Beginners Muscle Building Workout


This workout is designed for a healthy adult who has little or no previous experience of weight training. If you are not a normal healthy adult you should take expert or medical advice before starting any strenuous training regime.

The biggest mistake that those new to muscle building is to do too much to start.

Remember that if your body is not used to lifting weights you can be prone to injury. Lifting too heavy weights can actually be detrimental to your progress as you may forced to take time out due to injury.

Read this guide fully before starting any training.

At the end of the day only you can be responsible for yourself.

Many of the exercises are shown using machines. While some can be replaced with barbells and dumbbells it can be safer to start with machine based exercise.

It is important to train relative to your current ability. As you gain strength and muscle you will be able to do more and for longer.

But as I mentioned earlier do not overstretch yourself when you start. Use the following guidelines to work out how much weight you should be lifting in each exercise.

The weights for each machine should be set so that you can achieve the steps and reps shown under each exercise video. Reps are the repetitions of the basic exercise and sets are the amount of times you perform that amount of reps. Reps are done continuously until completion. Sets have a rest period between them.

Ensure you are thoroughly warmed you before any lifting.

The Workout

As I mentioned previously this workout is designed for a healthy adult who has little or no previous experience of weight training.

The objective should be to increase your general fitness and increase muscle mass. Depending on your current physique you may also want to reduce body fat.


To increase muscle you need to perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps for each of the exercises. This means you need to perform one complete cycle of the exercise approximately 10 times. One rep might be (for bech press for example). Push bar up from chest to full arm extention and return bar back to chest. Make each rep about 3-4 seconds. Slower is better than faster.

 At this point your muscle should feel significantly fatigued and unable to continue without a rest. You will need to adjust your weights to get this effect. Initially you may be able to get advice from the trainers in the gym on starting weights.

Don’t worry if your efforts do not fully tire your muscles. Keep notes of the weights you used and adjust accordingly next time.

Over 2-3 sessions you will get to know what weights are working for you.

Of course over time you should see the need to gradually increase the weights you are using. This is a good sign that things are working and you are building muscle mass.


After you first set of reps rest for around 60 seconds. Time yourself as guesstimating a minute can be quite difficult especially when you are tired.

Complete your second set of reps

Between each exercise take an extended rest of approximately 2 minutes.

The full workout should be performed at twice a week for the first two weeks then increase that to three times a week.

Exercise 1
Warm-Up – Treadmill Run

Run for approximation 7-10 minutes until thoroughly warm. Adjust the speed and incline depending on your current fitness level. Start at a walk and increase the speed every minute.

It is importantly to measure your heart rate. Most treadmills will do this for you. Keep you heart rate at around 140-150.

Exercise 2
Quadraceps – Leg Press

Exercise 3
Hamstring – Lying Leg Curls

Exercise 4
Back – Wide-Grip Cable Pulldown

Exercise 5
Shoulder – Dumbbell bent over lateral Raise

Exercise 6
Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment

Exercise 7
Biceps – Machine Preacher Curl

Exercise 8
Chest – Bench Press

Exercise 9
Abdominal – Twist Floor Sit Up

Cooling Down

Cooling down, also named calming down, is an easy exercise that will allow the body to gradually transition to a resting or near-resting state. Depending on the intensity of the exercise, cooling down can involve a slow jog or walk, or with lower intensities, stretching can be used.

Cooling down helps your heart rate and breathing to return towards resting levels gradually It helps avoid fainting or dizziness, which can result from blood pooling in the large muscles of the legs when vigorous activity is stopped suddenly. It helps to remove waste products from your muscles, such as lactic acid, which can build up and is one the reasons for ‘muscle soreness’ after exercise.

You can cool down with any mild exercise but a few minutes back on the treadmill is a great way to finish off. Start the run on the treadmill safely and ramp up your speed. Remember you have just completed a tough workout and can be little unsteady.

Gradually drop the speed down each minute over a 5-7 minute period until you are down to a walk.

Diet and Drink

Ensure you are well hydrated before, during and after your workout. Don’t east a big meal just before your session.

Your diet will depend on your current body fat and what you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to lose weight as well as build muscle then you still need to keep your calorie intake reduced.

If you need to bulk up then of course you will need to eat more calories.

In all cases you should eat more high protein foods and less carbs.

Take a high protein snack or drink about 30 minutes after your workout. Remember that muscle grows when you’re resting, so resting is as important as the exercise.

Ensure you are getting the proper amount of good quality sleep

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