what's a good training regime for beginners?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Bruce_Lee93, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Bruce_Lee93

    Bruce_Lee93 Martial Movie Addict

    hey guys. anybody know about a good weight training program that can be used by beginners? Any thoughts/tips welcome.
  2. BuddhaPalm

    BuddhaPalm Valued Member

    There's so much you can do. I suggest starting off with isolation excercises before doing compound movements.
  3. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Actually it should be the exact opposite.

    In the words of the wise Paul Kelso (a popular strength training writer who emphasizes drug-free training): "There is no need to attempt to isolate or define a muscle until you actually have muscles to define or isolate."

    Compound movements should take priority over everything else, with isolation exercises only being used once you actually get to where you have weak points in your lifts and want to work on them. The key idea for accessory exercises is that you're working to improve your weaknesses in main lifts and not get caught up in focusing exclusively on those.

    To the OP: There's a lot of really good routines out there, and just about every single one will work well for a beginner if you train hard, eat a lot, and get a lot of rest. The main thing we need to know is what do you want out of weight training?
  4. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    i second kuma.

    im going to presume that you want to improve your martial arts by supplimenting it with a weights regime?

    in which case your martial art will effect the regime (grappling or striking)
  5. Ch4plain

    Ch4plain New Member

    I've been doing a modified version of StrongLift's 5x5 and I'm enjoying it.

    There is a good sticky on the subject here on MAP, but SL has a good sticky as well including some specific programs/recommendations. Most are advanced stuff such as the Texas Method, but it should give you a great base to build off of information wise.


    But as Kuma said, if you're just beginning/reentering strength training, it is best to stick with compound movements like squats, deadlifts, pullups/chinups, overhead press, etc, ad nauseum.

    But the crux of the topic is that you should enjoy what you're doing. If you dread going to the gym, then you'll accomplish very little. Have fun with what you're doing and don't ever take one person's word as gospel.
  6. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Another vote for basic compound movements.

    Are you going to a gym or do you have access to weights at home.
    If you are training at home use dumbells if you don't have a spotter. The advantage of dumbells is it generally uses more of the core to stabilise the weights and on your own it is safer.
    You can also try bench presses and the like laying on a swiss ball rather than a bench. That way you will be using your core to stabilise rather than the bench stabilising you.

    Do squats. This is very important. Don't be one of those guys with big arms, but always wears jogging bottoms because they have pencil thin legs. Also stay off of the bloody stupid chest fly machines.

    Just as important as the wights are the rest days. You can lift and strain all you want, but if you don't programme in rest days you are wasting your time.

    The third part of the triangle is your diet. Weight training places great strain on your body and therefore the fuel you put in your system for recovery then growth is very important.

    If any one of these three components is missing you will not see the gains you want. Many have made the mistake of thinking their training is not hard enough, when in reality it is the training that is fine and either the diet or rest that is lacking.
  7. Patrick Smith

    Patrick Smith Tustom Cuser Uitle

    Don't forget dips. Dips are great!


    Also, if you want to look strong as well as be strong, compound lifts are still the way to go. Doing squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, chins/pull ups, dips, and stuff like will cause you to get bigger everywhere. You don't need to do bicep curls, triceps extensions, calf raises, or any of that ninny stuff.

    Last thing, 2-3 times a week is usually the optimal exposure. Constant exposure with sufficient rest is the key!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  8. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    My advice? The easiest one you think is appropriate. I'd suggest looking up the following exercises, doing them with a completely unloaded bar and adding weight as you feel is appropriate, doing no more than 3-5 reps of a max of, say, 5 exercises until you know how to ramp up the intensity:
    Turkish getups
    Bench presses
    Shoulder presses
    or to cut to the chase, picking up, squatting, pressing, pulling, bending and straightening of any description.
    any mutli-joint, compound exercise. Be creative. Jump, run, etc.
    Aim for 10-12 reps of 3-4 sets for now, eat plenty, sleep plenty, stay hydrated and call us again when you need to.
  9. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    I've always liked tthis workout as a good one for beginners. It's pretty simple, direct, and to the point. Work out either M-W-F or T-T-S. Rest 2-3 min between sets. Each set is progressively heavier with the last set being the most weight you can do with good form for the prescribed number of reps.

    DAY ONE.
    Squats (5 sets of 6 reps, as deep as you can go)
    Chin-Ups (4 sets of max reps, have a friend assist you beyond what you can do)
    One-Arm DB Rows (4 sets of 10-12 reps per side)
    Decline Sit-Ups (4 sets of 15 reps)

    DAY TWO.
    Dumbbell Bench Press (5 sets of 5 reps)
    Dumbbell Clean & Press (4 sets of 6 reps, palms in during clean, palms forward to press)
    Dumbbell Farmer's Walk (2-3 sets of 100ft with at least one turn)
    Full Contact Twists (4 sets of 15 reps)

    Deadlifts (5 sets of 5 reps)
    Dips (4 sets of max reps)
    Barbell Curls (4 sets of 6 reps)
    Hanging Knee Raises (4 sets of 15 reps, at end of set hang until your grip gives out)
  10. Commander Nitro

    Commander Nitro Valued Member

    Start with a program that works all muscle groups with about 15-16 reps until you feel comfortable with it and build some strength. Begin with a light weight and perform one set. After that, you can reduce your reps but add more weight.

