Tuesday, 15 May 2018

How To Write A Workout Program For Beginners

workout for beginners

As a good trainer with your clientele in mind, your number one goal should be to make your clients as comfortable and safe as possible as they embark on their long journey to fitness. Many are the clients who sign in to some gym membership but then drop out within two or three weeks. Of course they come from different backgrounds and have different fitness goals; therefore no single program will address these different needs. All the same, we shall discuss a couple of general guidelines that will ensure your workout program for the beginners impresses them and entices them to commit themselves to the gym.

Client goals
The first consideration in writing the workout program is definitely the goals of a specific client. One client’s aim may be to be a power lifter while another one may be aiming at becoming a general bodybuilder or an endurance athlete. Some come to the gym for the purpose of general fitness, fat loss, getting stronger, putting on muscles or just to keep in shape.

All these will certainly need a different workout routine that will help them achieve their goals. A good trainer would first know what the intentions of the client are, and work with him/her towards this, rather than dictate what the clients should be doing and what they should not.

Build from fundamentals
That experience of joining a fitness club and working with professional trainers sometimes proves overwhelming to beginner clients. This is made worse by the presence of experienced bodybuilders currently doing the hard stuff.

A beginner may out rightly feel out of place and be tempted to quit. Your program should ensure that the beginner client learns the basic movements first. These should be slowly developed into more difficult moves, of course depending on the trainee’s speed.

circuit training

The first few weeks of your program should include the following:

Squats – Box squat, front squat, back squat, goblet squat

Single leg work – Single leg hip thrust, forward lunges, reverse lunges, lateral lunges

Pulling exercises – single-arm dumbbell rows, chest-supported rows, seated cable row variations, pull-ups, chin-ups

Pushing exercises – push press, push-ups, dumbbell press variations, landmine press, bench press variations

Hip hinge – conventional deadlift, trap-bar deadlift

Core lifts – tall-kneeling lifts, half-kneeling lifts, overhead lifts

RELATED: Top Benefits Of Doing Squats

Remember to everyday make the client better than he was the previous day. For instance, the number of squats should increase daily, and the speed of lifting improve daily. Such gradual progress will avoid frustration and failure on the part of the client.

Experience has it that beginner clients require only 2-4 exercises at any one time. So see to it that your workout program does not contain 15 or more exercises.

Rep Range
The number of sets and exercises in every workout will be determined by the client’s rep range. This again takes you back to their goal. A client training for power will be in the rep range of 1-5. That one training for muscle endurance will be in the rep range 12-15, others in the rep range 8-12. The number of sets in the 1-5 rep range are higher than the number of sets in the 12-15 rep range.


To further dissect this, the rep 1-5 rep range will include less exercises, so that the client can perform the many sets per exercise. On the contrary, the 8-12 rep range will have more exercises since the client does just a few sets per exercise.

RELATED: Health Benefits of Circuit Training

The rep range will also dictate what exercises to include in the workout program for beginners. Exercises in the 1-5 rep range may include power exercise such as deadlift. Bicep curls on the other hand will appropriately fit in the 8-12 or 12-15 rep range.

To optimize beginner progress, the workout program should generally include 5 sets of 5 reps each.

Advancing to secondary and tertiary exercises

Based on the client’s performance on the primary exercises, the workout program should steadily drive the client into more advanced exercises. The trainer should track all the sets and reps for each workout, which should inform him when to advance. It should be noted that the client improves in flexibility and derives more fun as the days turn into weeks and weeks into months.

RELATED: Resistance Training 101: The Amazing Benefits Of Strength Training

The secondary exercises should therefore up the ante and keep the clients moving. On top of having more variance than the fundamental exercises, the secondary exercises actually move the client a step closer to their goal.

Cardio, strength, flexibility
A good training program for beginners should at least include these three items. Cardio exercises are those that increase your heart rate, for example jogging, cycling or unloading on the treadmill. Steady state cardio is especially beneficial to those clients who may want to wind up the day after some stressful day at work.


Every beginner needs some little bit of lifting, even if their final goal is not to be a power lifter. Strength training can come in 3 forms. Bodyweight training involves tools such as pull-up bars, gymnastic rings and exercise bands. Bodyweight training can also be done without necessarily using any equipment.

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The second option is dumbbell training. You definitely must have a good set of dumbbells so as to incorporate this into your training program. Make sure to start off with small weights then add gradually as the client gets stronger. Barbell training is the third option for strength training. These are especially vital for those whose goal is body building.

Lastly, remember to include flexibility training in the program. These motion exercises improve the body’s flexibility and also help the body to recover after exercise.

The program must allow the client time to rest and heal. Starting off on a new routine, depending on the client’s background, may leave the client unable to move the following day. This is also true when for instance the client works out 7 straight days in a week. A good workout program for beginners should therefore include 2 or 3 rest days in a week.

To sum this up, never admit a client into the gym without a properly laid out game plan. Lack of a solid plan will result into the client moving from machine to machine, without any progress in a particular exercise.

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How To Write A Workout Program For Beginners

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