Full-Body Beginner Strength Training Routine

If you’re in the beginning stages of starting a weight lifting routine, I’d recommend one that covers all of the major muscle groups and suggest performing it 2-3 times a week. The routine I created below includes a warm-up circuit to get your muscles ready, a lower and upper body portion, and a cardio burnout at the end. The lower body uses your bodyweight only, and the upper body requires dumbbells (whatever weight you feel comfortable with! It can be 1 pound dumbbells to begin with). As you gain strength, you can add weight to the lower body and increase the weight used for upper body. This routine is completely modifiable and can be adjusted as your strength grows.

Warm-Up Circuit

(Do each move in the circuit for the suggested time of work and rest. Repeat circuit 3 times)

1. Jump rope: 30 secs on, 30 seconds rest. (No actual jump rope is needed – just do the motions)

2. Jumping jacks: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest

3. Plank or Plank Modification: 40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest

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Lower Body

(30 seconds rest in between each set. Complete 3 sets of an exercise before moving on to the next)

1. Bodyweight squat

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 12 reps 
  • 3rd set: 12 reps

2. Bodyweight Glute Bridge

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 15 reps
  • 3rd set: 12 reps

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Upper Body:

(30 seconds rest in between each set. Complete the suggested number of sets before moving on to the next exercise)

1. Lying down back extension (weights required)

(Use weights. Note: you should be able to complete all of your sets using your weights, but the last 3 reps of each set should be hard to do. That’s how you know you’re at the right weight. If you can easily complete 15, you need more weight. If you can’t do 15 reps, you need to go down in weight slightly. If you need to modify this exercise, you can use one weight and hold it with both hands, rather than use two weights.)

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 12 reps
  • 3rd set: 12 reps

2. Lying down chest press (weights required – use same rule as above)

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 12 reps
  • 3rd set: 12 reps

3. Push Ups or Push-Up Modification

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 12 reps
  • 3rd set: 10 reps

4. Bicep curl (weights required – use same rule as above)

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 12 reps
  • 3rd set: 10 reps

5. Tricep Extension (weights required – use same rule as above)

  • 1st set: 15 reps
  • 2nd set: 12 reps 
  • 3rd set: 10 reps

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Cardio Burnout:

  1. Jump rope, 1 minute
  2. Jumping Jacks 1 minute
  3. Jog in place, 1 minute

Do this circuit two to three times a week (not back to back days), and supplement it with the cardio workout of your choosing – aim for 90 minutes weekly. This is any cardio, including walking. It’s important that you start to add weights or increase weights if the moves start to feel easy. This is how we continue progressing!

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