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.
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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.
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.
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“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.
Best Weight Training Program#2 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, also known as ‘the glute guy’. Bret is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training and has a PhD in Sports Science – that should tell you that his knowledge is top notch and well researched.
The Strong Curves 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.”
Beginner Strength Training Program#3 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
Beginner Strength Training Program#4 Dymatize Transformed
Dymatize Transformed is another one of the best weight training programs available for beginners. This free workout plan is powered by Bodybuilding.com, which happens to be one of the best resources for other free comprehensive fitness plans.
Although the program is no longer completely free on the bodybuilding website, you can still get the free access to it through the BodySpace app, available on Andriod and iOS.
The program is a 12-week plan designed for just about anyone wishing to burn fat, transform their bodies or build muscle. The program is a balance between cardio and strength training, you will be lifting 4 days a week, while the rest will be HIIT cardio. You may need to add extra abs work to build a stronger core (which is required for compound movements) as the program doesn’t include targeted ab exercises.
You can either download the Transformed app on its own or the Bodyspace app (owned by bodybuilding.com) which has the Transformed program and a host of many other quality free workout programs designed by renowned trainers.
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