The Ultimate Beginner’s Workout Guide to Rock Your Body Right
Strength training: 2-3 times weekly
This type of training is also essential for keeping your body functional over the years. Stronger bones and muscle tissue reduce the likelihood for severe accidents, as well as the muscle loss brought by aging.
While cardio workouts put almost all of your muscles to work, strength training means working different muscle groups for each session.
The five basic moves for strength training sessions are squat, hinge, push, pull and core work. Tamir recommends working each muscle group two to three times a week; therefore, your workout plan should include at least one exercise designed for each major muscle group:
Does this mean I have to perform 8 exercises every single session?
Absolutely not! There are many exercises meant for training several muscle groups at once. Squats, lunges, chest presses and lunges are the most common examples in that sense.
How to do it: Ideally, you should aim for 12-15 reps per set as a beginner. One session should last for 40-60 minutes plus warm-up and cool-down time. Once you feel that you’ve mastered each exercise (in terms of balance and endurance), you can increase the weighs or add an extra set of reps.
If you’re going to have three strength training sessions per week, each session should contain different types of exercises. However, you should repeat the routine every week.
Tamir recommends beginners to follow the same program for four to six weeks before increasing the weights used.
Rest days: 2 times weekly
Why did I add ‘rest days’ as a workout plan?
Because that’s exactly what they are.
Your body needs breaks to recover after each training session; it is the only way your muscles can grow, while your joints can recover from the pressure brought by exercise.
Note that this does not mean you should spend the day in bed as if you were ill. Recovery days mean spending your day as usual, just without any exercise that makes you break a sweat.
Tamir points out that mental recovery is equally important:
“It’s not just about the physical recovery—it’s also the mental. Doing something that you enjoy that’s active is great for the mind…and it assists in residual fatigue.”
How to do it: While active recovery shouldn’t leave you breathless, it should get you moving. If you already have an active routine, there’s nothing to worry about. If you’re spending 9 hours at the desk, taking time for a 30-60 minute walk can do wonders for the recovery process.
You are free to decide how you manage your rest days.
For example, Tamir says that if you’re working out daily from Monday to Friday, you can take the entire weekend off. Alternatively, you can also do one strength day, one cardio day, one rest day and repeat the cycle.
The only mention I’d like to make is that specialists do not recommend performing strength training two days in a row. Otherwise, it all depends on your lifestyle.