The question of how to correctly select a routine for a beginner is a somewhat difficult one to answer. Many things depend upon the current fitness and skill level of the trainee and his/her objectives. Due an improper understanding of how to correctly commence training, many trainers make mistakes in the first few months that could be costly later. If the trainee is selecting his own plan, the problem is worse because while a beginner is enthusiastic and wants results, they are not always entirely sure of their priorities and generally end up wanting a bunch of things at once. Thinking hard work is the answer they will generally select overly ambitious routines that will blow up in their faces and kill motivation.

On the other end of the spectrum many trainees will select routines that are much too tame and will avoid certain forms of training like barbells. They do too many things without focus and end up never making any real progress.

With all this in mind here are some basic principles that will help a beginner or a trainer select a good training routine.

  1. Irrespective of the objective of a trainee, the first priority of a beginner is to-
    a. Build work capacity.
    b. Build a foundation of good technique.
    c. Strengthen the weakest and most vulnerable parts of the body like the lower back, abs and hands.
    d. Get into the habit of regular exercise.
  2. Extra work should be done for areas that have been previously injured.
  3. Mobility work must be consistent and regular.
  4. Cardio should be done after the main workouts and initially should be slow.
  5. Always increase the total volume of sets and reps being performed before increasing weights. This way the trainee will build a better work capacity and will get more time to perfect technique.
  6. Use basic compound exercises for strength.
  7. Full body routines are the best way for beginners to train.
  8. A lot of bodyweight and dumbbell exercises should be performed to build stability, good technique and basic strength.
  9. Only when the above is taken care of should extra work be added for whatever may be the objective of the trainee. Stay on a plan like this for at least 3-6 months before trying more regular programs.

With all this in mind, it should be much easier to select a good training plan. Below is a simple 6 day per week routine that covers all these points, and contains extra work for fat loss.

performing-repetitions-of-an-exercise-known-as-a-seated-dumbbell-press

Monday

Deadlift from knee level- 30×5, 37.5×5, 45x3sets of 5

If 5 reps could be done on all three sets, simply add 4 kgs next time. Otherwise stay at the same weight.

Dumbbell Overhead Press- 3-5 sets X 8-12 reps (simply start with 3×8 and add reps and sets until you are doing 5×12. Then add weight)

Lat Pulldowns- 3-5 sets x8-12 reps

Bodyweight squats- 2-3 sets of 10-50 reps

Sit ups- 2×10-50reps

Stationary Bike- 20mins

Tuesday

Afito Agile 10 (based on defranco agile 8) Stretching

Afitgo Fatloss Circuit Level 1 (every 2 weeks jump up a level)

Agile 10

Wednesday 

Deadlift from knee level- 30×5, 37.5×5, 45x3x5 (See monday)

Incline Push Ups- 2-3 sets of 10-40reps

Seated Cable Rowing- 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps

Bodyweight Hypers- 2-3 sets of 8-20 reps

DB side bends- 1-2 sets of 8-20reps

Stationary Bike- 20mins

Thursday

Afitgo agile 10

Afitgo Fatloss Circuit Level 1 (see tuesday)

Afitgo agile 10

Friday

Deadlift from knee level- (see monday)

One arm dumbbell press- 2-3 sets of 6-12reps per arm

one arm dumbbell rowing- 3-4 sets of 8-20 reps per arm

Bodyweight hypers- 2-3 sets of 8-20 reps

Bodyweight squats- 2-3 sets of 10-50 reps

Knee tucks- 2-3 sets of 8-30 reps

Saturday

Agile 10

Jogging 20mins

Agile 10

 

As you can see this routine selects exercises that are easy to learn and are not dangerous to perform. The volume is relatively high but the intensity is low. You train the full body in the gym, Monday Wednesday, Friday, with an emphasis on the lower back, legs and abs. You do fatloss work and stretching on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Every exercise begins with an easy number of sets and repetitions and builds to a very large workload over 3-6 months. Meanwhile you will get stronger as well by consistently performing the deadlift and adding weight.

For templates like this and controlled routines that track your progress, download the aftgo app and use the training plans (blue icon on the bottom right).

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