A 4-Week Beginner’s Guide to Weightlifting (Workouts Included!)

Now that you’ve decided to start lifting weights, you’re probably wondering where exactly you should begin. We know the weight room can seem intimidating, which is why we created this guide to get you acclimated to lifting weights. This program is designed to first and foremost introduce you to weightlifting, and second help you build lean muscle — and yes, you’ll lose fat as well.

You’ll work out three times a week for four weeks. Ideally we’d like you to do the the strength sessions with a lighter activity day in between (swimming, yoga, etc.), but we do understand that life happens, so move them around to fit your schedule! The first two weeks will be very simple but still challenging. On weeks three and four, the sets and reps will increase. A sample week will look like the following:

  • Monday: Week 1, Workout A
  • Tuesday: Foam roll for 15 minutes
  • Wednesday: Week 1, Workout B
  • Thursday: 20-minute easy run
  • Friday: Week 1, Workout C
  • Saturday: Hour long walk
  • Sunday: Yoga

 

For the exercises that require weight, start with either 7.5-pound or 10-pound dumbbells. If this feels too light or too heavy, make necessary adjustments. It’s more important to master the movement than to move carelessly with heavier weights. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down after every workout. For your warmup you can do an easy run or dynamic exercises to activate your muscles like butt kicks, high knees, plank saws, and glute bridges.

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Since you’re being more active, you will more than likely notice that you have a larger appetite. Listen to your body and fuel it with nutritious foods like vegetables, protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Drink lots of water and be sure to replace the electrolytes you’ve lost with a sports drink or electrolyte tablets.

Week 1

Workout A: Legs

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Dumbbell Squats: 10 reps

  • Forward Backwards Lunges: 8 reps on each leg

  • Glute Bridge: 12 reps

Core

Complete two rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Bicycle and Twist: 15

  • Mountain Climbers: 15 each leg

  • Side Plank: 30 seconds

Workout B: Arms

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Bicep Curls: 10 reps

  • Push-ups: 10 reps

  • Bent-Over Row: 10 reps

Core

Complete two rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • V-Ups: 20 reps

  • Reverse Crunches: 15 reps

  • Plank: 30 seconds

Workout C: Full-Body

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Modified Burpee: 10 reps

  • Romanian Deadlift: 10 reps

  • Squat, Curl, and Press: 10 reps

Core

Complete two rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Russian Twist: 20 reps

  • Dumbbell Oblique Side Bends: 10 reps each side

  • Sit Ups With Medicine Ball: 15 reps

Week 2

Workout A: Legs

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Dumbbell Squats: 10 reps

  • Forward Backwards Lunges: 8 reps on each leg

  • Glute Bridge: 12 reps

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Core

Complete two rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Bicycle and Twist: 15

  • Mountain Climbers: 15 each leg

  • Side Plank: 30 seconds

Workout B: Arms

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Bicep Curls: 10 reps

  • Push-ups: 10 reps

  • Bent-Over Row: 10 reps

Core

Complete two rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • V-Ups: 20 reps

  • Reverse Crunches: 15 reps

  • Plank: 30 seconds

Workout C: Full-Body

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Modified Burpee: 10 reps

  • Romanian Deadlift: 10 reps

  • Squat, Curl, and Press: 10 reps

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Core

Complete two rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Russian Twist: 20 reps

  • Dumbbell Oblique Side Bends: 10 reps each side

  • Sit Ups With Medicine Ball: 15 reps

Week 3

Workout A: Legs

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise move on to the next one.

  • Dumbbell Squats: 15 reps

  • Forward Backwards Lunges: 12 reps on each leg

  • Glute Bridge: 12 reps

Core

Complete three rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Bicycle and Twist: 20

  • Mountain Climbers: 15 each leg

  • Side Plank: 45 seconds

Workout B: Arms

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise move on to the next one.

  • Bicep Curls: 12 reps

  • Push-ups: 10 reps

  • Bent-Over Row: 12 reps

Core

Complete three rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • V-Ups: 25 reps

  • Reverse Crunches: 20 reps

  • Plank: 45 seconds

Workout C: Full-Body

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise move on to the next one.

  • Modified Burpee: 12 reps

  • Romanian Deadlift: 12 reps

  • Squat, Curl, and Press: 15 reps

Core

Complete three rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Russian Twist: 20 reps

  • Dumbbell Oblique Side Bends: 12 reps each side

  • Sit Ups With Medicine Ball: 20 reps

Week 4

Workout A: Legs

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Dumbbell Squats: 12 reps

  • Forward Backwards Lunges: 10 reps on each leg

  • Glute Bridge: 10 reps

Core

Complete three rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Bicycle and Twist: 20

  • Mountain Climbers: 15 each leg

  • Side Plank: 45 seconds

Workout B: Arms

Strength

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Bicep Curls: 12 reps

  • Push-ups: 10 reps

  • Bent-Over Row: 12 reps

Core

Complete three rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • V-Ups: 25 reps

  • Reverse Crunches: 20 reps

  • Plank: 45 seconds

Workout C: Full-Body

Complete three sets of the first exercise, taking 30-60 seconds of rest in between each set. Once you’ve completed all three sets for the first exercise, move on to the next one.

  • Modified Burpee: 10 reps

  • Romanian Deadlift: 12 reps

  • Squat, Curl, and Press: 12 reps

Core

Complete three rounds of the following exercises, with little to no rest.

  • Russian Twist: 20 reps

  • Dumbbell Oblique Side Bends: 12 reps each side

  • Sit Ups With Medicine Ball : 20 reps

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