork for your gains. They engage multiple muscle groups, working your body as a cohesive unit and giving you the most bang for your buck.

What Are Reps And Sets?

Now, you might be thinking, “But tough mentor, how many sets and reps should I be doing?” Well, my friend, let’s keep it simple yet effective.

Aim for 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps per exercise. Don’t worry too much about the exact numbers at this stage; what matters is that you challenge yourself without sacrificing proper form.

Remember, it’s all about quality over quantity.

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How Many Days Should A Beginner Do Strength Training?

Next up, we need to address the frequency of your training sessions. For optimal progress, aim for at least two to three strength training sessions per week.

This will give your muscles enough time to recover and adapt to the demands you’re placing upon them. And speaking of recovery, don’t neglect the importance of rest days.

These are not lazy days but essential periods for your body to repair and grow stronger.

Oh, and one more thing: don’t forget to warm up before each session. A dynamic warm-up routine that includes movements like lunges, arm circles, and light cardio will get your blood flowing and prepare your body for the challenges ahead.

Remember, the journey of a thousand gains begins with a single step. Start with the basics, focus on compound exercises, and gradually increase the intensity as your strength and confidence soar.

Stay tuned, because we’ve got more invaluable wisdom coming your way. Together, we’ll build a foundation of steel and unlock your true strength potential.

Keep that fire burning and let’s dive deeper into the wild world of beginner strength training!

Is It OK To Just Do Strength Training?

Beginner Strength Training Routine - man doing a deadlift

Strength training, without a doubt, has a multitude of benefits. It builds lean muscle, enhances your strength and power, boosts your metabolism, and increases your bone density.

It’s a potent elixir for transforming your body into a fortress of power. So, is it okay to focus solely on strength training? Well, here’s the deal.

While strength training alone can bring about remarkable results, a well-rounded fitness routine often includes a dash of variety.

You see, integrating some cardiovascular exercise into your regimen can do wonders for your overall health and well-being.

It helps improve your cardiovascular endurance, keeps your heart healthy, and enhances your stamina. Plus, it adds a nice touch of balance to your fitness equation.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you must become a cardio junkie or abandon the iron temple altogether.

Instead, I encourage you to strike a harmonious balance. If strength training is your true passion, go ahead and make it the centerpiece of your fitness journey.

But consider incorporating a sprinkle of cardio, such as brisk walks, cycling, or even some high-intensity interval training (HIIT), to keep your cardiovascular system firing on all cylinders.

Remember, fitness is a holistic pursuit. By diversifying your activities, you’re nurturing your body in multiple dimensions.

You’re building strength, improving endurance, and nurturing a balanced physique. So, while it’s okay to focus primarily on strength training, don’t be afraid to explore the realms of cardio to complement your gains.

In the end, it’s all about finding what works best for you. Listen to your body, follow your passion, and craft a routine that suits your goals and preferences.

The iron path awaits, but don’t be afraid to wander into other domains to unlock the full potential of your rugged strength. Stay tuned, for we have more insights and wisdom to bestow upon you as we continue this adventurous fitness journey together!

How Much Weight Should I Lift?

Beginner Strength Training Routine - fitness mentor doing a turkish get up

When it comes to determining the right amount of weight for your lifts, we must strike a delicate balance—challenging yourself without compromising proper form and risking injury.

As a beginner, it’s crucial to prioritize mastering your technique before chasing heavyweights. Start with weights that allow you to perform each exercise with proper form, maintaining control throughout the entire range of motion.

This ensures you’re targeting the intended muscle groups and minimizing the risk of injury.

To gauge the appropriate weight for each exercise, I recommend following the “Goldilocks principle.”

Choose a weight that’s not too heavy, making it impossible to perform the exercise with good form, nor too light, rendering the exercise ineffective.

Aim for a weight that challenges you but still allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions with the proper technique.

Now, how do you determine this magical weight? Well, it’s all about trial and error, my friend. Start with a conservative weight and perform a set of 8 to 12 repetitions.

If you can complete the set with relative ease and feel like you could keep going, it’s a sign that you can increase the weight for the next set.

Conversely, if you struggle to maintain proper form or can’t complete the desired number of reps, it’s an indicator to lighten the load.

