beginner weight training program

Beginner's weight training program: what you need to know

You wish to start weight trainingBut don't know how to do it? What exercises should you focus on? How to progress? You certainly have many questions. This is quite legitimate. To gain muscle quickly, you must follow a weight training program for beginners adapted. Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your first months of training at the gym.

The different weight training programs for beginners

When you start weight training, you have several options. You can take out a membership at the weight room or create your own home gym at home. You can also use the services of a sports coach or train on your own.

In any case, your muscular development goes through a training program. The latter is composed of different sessions to work the muscles of your body through dedicated bodybuilding exercises.

There are several types of programs that can help you achieve your goals:

  • the body weight program,
  • the program with rubber bands,
  • the full body program,
  • the half body program.

The body weight program

Strength training at body weightThis is the art of building muscle without the use of equipment (bars, weights, dumbbells, etc.).

Many athletes still think that it is impossible to build muscle without equipment. This is, of course, a totally false idea.

Body weight program
Discover my body weight program.

Training with bodyweight does allow you to develop your muscles. At body weightYou will be able to work your back as well as your pecs, biceps, triceps, legs, shoulders and abs.

As a beginner, you can start with knee push-ups, for example. Then you will progress with each session. There is no point in going too fast, being in too much of a hurry often means giving up.

If you don't have access to a gym, bodyweight training is a great way to get some exercise. muscle strengthening.

The elastic program

You can also train with rubber bands. These accessories make it possible to carry out many exercises and to work each muscle group of the body.

Elastic bands place continuous tension on the muscles during movement. This explains why they are commonly used by athletes experienced. Plus, they're affordable and easy to store.

beginner elastic program
For beginners, it is possible to progress with a training with elastics.

Training with elastics is a good alternative to practicing with loads to begin with.

The full body program

The training method full body consists in soliciting all the muscles of the body in a single session.

This is possible thanks to multi-joint exercises such as the bench press, squat, pull-ups or deadlift. Unlike isolation exercises, these movements work different muscle groups.

It is essential to include them in a weight training program for beginners, as they will allow you to build muscle and progress rapidly.

The half body weight training program

On the other hand, a program in half body is to work the upper and lower body in two different sessions. For example, you train your legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves) on Monday, then your back, arms, pecs and shoulders on Wednesday.

I recommend that you practice this method of training after several weeks in full body.

In half body, the exercises are rather monoarticular. Be careful not to make the mistake of working muscle by muscle. This last mode of training is called the split. Getting results with the split method requires a certain amount of experience and several months of training.

10 essential tips for starting to build muscle

As a professional sports coach, I regularly accompany debts ofutants in weight training. Here are 10 tips that will help you progress faster.

#1 Tip: Set realistic goals

We all have people in our circle who have signed up for a gym membership only to go 3 or 4 times. Do you know why? Very often, it is because they think (wrongly) that visible results can be obtained in a few sessions.

Unfortunately, build up your body is not done in a single stroke of the magic wand. Gaining muscle or muscle mass can take months or even years. Progress should be made at your body's own pace, that is, step by step. Be consistent and persistent and follow your beginner's weight training program precisely.

You must therefore be patient and set attainable, measurable and time-defined goals. For example, for a beginner, gaining 5 kilos of muscle in 6 months is a relevant objective.

If the deadline for your goal is too far away, you can of course set intermediate goals.

#2 Tip: Space out your workouts

How many times a week should you train? This is a question you are probably asking yourself. And as is often the case in weight training, there is no universal answer. It all depends on you, your availability, your motivation and your goal.

To begin with, it is ideal to be able to train between 3 and 4 times a week. However, be sure to allow yourself sufficient recovery time between sessions. This is essential for your muscles to rebuild. If your schedule doesn't allow you to space your workouts 24 hours apart, make sure you don't work the same muscle group two days in a row.

There is no need to try to train every day. First, you don't need to work out 7 times a week to make progress. Secondly, it can quickly demotivate you.

#3 Tip: Never forget to warm up

If you follow me regularly, you know that I attach particular importance to the warm-up.

Never neglect thewarming up before you begin your weight training program. A good warm-up will allow you to perform better during your workout. It is also the only way to reduce the risk of injury during the session.

To be complete, your warm-up should last about ten minutes. You can of course adapt the movements according to what you like (cycling, jumping rope, etc.).

#4 Tip: Don't neglect quality of execution

As for all activities, start weight training begins with an initiation phase. For example, you didn't get your driver's license in two days. It is through training and repetition that the basic gestures have become unconscious reflexes. What seemed difficult at first is now part of your routine.

