November 29, 2008
Program design for a beginner with minimal equipment
I have finally decided to start working out. For me to succeed in this endeavor I need to have a plan to follow to ensure my continued progress. What are your recommendations to beginners on a workout plan? For equipment, my apartment complex has a lat pull down, a bench, and two sets of dumbells, 15 and 30 lbs.
Way to go in making the decision to start working out and seeking a plan. These two steps are absolutely crucial.
If you’re looking for a quick starter routine, do this:
A1. Pushups, 3X10-12
A2. DB Squat to Bench, 3X10-12
B1. One Arm DB Row, 3X10-12
B2. Stationary Lunge, 3X10-12
C1. Lat Pulldown (medium underhand grip), 3X10-12
C2. DB Bench Press - See how many reps you can get with your 30 lb db’s. If it’s in the 12-15+range, do 2X12-15. If it’s in the 6-12 range, you can do 3-4 sets.
D1. Bent over DB row, 3X10-12 (reps will depend on weight of DB’s)
D2. Plank - 3X30 sec.
With movements under the same letter, alternate between the exercises with a 30-45 second rest period. For example, for A, perform a set of 10-12 push-ups, rest 30 seconds, and do a set of squats. Alternate between these two movements three times and then move on to B.
Make sure you’re progressing and keep the weight as heavy as possible for the designated number of reps. With the dumbbell movements, you’ll likely have to use higher reps due to your lack of heavier weights. The key is to constantly try to set new records for yourself - whether in the amount of weight (preferable) or the number of reps.
With this method of grouping your exercises, you’re optimizing your rest of each body part and making the best use of your time. (Notice you’re not wasting any time standing around).
You should be able to get through this workout in under 20-30 minutes. This doesn’t mean it will be easy. Do this 3 days a week and you’ll get stronger, and your conditioning should improve as well due to the short rest periods.
If you need demos of the various movements, you can browse this site or check out you tube. Good luck!
Have a specific question related to strength training or program design? Ask Doug!