Lifting weights can be quite intimidating for newbies. There are so many things to fret about when you are just starting out, such as good form among others. When I started lifting I had no program to follow and was just going with the flow. I wish I had known about some of the best weight training programs that are widely available, especially the ones for beginners. I say this because having a proper program to follow which has been designed by world-class trainers, plays a huge role in boosting any newbie’s confidence in the gym. Apart from that, a well-structured weight training plan can also give the novice that ‘I know what I am doing’ boost and eventually help them realise their body goals.

I have come to learn about quality sources of free weight training programs and knowing that we all have to start somewhere, a newbie will certainly appreciate these resources.

Beginner Strength Training Program#1 StrongLifts 5×5

This is one of the best and popular beginner strength training programs out there. The program is great for improving overall strength and is effective in building muscle and burning fat.

StrongLifts (SL) uses five free weight compound exercises: the squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press and barbell row. Unlike other programs, I have tried, SL only requires 30-45 minutes of your time, three times a week. 5×5 stands for five sets of five reps, meaning you perform five sets and five reps of the exercises except for deadlifts which require only one set of five reps.

An incredibly simple StrongLifts app (Android and iOS) is available. The app features a 12-week training program and will calculate the progression for you. Additionally, you can get ‘how to’ and a whole bunch of other guides and suggestions from the SL website

Free Weight Training Programs for beginners

Beginner Strength Training Program#2 Dymatize Transformed

Dymatize Transformed is another one of the best weight training programs available for beginners. This free workout plan is powered by, which happens to be one of the best resources for other free comprehensive fitness plans.

“Transformed is a complete 12-week fitness plan designed for anyone who wants to burn fat, build muscle, and get in their best-ever shape. It includes a customizable workout program that’s flexible enough to meet any schedule; a simple, sustainable, and effective nutrition plan; smart supplement guidelines; and so much more—including helpful fitness tips and tricks from an elite squad of Dymatize athletes on every page!

If you’ve struggled to hit your fitness goals in the past, Transformed is for you. If you’ve fallen out of shape and need a plan that matches your busy lifestyle, Transformed is for you. In fact, if you need to transform for any reason, Transformed is for you—whether you’re male or female, beginner or advanced.”

You can either download the Transformed app on its own or the Bodyspace app (owned by which has the Transformed program and a host of many other quality free workout programs designed by renowned trainers.

Beginner Strength Training Program#3 Starting Strength

StrongLifts and Starting Strength (SS) programs are very similar to one another and between the two, I like Starting Strength better because it’s not just a program, but a book that teaches you how to perform the five primary barbell lifts in very specific and in-depth detail.

“The Starting Strength System makes use of the body’s most basic movement patterns – barbell exercises that involve all the body’s muscle mass – utilised over the longest effective range of motion and loaded progressively, to force the adaptations necessary for increased strength.

Unlike other popular exercise protocols, Starting Strength is a training system – a long-term process designed for getting stronger over time, not a random collection of exercises that just make you hot, sweaty, sore, confused, and tired today.”

Starting strength is available on Amazon apps, Google Play and the iTunes stores.

Beginner Strength Training Program#4 Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body

The Strong Curves book is not entirely free but if you want to give a try, there is a 36-page pdf that is available to download for free. I can assure you that you will consider buying your own copy just like I did after giving the freebie a shot.

Strong Curves is co-authored by Bret Contreras, who is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training. The guy has a PhD in Sports Science and that should tell you that his knowledge is top notch.

The book contains four workouts, a glutes only routine (with weights), two full body workouts with weights (one advanced), and a bodyweight only workout which you can do if you have no equipment at hand.

The value of the book lies in the detailed description of all the exercises.

“Chapters 1-9 teach you the key components when building a woman’s physique, provide the science behind muscle building, provide you with a practical guide for nutrition, and discuss proper movement patterns.

Chapters 10-14 provide a comprehensive warm-up, four 12-week glute-focused resistance training routines for every fitness level, full-colour tutorials for each exercise with descriptions and photos, workout logs for each plan, and simple ways to live the Strong Curves lifestyle.

The remaining bulk of the book consists of an exercise term glossary and an Exercise Index with over 200 exercise tutorials—including common mistakes for big lifts and how to fix these mistakes. The Exercise Index serves as a fitness guide for life.”

My advice, after all, is said and done is that, whichever of these best weight training program you end up choosing, the best one is the one that you will commit and stick to.

You can alternatively check out these free 5 Best YouTube Home Exercise Channels


24 thoughts on “Best Weight Training Programs for Beginners

  1. I have never really done much weight training. It always scared me. This sounds like a good way to get into it 🙂

  2. I would probably choose the starting strength program. I like that instead of just exerting yourself right away, you’re building toward a bigger goal of strength and endurance.

  3. Weight training is my favorite form of working out. I love muscle confusion training plans the most.

  4. Strong Curves looks like a really interesting, but I would need to actually be in a class to “get” it. I cant read a book about it or see a video. I should see whats available around me to oomph up my strength training for summer!

  5. I adore weight training! I didn’t adore going in blind though. What a fabulous list of starting programs. I think I’ll check out Strong Curves. This sounds highly interesting.

    1. Haha yes, you wrong Terri. People and especially women who are ‘bulky’ specifically train to look that way. Strength training will in no way make you bulky unless you are eating way more calories that you are burning and even then, it takes years to gain the amount of muscle that will give you the bulky appearance.

  6. I’ve done some weight training but not enough to see a difference. I know it’s beneficial for women to help keep our muscles and bones healthy so I will continue to use it as part of my routine.

  7. I really need to get into weight training more as I usually just stick to cardio when I am in the gym and I definitely need to mix it up a bit x

  8. This article really hits on some important topics, especially for the aging adult population.
    It really is NEVER to late to start a strength training program, which presents many benefits to one’s health.

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I don’t know much about weigh training at all.

  10. This sounds like a great plan to transition when it comes to weights. I think it’s good to not push yourself too much and follow your own pace.

  11. I do a lot of yoga and cardio but very little weight training. These were perfect ideas/tips for me since I’ve been wanting to get into weight training!

  12. I haven’t formally done weight training. You’re right – the prospect of it is intimidating! This is a great list of apps to use as tools. Very helpful and makes me feel like I just might be able to tackle this!

  13. I’ve bene thinking about weight training lately! Defintely saving this for future use!

  14. I always feel intimidated to start weights because it feels too daunting. I love that you have this so maybe I could actually start!

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