It's exactly the same in weight training. Your first goal should be to learn the proper execution of the exercises so that the movements become automatic. Knowing the basics of bodybuilding will allow you to progress more quickly.

Otherwise, you may be subject to the following injuries. But knowing how to place your pelvis, your shoulders or your back is not obvious. It may therefore be wise to use the skills of a coach who will accompany you in learning these fundamentals.

#5 Tip: Don't push too hard from the start

It is better to start weight training with light loads. Again, the goal is to master the execution of the exercises before putting yourself in difficulty with more weight. Increase the weight gradually to avoid injury.

beginner program
During the first few months, work with adapted loads.

During the first few months, always keep a few reps in reserve. Don't let your ego get the better of you. Your neighbor pushing 120 kilograms on the bench next door has most likely been training for many years and probably has different goals than you.

Remember, it's not about being the best in 3 weeks. Strength training is a long-term endeavor, and the key is to progress at your own pace.

Tip #6: Adjust the number of repetitions

In weight training, every detail is important. This is particularly the case for the number of repetitions to perform on each exercise. But for a novice in bodybuilding, it is not easy to find your way around.

Simply put, the number of reps you need to do on each set is directly related to your goal:

  • to gain strength: between 1 and 8 repetitions;
  • to promote hypertrophy (gain muscle volume): between 8 and 12 repetitions;
  • to develop your endurance: between 12 and 20 repetitions.

When you start weight training, the best choice is to perform between 8 and 12 repetitions in order to understand the different postures.

Tip #7: Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Without a healthy lifestyle, it is absolutely impossible to achieve results. Those who succeed are those who apply the trifecta: hydration, nutrition and sleep.

On average, the human body is composed of 65 % of water. If you don't think about hydrating your body, it will be more difficult to recover between sessions. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink every day. Thirst is a warning signal from your body that you are at the first level of dehydration. To learn more about this subject, I invite you to consult this article dedicated to the hydration of athletes.

Nutrition is just as vital as hydration. It probably accounts for 70 % of the work to be done. To build muscle, you need a healthy, balanced diet with a caloric intake and a good distribution of your macronutrients.

Finally, sleep is also essential. It allows your muscle fibers to repair the micro-tears that occurred during training. This natural phenomenon is at the origin of muscle growth. So, to gain muscle, make sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.

#8 Tip: Don't make it hard on yourself

When you're first starting out, keep it simple! Follow a training program adapted to your physical condition.

Your weight training sessions should be mainly composed ofbasic exercises (or polyarticular exercises) such as the bench press, squats, dips, military press, pull-ups or deadlift. These movements have been widely proven.

Little by little, you will be able to incorporate isolation exercises at the end of the session.

Tip #9: Do some stretching

Making stretching is an essential step after your workout. These stretching exercises should be done several hours after your workout or on rest days. Don't stretch right after a workout, or you'll aggravate muscle damage and slow down your physical recovery.

Stretching will help you recover by eliminating aches and pains and gain flexibility. Don't miss out.

stretching for beginners
Don't underestimate the importance of stretching to progress in strength training.

#10 tip: use a sports coach

To build your beginner's fitness program, it is essential to consider 3 main criteria:

  • your objective (weight gain, weight loss, preparation for a sports competition, reathletization after an injury, etc.),
  • your current physical condition,
  • your age.

The first two years in bodybuilding are the most important. If you are serious and rigorous, it is during this period that your physical transformation will be the most impressive.

If you start weight training between the ages of 16 and 26, this will also coincide with the time in your life when your testosterone level is the highest. You will be able to sculpt your body much more easily than an older person with lower testosterone levels.

If you don't have any specific skills, the best way to start weight training is to use the services of a professional sports coach. He or she will design a personalized weight training program for you to help you achieve your athletic goals.


You now have all the keys to follow a beginner's weight training program and progress quickly. Be rigorous and persevering, adopt a healthy lifestyle and don't skip any steps. And to help you progress in bodybuildingplease feel free to follow me and consult blog posts.

Additional articles to read:

How to learn how to do pull-ups correctly?

How to stay motivated in bodybuilding?

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    1. I am very sorry that this E-book did not suit you. I have put a lot of my experience in it to help you as much as possible.

  1. As a beginner in sports I decided to follow all your programs so I just downloaded the one for me and it's already great thanks

  2. Hello
    first of all, thank you for the program which will help me a lot
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  4. Hi julien! How are you doing? I received your email yesterday and I thank you for your free obooks, I found the half body format interesting as I've gone back to 3 workouts a week compared to my French boxing workouts that I started at the beginning of September. My goals in weight training haven't changed since then and I'm still aiming high in weight training and I hope to get there and if possible with the advice of an expert.

