How Do Beginners Start Strength Training

One day I was talking to one of my friends who was new to the gym, and in fact he has never been to the gym in his life. He told me that he wants to get really strong, “how do I get into strength training”. Though the answer was simple at its core, I really did not give him a great answer so I did some research to provide him with the best possible answer.

How do beginners start strength training? Well as a beginner the amount of weight you will be lifting is the least of your concerns. In the beginning you should focus on perfecting your form, creating your workout including warming up to cooling down, and mastering the big 5 movements (bench press, deadlift, squat, shoulder press and pull-up) before you start thinking about pushing your strength.

How Do Beginners Start Strength Training
Photo by Karl Solano on

Perfecting Your Form

No matter what your goals are whether that be increasing your strength or to build muscle the number one thing you should master is perfect technique.

The best place to start would be to grab a very beginner friendly workout routine then just go to youtube and type in “X exercise perfect form”. This would just be followed up by trying to replicate what they did with as light a weight as possible. 

Once you have done that you can increase the weight to something that is heavier but still very controllable.

You will keep doing this until you have a full workout routine, then at that point you can start branching out and increasing the weight you use.

Why Does It Matter To Have Perfect Form

There are many great reasons to have perfect form, but the two I really want to focus on are preventing injury and maximizing gains.

Preventing Injuries – This is probably the most important reason you should have perfect form, as just think about it if you injured no gains right.

On top of that, let’s be real, no one wants to be injured, no one wants their ego to be damaged by being called an ego lifter. So to prevent most injuries from happening be sure to perfect your form before going heavier.

Maximizing Gains – Believe it or not form is more important than the weight you are lifting when it comes to improving.

As when you break form that usually means you are doing some kind of cheating which means you are using a muscle you are not supposed to. On top of this focusing on form you will really feel the muscle work overdoing it with bad form.

Creating Your Perfect Workout

There are many different splits that you could choose from such as the bro split, upper lower split, push pull legs, and so many more, but which one is the right one for you?

I hate to do this to you but there is no definitive right one, there is the right one for you right now but even that could change even just a couple of months down the line.

So my best advice here would be to look at how much time you have on your hands. For example if you only have 3 day a week to train, but in those days you have a lot of time you could do a full body workout for those days, or another example would be if you have six days a week to train but a limited amount of time you could do a push pull legs split and hit each section twice.

Once you have checked that out just type in on google “ workout routine for (split) for a (fitness level) over x days” and just copy what they show you and adjust it to your needs.

But if you just want to skip all that you can just go to step 2 and type in “ best workout routine for a (fitness level)”

Here is a great one you might want to try out!

Another question that might be on your mind might be how long should I workout, well you can read more about that here!

Mastering the Big 5 Exercises

You might be thinking, big 5 what are the big 5?

Well the big 5 exercises are the

  • Bench press
  • Deadlift
  • Squat
  • shoulder press
  • Pull-up 

These big 5 exercises are also the 5 best compound movements you can do, and getting strong at these exercises will lay the foundations for every other exercise you might want to attempt in the future.

Another great thing about these 5 exercises is that largely if you just train with these 5 exercises you will hit every single muscle group on your body.

If you want to learn more about the big 5 this is a great article here!


To re-cap if you are a beginner who wants to get into strength training it is best to at first focus on form, form, form as it is the cornerstone of everything you do. But if you were to choose 5 exercises to start with you should focus on the big 5 (bench press, deadlift, squat, shoulder press and pull-up). Then once you have done that you should start thinking about what your routine should be.

Then once you have completed those foundations then you can start your strength training journey and lifting heavy.


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