    How many reps and sets you do will depend on your goals.
  11. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    If you have the time, money and a suitablely qualified olympic weightlifting coach in your area... I'd suggest you pay them for 2/3 hours of their time and get them to teach you:

    Power Clean
    Front Squat
    Back Squat
    Overhead Squat
    Romanian Deadlift
    Overhead Press

    Work these motions with little weight for 3/4 weeks and then have them check your form.
  12. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    15-16 reps?
    id say for a martial artist 3-6 unless doing endurance.
  13. Achilles NZ

    Achilles NZ Valued Member

    Kuma already hit it on the head, Since isolation is a completley different movement pattern to compound exercises, isolating a specific muscle , with the overall goal of moving onto compund exercises would be rather fruitless, there not a heck of a lot of transferability there.

    Its rather backwards. you want to build strong neuromuscular pathways throuigh compound exercises, which leads to a strong overall base to work from. and also great transferability when you want to get more specific with your training.

    However im sure you have a reason why you prescribed isolation first?

    I would be interested in hearing your opinion, maybe thats what you have been told? or just the way you did it, and it worked great for you?
  14. Achilles NZ

    Achilles NZ Valued Member

    This is a good call ,as these exercises have higher muscle fiber recruitment leading to more of your fibers being broken down only to rebuild bigger and stronger.

    And like i said in my last post these have great transferability into martial arts and everday life. And depending on the parametres you use, will enhance anaerobic Fitness and explosive power.

    Nueromuscular efficiency is also heavily increased.
  15. BuddhaPalm

    BuddhaPalm Valued Member

    Guys, as a martial artist it pays to have as much control over your muscles as possible. Coming from a wing chun background we focus alot on isloating our movements and putting every muscle contraction together to create a compound movent. Why would you move to compounds before learning proper muscle contraction? Probably because you've been taught to but not many know how to best start training with weights, martial arts or not.
  16. Achilles NZ

    Achilles NZ Valued Member

    "Guys, as a martial artist it pays to have as much control over your muscles as possible." Correct!

    However how do you think isolation will achieve this?, isolation training will train a specific muscle in a specific range of motion, thats it.

    You can't train muscles individually, and then expect them to work together efficiently just because you decide to put them into a compound movement, it dosn't work like that, you need to remember training is not just about the muscle fiber, its alot about nueromuscular development.

    you cant do a bicep curl, and some lat work, then expect to be able to do awesome pull ups!

    You cant do leg extension and hamstring curls and expect to have awesome squats, you have trained your muscles to do something completely different.

    And it is no different in the Dojo with body weight training.

    Please define proper muscle contraction, because i'm beginning to believe you have no idea.

    "Probably because you've been taught to but not many know how to best start training with weights, martial arts or not"

    It's apparent, you are infact the victim of being taught incorrect training parameters. :bang:
  17. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    If you've got a heavy barbell balanced on your back and are doing squats with it, you're going to learn far more quickly about the application of muscular tension than you would doing leg extensions any day of the week.
  18. Achilles NZ

    Achilles NZ Valued Member

  19. BuddhaPalm

    BuddhaPalm Valued Member

    I'm a qualified personal trainer and i used to work for a leading gym. If you look at me you wouldn't think i'm a trainer because i'm not a big guy but i was chosen for the job because i know what i'm talking about.
    One thing you will learn while working in a gym is that there is more than one way to skin a rabbit. Every trainer in that gym came from a different background and thus had their way of doing things. One was from a military backround, one from a gymnastics background, another from a ''get massive'' background, etc and mine from a martial arts background. Everyone thought that what they teach is the best, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it.
    For example the most popular trainer was a big, black guy with a bulging stomach and he's approach to training a young footbal (soccer) player was to put more weight on him, so he prescribed him the basic compound excercises for 3 sets with a rep range from 8 to 12. I prescribed a routine that consisted of strength movements like squats followed by power movements like plyometrics. I thought my way was better because it was geared more towards meeting an athletes demands, particularly a soccer player.
    I have no doubt that i can get most of you to do atleast two excercises more efficiently.
    I'm saying this to let you guys know i know exactly where you're coming from and i know how the fitness indusrty works.
    I beleieve that anyone who is serious about starting weight training should look at the big picture. A basic program should be spent a year on islotation excercises followed by a year of compound movements like deadlifts, squats, bent over rows, bench press, shoulder press etc.
    When you do a compound movement or even an isolation move you will contract both the antagonist and agonist muscles even tho your aim is to soley focus on the best contraction you can get from the agonist muscle. Ofcopurse these are just basic guidelines, leaving out cheats, etc. When you punch your agonist will be your tricep and your antagonist will be your bicep. The ability to contract the tricep while relaxing the bicep will greatly effect the quality of your punch. I don't wish to debate what constitues a 'quality' punch. Something that seperates beginners in weight training and martial arts is their ability to contract their agonist muscle effeciently while relaxing their antagonist muscle as musch as possible. Ofcourse, you need to tense you antagonist muscle aswell, you need to apply muscular tension in all you muscles to learn about muscle tensnion.
    Where is it written that you must start a weight program with compounds and thus sacrficing the quality of your body mechanics? There are many factors to take into account and it's best to play it safe and slow, building up to your peak.
    I beleive it's best to start off with pilates, to train your core properly, stretching as always and isolation excercises for a year. The second year should be geared towards more strength with a program that soley consists of mainy compound moves such as deadlifts followed by hanging leg raises to strengthen the hip. Once you have built a solid structure then i suggest specialising according to ones goals. I believe that my way and i'm i'm not the only who believes this, is the best way.
  20. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    No you're not, but you're still wrong. Why would you think that practicing a completely different movement that uses as few muscles as possible would help you to learn a complex movement?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010

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