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  8. I left a comment last year to thank you for the program and I just got the mass program that I will start in the fall. I have made a lot of progress thanks to all your advice and I hope to meet you one day.

    1. Hello Nathan,
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  9. Hello, Julien, thank you for your program; I've been doing this for a long time, my age is 55, it's just a way to get back into shape, I follow you on YouTube, thank you very much for your videos.

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  11. Hello, Julien,

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    1. Thank you very much Yves.
      All injuries and difficult moments give us strength of character. Thank you for your support

  12. Hello Julien
    And thank you for your e-book.

    Oh yes, thank you also for all your advice which is very useful to me.

    I do follow you on your youtube channel, but I also follow other people who also do this sport.

    I only take the advice that is convergent. Then I adapt them to my morphology. I don't want to hurt myself on the first lap.

    I've been working out for about 8 months ....

    Continue your progress slowly but surely. That's what keeps us going.
    Because you have to learn to walk before you can mail. ...

    Bye and thanks again...

    Christian Brumain

    1. Hello Christian,

      With great pleasure.
      I'm glad I could expand your knowledge and see how motivated you are.

  13. Hi, thank you very much brother it's very nice of you, I wish you a good continuation champion ? no pain no gain ?

  14. Hello Julien,

    I would like to thank you because I am honoured to have all kinds of advice for fitness and diet.

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    Raphael from Paris

  15. hello, I hope your back problems are better
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    1. Hi Sebastien,

      I'm getting better and better and I'm hanging in there.
      Thank you for your support, these are words that we need in these difficult times.
      See you soon

  16. To have the advice of such a qualified coach and on top of that for free, it's great
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    Jacques, from Rouen

  18. Thank you coach julien, thank you for your video that helps us a lot I see every day your videos, I like the content and especially the "education, please, make a series of videos if you can correct the exercises to give a push to your Channel and help us too, videos that explains the role of each exercise ... You are a smart man and use that to help people and have more subscribers and again thank you for everything your a well educated man who doesn't say anything simple modest for me and you will nchalah succeed because the fact that you overcome your injury is already a lot thank you very much.

  19. Thank you!
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    We also came to see you at the bodyfit'ess show in Paris this year!
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  20. I have just downloaded your bodybuilding program and after reading it I think I'm going to review my way of training, which is already a good thing to question yourself and to evolve in the right direction, see you in a few months for the evolution

    1. Thank you Lionel. And yes, always question ourselves, that's the only way we progress. And this, even in my case with more than 20 years of practice to my credit.
      Can't wait to see your results. We're not giving up 😉

  21. thank you for your welcome gift i follow your advice with attention to learn more about bodybuilding and thanks to you i progress

  22. Thank you Coach Julien for your gift and your encouragement, I am also a Coach at A.... and your advice is really useful to me. Thank you once again and see you soon. May God watch over you more...

  23. Thank you very much

    In fact, I've been watching videos on you tube for a while now, but none of them have made me want to do bodybuilding.
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    Mr. .... Jacques.

  24. Thank you for this gift and congratulations to you for your courage and your determination following your health "worry".

  25. Thank you very much Julien it's a good program ...
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  26. Thank you very much for your gift and I am a beginner in this sport and your wonderful channels. I wish you a career full of success and optimism. Thank you ... Rahim ...

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  28. Thank you very much for the welcome gift! I already follow you on facebook several months ago! You inspire me a lot! I have been working out for almost a year now. I love doing sports and weight training only with the activities of daily life it is a hard!

  29. It is a pleasure for me and thank you for the motivation you bring to all of us hoping that your health concerns are old memories soon cordially ....

    1. Thank you very much Laurent, everything is back to normal with my back, I thank you for your concern and wish you success with your goals.

  30. Bravo for your work and what you offer, I am in the Indian Ocean in the island of La REUNION and follow you for 2 years now, perso I practice martial arts (jeet kune do) and are vegetarian.

  31. Hello julien thank you very much I have been following you for 1 year you have taught me a lot
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  32. Thank you, it's perfect, I just received it, now it's time to read it, thanks again and I've been following you for a while now.

  33. Hello
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  34. Hello Big mister
    Thank you for your humble spirit
    I really like you as a person, I watch your videos on YouTube all the time and your sense of sharing fascinates me and motivates me, you are really an inspiring person. Thank you for counting me among your friends
    I'll ask you on Instagram too
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