Beginner dumbbell Workout routine
The second you walk into the weight room, you’re faced with a million questions: How much weight should I lift? Once I actually find a dumbbell I can pick up, how many reps should I perform? How many sets? Does it even matter? If you’re a newbie, either to weightlifting or exercise in general, figuring this stuff out can feel as intimidating as the no-necks grunting over there by the squat rack.
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Well, those questions do matter. The pattern of sets and reps you use to structure your strength workout can make the difference between wasted gym time and awesome progress. But before we get started, know that mastering proper form is key, regardless of how heavy or light you’re lifting. If you’re truly a first-timer, we’d recommend setting up a session with a trainer so you can master the basics (here’s how to find the right personal trainer for you).
Now, follow these guidelines to get the most out of every rep.
Dumbbells for Rookies
First day in the weight room? Congrats! The key to getting started is to find weights light enough to successfully perform two to three sets of 12 to 17 reps, says strength coach Dan Trink, C.S.C.S., owner of Trink Fitness. But before you start ripping through a workout, you aren’t actually going to perform that many right off the bat. Aim for two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps, Trink says. The goal is to have two to five reps “in the tank, ” meaning you could perform two to five more reps if you had to, after each set.
“You’ll make great gains in the beginning. The best gains you’ll ever make.”
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Why? Contrary to the “go big or go home” mentality, especially in the beginning, you don’t want to push your muscles to their max. That’s largely because, when you start a strength training program, you are training your mind just as much as you are training your body, Trink says. And we don’t mean that in a “mind over matter” way.