Beginner Strength Workout – How To Get Started In The Gym

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woman picking up dumbell
If you’re a new member at Anytime Fitness, welcome! You’re about to embark on a journey that will help you become healthier and happier. Who wouldn’t want that? If this is your first time joining a gym, relax and take it one rep at a time. It can be overwhelming, but don’t let that stop you from reaching your goals. Now, let’s check out some tips to help you get started!

You’re Not Alone

Contrary to popular belief, YOU, brave beginner are in good company at the gym. 80% of the people our trainers coach every day are those with little or no experience. If you don’t know much about the facility and machines, don’t sweat yet. That’s what we’re here for! And we’d love to share a few tips to help you get started and feel comfortable in your new environment.
  • Explore Coach Care Connect. We have a ton of deliciously healthy recipes, targeted workouts, and advice for anyone beginning or advancing in their fitness journey.
  • Choose a goal. What would you like to accomplish? “I want to lose weight in my stomach area” is a good start, but let’s make it smart. When you create a S.M.A.R.T. goal, write it down, share it on Facebook, and tell anyone who will listen, you are setting yourself up for success-by- accountability. Typically, it takes 9-15 months to create a real habit. So, buckle up, prepare your mind, and embrace the fact that this is the first day of the rest of your life!
  • Start small. Attainable goals don’t happen overnight. Commit to a minimum amount of days that you will get to the gym, and anything extra is amazing. Make a commitment that you can live with. We suggest 3-4 days a week. If you get here more, great!

Strength Training For Beginners

For this workout, make sure to use a low weight and concentrate on the exercise and form. You’ll have plenty of time to push yourself later. For now, focus on the movements to wake up those sleeping muscles.

1. 5-10 Minute Warmup On the Recumbent Bike

Every great workout routine starts with a little cardio, so hop on and start pedaling! A recumbent bike provides a nice, comfortable ride because of the generous seat, and it’s also a friend to your lower back because of the seat’s position. It’s got some pretty cool features too. The display screen will ask you to enter some information to personalize your workout and give you customized feedback. If you grip the front bars with your hands during your warmup, your target heart rate will be displayed so you can see proof that your workout is already paying off!

2. 2 Sets of 10 on the Leg Press Machine

This machine makes your lower half your better half. Your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves will come together in strength to help you jump higher, run faster, and balance better with this safe, super workout. Make sure to keep your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. As you extend your legs, maintain a slight bend in your knees to keep them from locking out. And if you hear those weights go CLANK! slow your roll by keeping a little tension in your legs on the decline. This will help prevent injury.

3. 2 Sets of 10 Step-Ups (Each Leg)

Give it up for the step-up. This fun, effective workout has got legs. It’s easy enough to do anywhere there are steps, but we’d love to see you here. Use some risers if your club has them and set them up to be about 6 inches high. Place one foot on the step so that your hip and knee are at 90-degree angle, as well as your knee and ankle. Step up and touch the platform with the opposite foot, and with that same foot, step back down…slowly. A rolled ankle will put your new workout on pause, and we don’t want that! Keep your shoulders above your spine and your chest open. After 10 reps, repeat with the other leg. Make sure to keep your balance as you step up. To modify this exercise, place the risers near a wall and lean against the wall if needed to keep your balance.

4. 2 Sets of 10 on the Seated Row Machine

woman doing rows

This very special rower makes the muscle group in your upper body its top priority. Other exercises and machines can’t quite reach those tricky-to-target areas of your middle back and lower lats. But with our seated rower, it’s smooth sailing. Keep your chest flush against the pad as you pull the bars toward you while maintaining a tight grip and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Always use a consciously controlled motion, exhaling on the pull and inhaling on the release to get the most out of the exercise and create the least stress or strain.

5. 1 Set of 20 Stability Ball Bicep Curls

woman doing bicep curls

Why the ball, you ask? Good question. It helps keep your core engaged and it also adds whole-body difficulty to the mix, which promotes full-body fitness. Now that’s some good multitasking! While seated at a 90-degree angle (knees aligned with hips horizontally, and knees aligned with ankles vertically) keep your chest open, shoulders above your spine, and abs tight, then raise and lower the dumbbells in controlled reps to ensure your elbows don’t lock out. Avoid swinging motions or momentum. You don’t want to cheat yourself out of those beautiful, new arms!

6. 1 Set of 20 Tricep Pushdowns

woman doing push downs

Want to wave with just your hand moving? We can help! This tricep workout will tighten and tone one of the most notoriously pendulous parts of the arm. (Especially for women.) With a straight back and both upper arms tight at your sides, fully extend your triceps as you push down, and use the same control as you raise your hands back up with a slight bend in your arms so as not to lock out your elbows.

7. 2 Sets of 20 Crunches

We abs-olutely swear by this move…when done correctly. Lots of people “crunch” forward, which is understandable, but not advisable. To get the most benefit out of this exercise, consider that the muscle facing the ceiling is the one getting the workout. Therefore, instead of curling toward your knees, look up and lift up. Imagine your navel sinking into your spine, then point your nose toward the sky, and with your elbows out, raise your chest toward the horizon. High five. 

8. 5-Minute Cool Down on the Recumbent Bike or Your Choice of Any Cardio Machine

We’ve got lots of ways to play around here. And part of any great workout is finding what works for you. So, explore until you find your true north because it’s way easier to get fit when you’re having fun.

And that’s it! Your very first (and very effective) workout. You are officially ready to conquer the gym!  

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