General Training Guidelines For Beginners

  1. Always start with big the muscle groups first. For example, always do chest before triceps and shoulders, always do back before biceps.
  2. Work each body part once per week with the exception of abs and calves, you can work them 2- 3 times per week if you’d like.
  3. Allow at least 48 hours before you work the same muscle group again. Never train a sore muscle.
  4. For big muscle groups (like chest, back, legs), I recommend 3-4 exercises per muscle group and 3-4 sets per exercise. But use your best judgement, if it’s too much then cut back until your training level increases.
  5. For smaller muscle groups, I recommend 2-3 exercises per part, 2-3 sets per exercise as these groups are also worked when you exercise the big muscle groups. Just remember, more is not always better.
  6. Pick a weight in which the last rep or two are very hard, on the last set you can even go to failure if you’re up to it, (once you get some experience under your belt) meaning you cannot physically perform another rep, you try and you fail. For rep range I recommend working in the 8-12 rep range. So reps 11 & 12 should be very hard to perform, you should not be able to get more reps out past 12. Now, for beginners who have little to no knowledge of proper form, I recommend you work closer to the 15 rep range until you master proper form to avoid injury.
  7. Take 1-3 minutes rest between each set of 8-12 reps. Generally, the heavier you lift, the more rest time you should allow between sets. If you are lifting in the 11-15 rep range, you can take as little as 30 seconds rest.
  8. Make up your training split based on how many days per week you can go to the gym and how long you want to spend there. Personally, I wouldn’t try to do more than 2 body parts per session if you can help it. Reason is cause it’s very difficult to maintain your intensity/energy for more than two body parts. If you are really giving it all you got, you will most likely find it quite difficult to still have the energy to train that third body part, especially if you are a beginner.
  9. Never do cardio before lifting weightsalways do cardio after weight training and preferably on a separate day altogether.
  10. Don’t overdo it on the cardio, cardio is way overrated in terms of burning fat. Your diet and weight training (muscle) is what’s gonna burn the fat for you. For starters, I’d only do cardio twice a week for no more than 30 min. I recommend high intensity interval training if you’re up to it. If you are pretty out of shape then obviously your “high” intensity interval will not be as high as someone who is already conditioned.
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Chest X
Back X
Legs X
Shoulders X
Abs X
Cardio X X

Note: Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Also, please realize that this is not the ONLY way to train especially depending on your fitness goals. In any case, I hope this helps you and good luck achieving your goals!