March 30th, 2017
strength training

I Want To Start Strength Training… Now What?

Good for you! Honestly. Deciding to being strength training is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has given me the confidence, capability and drive I believe every woman should have.

Lifting weights is my outlet, my pride and my sense of belonging. I get incredibly excited when I hear someone wants to begin strength training, which is why I am here to help you design the perfect program to get started.

Beginning Strength Training: The Next Steps

1. Decide how often you will train

Choose an attainable number of days. The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out!

For example, if you haven’t participated in any physical activity in a while, start with 2x a week a few days apart for each other.

If you are already active but want to incorporate strength training, start tapering off your current regiment and adding about 3 day a week of strength training.

In either situation, let yourself adjust to the amount you begin with, let it become a habit, then add more days as you see fit. Don’t forget, rest days are important too!

2. Choose which exercises to master first

Choose basic exercises to master first, then go ahead and add variations/weight increases. Here are some good exercises to begin with.

Lower Body:
Walking Lunge
Goblet Squat
Glute Bridge
Elevated Split Squat
Single Leg Deadlift

Upper Body:
Lateral Raise
Seated Dumbbell Press
Seated Rows
Push Ups
3 Point Dumbbell Rows
Bench Dips
Bicep Curls

Core:
Plank
Leg Lift
Bicycles
V Ups
Dead Bugs

3. How to structure your workouts

strength training amy currie
First, find a reasonable rep and set range for each exercise.

Reps are how many times you perform the movement. Sets are how many times you repeat that.

It’s very important to perform higher reps when you’re just beginning (12-15). This will get your muscles and joints safely accustomed to the movements and reduce chance of injury and improper wear and tear on the body.

Although you will be engaging in higher reps, you still need to be choosing weights that are difficult to get the reps with without your form suffering. This will take some trial and error! Leave room for that.

I recommend 2-4 sets of each exercise depending on your previous level of activity (2 for non active, 4 for active).

4. Figure out which workout style you like

Straight sets, super sets, circuits? There are many ways you can program your exercises.

Straight sets

Straight sets are completing all reps and sets of one exercise before moving on to the other.

Here’s an example workout with all straight sets. In this workout you would finish all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise:

Walking Lunge 4×12
Goblet Squat 4×15
Glute Bridge 4×12
Elevated Split Squat 4×12
Single Leg Deadlift 4×12

Super sets

Super sets are performing one exercise, going right into another exercise, resting then repeating that for the amount of sets you choose.

For this workout, you would do a superset with 1-2 minutes rest between the two exercises four times through before moving on to the next super set:

Superset 1 – complete 4 times
Lateral Raise – 15 reps
Seated Dumbbell Press – 12 reps

Superset 2 x4
Push Ups – 15 reps
3 Point Dumbbell Rows – 12 reps per arm

Superset 3 x4
Bench Dips – 15 reps
Bicep Curls – 12 reps

Circuits

Circuits are doing all the exercises you choose right in a row, resting then repeating that for the amount of sets you choose.

For example:

Circuit x4
Plank 30 sec
Leg Lift 15
Bicycles 30 total
V Ups 12
Dead Bugs 30 total

Straight sets are the most moderate intensity, supersets are higher intensity and circuits are the most advanced intensity. Again, choose based on your current level of exercise endurance.

Rest periods should be 60-120 seconds for any of these variations.

6. Should you split up workouts based on body parts?

Dedicating days to specific body parts? This depends on how you want to distribute your soreness, develop certain areas.

If you enjoy the feeling of being sore all over and want to focus more on endurance, choose a few exercises from each category for each time you lift.

If you really want to zero in on developing certain areas, give those body parts their own day.

Remember** Spot reduction is a myth. Losing fat is a result of being in a caloric deficit and where you genetically store more fat. You CAN develop areas so they show more when you do lose fat.

Consider hiring a personal trainer

Hire a personal trainer. Just four sessions with a trainer to learn proper movement will benefit you long term by setting you up for a safe and productive journey of lifting weights.

The cost of those sessions will pay off forever. Plus, you can always do a session here and there if you need new ideas or help progressing!

If you choose this option, which I highly recommend, make sure you do your research! Every trainer has their niche, find one that will seem to fit your specific needs and ask them tons questions before you purchase a session.

Also, talk to other people who have worked with this trainer to hear what they have to say. Although there are many GREAT trainers out there, unfortunately there are some that are in it for the wrong reasons.

Do your research and don’t be scared to ask questions! The trainer you chose should make you feel comfortable, excited and empowered.

8. Have confidence

amy currie fitness
Get out there with confidence! Nobody knows exactly what they are doing when they start out. I sure didn’t!

Check out 6 Things I Knew When I Began Strength Training to see more.

The best thing you can do is let go of any fears you have because they serve no purpose. Let yourself make mistakes and learn from them. That’s the beauty of strength training, there is always room to learn and progress more, always.

If you have any questions at all feel free to contact me at amykfit@gmail.com. I am always happy to help in any way I can.

Amy Currie

Amy is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist out of Portland, Maine. Through her brand Fit Justice, she strives to give people the tools to live a happy, healthy and balanced life. She works to help people visualize and conquer health and fitness from all aspects [ physical, mental and social ]. Proper education and habit building are major concepts behind Fit Justice. Health and fitness is incredibly diverse and Amy believes that this should be embraced and applied on an individual level. Follow her on instagram (@amy__currie)

Best Leg Workout For Strong And Sculpted Legs

The Bodyweight Leg Workout You Can Do Anywhere