Workout routine for beginners

Everyone has to start once and this is no different with sports. Every athlete once had his first visit to the gym and, like you, may have been overwhelmed by the numerous possibilities. That’s why I’m introducing you to a workout routine for beginners in order to help you to get started. In addition, this routine builds a solid foundation for your further athletic ambitions!

Free weights vs. machines?

The first question that comes up most of the time is whether to train with free weights or on machines if you are a beginner. In my opinion you should train with free weights, especially if you are just starting with working out!

During many basic exercises with free weights, the core is always active to a certain degree to stabilize you and is thus trained as well. This factor is eliminated on most machines. In addition, if you train with free weights numerous smaller, stabilizing muscle groups are also active, which is hardly the case with machines.

The training with free weights is more functional as well, since the movements are much more similar to movements from everyday life, as exercises on machines. Machines often isolate muscle groups, which can be helpful depending on your training goals, but as a beginner should not yet be in focus.

I do not want to say that machines are bad. As a beginner, however, you benefit from learning the correct technique for the basic exercises and getting stronger that way in the long run.

Technique vs. weight

I already mentioned it above: Correct technique. The technique is the most important aspect for the basic exercises to set an optimal training stimulus and train without injury. Especially at the beginning you should therefore use little to no weight until you feel confident in the execution of the exercise. Only then is it advisable to increase the weight slowly.

In the beginning, it is advisable to turn to a trainer or experienced athlete to explain the most important exercises. In addition, I will publish tutorials for the most important basic exercises in the near future.

The routine

In the beginning, a full-body routine is the optimal way to go in my opinion. On the one hand, you train your muscle groups with a high frequency, as you work every muscle group in each training session. On the other hand, you can do the exercises more often and work on your technique that way. In addition, you do not miss any muscle groups in case you cannot fit a workout into your schedule.

The plan is designed for 3 training sessions, but can be varied as desired. Listen to your body and do not feel compelled to exercise if you are not feeling well.

  • Monday: Workout
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Workout
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Workout
  • Weekend: Rest


  • Deadlifts: 3 sets, 8-12 Reps
  • Squats: 3 Sets, 8-12 Reps
  • Benchpress: 3 Sets, 8-12 Reps
  • Pullups: 3 Sets, 8-12 Reps
  • Shoulder Press with the Barbell: 3 Sets, 8-12 Reps

Since deadlifts and squats are pretty similar in terms of targteted muscles, it is also possible to alternate these two exercises (you only perform one of the two exercises and change the exercise with each workout).

Concerning pull-ups, I recommend that you perform them on a machine with a counterweight. Every gym should have such a machine. You simply set a weight and kneel or stand on a platform. During the execution of the exercise you will be “pushed up” with the set weight.

Alternatively to pullups you can also perform bent over rows with a barbell.

Maybe you’re wondering: Where are the exercises for the arms? At the beginning, it’s not that important to train your arms in isolation (you can do that though, if you want to). The basic exercises (bench press, barbell rowing, chin-ups) will work your biceps and your triceps anyway. This training stimulus should be more than sufficient, for your arms to get stronger!

Good training!

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