Getting Started: A Guide for Strength Training for Beginners

If you are ready to level-up your health and fitness goals, then adding strength training into your workout routine is essential. Strength training is a great way to jumpstart your fitness routine. Or, it can also be an effective solution to help you break through any plateaus you’ve recently hit.

Even if you know that strength training is important, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. As a beginner, one of the best things you can do is get help on this fitness journey. You have many options available, such as joining a strength training class at your local gym or working with a personal trainer who can design your customized training plan.

What is Strength Training & Why Does it Matter?

The term “strength training” is an umbrella phrase for any type of workout that involves using resistance to work your muscles. Ultimately, these exercises help to increase strength, endurance, and power. You are putting stress on your muscles, which causes them to adapt and grow stronger over time. So, the best approach for strength training is to change your training routine as needed.

Here is a quick overview of some of the reasons why strength training matters:

  • Physical Health Benefits: When you are building muscle, it has a positive effect to strengthen your bones at the same time. Additionally, different types of chronic diseases can be prevented, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
  • Functional Benefits: Strength training helps you build muscle mass, which increases your ability to do regular tasks each day. You’ll find it easier to push, lift, pull, and carry things. Another functional benefit is the improvement of balance and coordination, which helps to reduce the risk of falls (which is especially important for older adults).
  • Weight Loss Benefits: Whether you have big weight loss goals or you want to drop a few pounds, strength training can be part of this strategy. When at rest, muscle burns more calories than fat. So, it becomes easier to change your body composition and manage fat ratios when you are using resistance exercises.
  • Mental Health Benefits: When you are exercising, endorphins are released in the body causing mood-boosting effects. Also, many people feel better about themselves because they are seeing physical progress, which helps to improve confidence and self-esteem.
  • Sleep Benefits: If you are looking for ways to improve your sleep, then a regular exercise routine with strength training can be a contributing factor. For the best results, plan your workout earlier in the day so you have time to calm down and relax before bedtime. Some people have a hard time sleeping if their workouts are late at night.

Dispelling Myths About Strength Training

Some beginners are intimidated to start strength training, especially if they are worried about certain myths relating to this type of exercise. It’s important that you understand these important details that might be getting in the way of your mindset:

  • You don’t have to lift heavy weights: Even though it’s impressive to see someone lifting heavy weights, you don’t have to do these intensive exercises to see results. Rest assured knowing that lighter weights and bodyweight exercises can be quite effective, especially for beginners.
  • You won’t bulk up: Some women are concerned that strength training is going to give them a bulky body shape. The truth is that women have lower levels of testosterone, which is the hormone that influences muscle growth. So, you will tone-up not bulk-up.
  • You don’t need to spend money on fancy equipment: It can be expensive to set up a home gym. It doesn’t make sense to spend this cash, especially when you are just getting started. A better solution is to invest in a gym membership that gives you access to all the equipment that you need.

Different Types of Strength Training Exercises

When it comes to any exercise plan, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every person. As a beginner, try different types of strength training exercises to find the perfect fit for your unique preferences. Options include:

  • Bodyweight Exercises: With this type of exercise, you don’t need any equipment because you are using your own body weight for resistance. Examples of bodyweight exercises include planks, rows, pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and lunges.
  • Free Weight Exercises: Another option is to use free weights, such as hand weights, dumbbells, and barbells. These weights level up the resistance you are giving your muscles.
  • Exercise Machines: One of the benefits of having a gym membership is that you have access to many different types of exercise machines. These machines provide resistance during your exercises, and you can choose the intensity that works best for your needs.
  • Resistance Bands: If you are looking for a travel-friendly solution, try using resistance bands. These give you something to work the muscles against. The bands are very lightweight and portable.

In addition to repeating different types of bodyweight exercises, also find solutions to build functional movements into your workout routine. For example, the positioning and types of weights that you choose can help you lift weights to carry your children or lift heavy objects around your home more easily.


Can I build muscle without lifting heavy weights?

Yes! No matter the type of resistance exercise you choose, you will build muscle. Beginners often start with bodyweight exercises or lighter weights.

How often should I add strength training to my schedule?

The recommendation is to have 2 – 3 strength training sessions each week. Plan a recovery day between workout sessions.

What dietary tips will help with my strength training?

Make sure to include a good mix of clean protein and complex carbs. The protein provides the building blocks to help with muscle building and carbohydrates are important for energy.

Need Help with Your Strength Training Plan?

Strength training is even better when you have a community to share the experience with. If you are ready to get started with your new fitness routine, then join Fitness Nation today. Our gym has all of the equipment and support you need.