Remember, my friend, it’s not about ego or comparing yourself to others. Each person has their own unique starting point, and progress is a deeply personal journey.

Gradually increase the weight over time as your strength and confidence grow. Patience and persistence will lead you to the promised land of gains.

Oh, and one more thing—don’t underestimate the power of progressive overload. As you become comfortable with a certain weight, keep challenging yourself by gradually increasing the load.

This progressive increase in resistance is the key to continuous improvement and building strength over time.

Listen to your body, honor proper form, and find that sweet spot where the weight pushes you to your limits without sacrificing technique.

Stay tuned for more nuggets of wisdom as we uncover the secrets of strength training together. The path to greatness is paved with disciplined progression, and you’re on the right track!

Should I Do Cardio Before Or After Weights?

When it comes to deciding whether to tackle cardio before or after your strength training session, it ultimately boils down to your goals and priorities. Let’s explore both scenarios and their potential benefits.

If your primary goal is to build strength and muscle, I recommend prioritizing your weightlifting session first.

By starting with weights, you’ll have the energy and focus needed to perform your lifts with proper form and maximum effort. This way, you can fully engage your muscles and push them to their limits without being pre-fatigued from cardio.

However, if your primary focus is cardiovascular fitness or fat loss, incorporating cardio before weights may be beneficial.

Performing a cardio warm-up can raise your heart rate, increase blood flow, and prepare your body for the intense workout ahead.

It can also serve as a great way to burn some extra calories before diving into your strength training routine.

Now, let’s talk about combining the two. If time allows and your goals encompass both strength and cardiovascular fitness, you can include cardio as a separate session on alternate days or perform it after your weightlifting routine.

This way, you get the best of both worlds, dedicating specific sessions to each aspect without compromising your energy levels or the quality of your lifts.

Ultimately, the key to making the right choice is listening to your body and considering your priorities.

Experiment with different approaches and observe how your body responds. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Above all, consistency is paramount. Whether you choose cardio before or after weights, what truly matters is showing up, giving your best effort, and staying committed to your fitness journey.

So, evaluate your goals, tune in to your body’s needs, and make a choice that aligns with your priorities. 

Beginner Gym Workout For Strength

Let’s dive into the beginner gym workout for strength. I will provide you with two options—one for the gym-goers wielding free weights and another for those opting for the comfort of their own home, relying solely on bodyweight exercises. 

Gym Workout with Free Weights

Day 1 

Barbell Squats: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Dumbbell Lunges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Tricep Dips: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 2

Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Bent-Over Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Dumbbell Step-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 3 Active Rest and Cardio

Engage in low-impact cardio activities like walking, cycling, or swimming for 30-45 minutes. Embrace the opportunity to let your muscles recover while still keeping active.

Day 4

Barbell Squats: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Dumbbell Chest Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Hamstring Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Home Workout With Bodyweight Exercises

Day 1

Bodyweight Squats: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Lunges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Pike Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Glute Bridges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Tricep Dips: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Day 2

Jump Squats: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Inverted Rows (using a sturdy table or bar): 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Single-Leg Glute Bridges: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Doorway Pull-Ups or Australian Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Plank Rows (using water bottles or dumbbells): 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each arm)

Day 3 Active Rest and Cardio

Engage in cardio activities like jumping jacks, high knees, or jogging in place for 30-45 minutes. Feel the burn and get your heart pumping while enjoying the freedom of movement in your own space.

Day 4 

Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (each leg)

Pike Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Chair Dips: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Diamond Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Reverse Snow Angels: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Superman Raises: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

With these two options, you have a well-rounded beginner workout program that targets your pushing, pulling, and leg muscles twice per week. Remember to focus on proper form and gradually increase the difficulty or resistance as you progress.

For both options, aim to perform the workouts three to four days per week, allowing at least one day of rest between sessions. As you gain strength and confidence, feel free to add more sets or reps to challenge yourself further.


We have covered the fundamentals of beginner strength training and provided you with two workout options—one for gym-goers with free weights and another for those embracing bodyweight exercises at home.

Remember, consistency and proper form are key on this journey of strength and discipline. Remember, building discipline and embracing a consistent routine are the cornerstones of your success.

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