Answering a question about how to start lifting weights from the “ASK ANDREA ANYTHING” form…
“I’ve heard from enough people enough times that I should be lifting weights. I’m convinced it’s good for me and I’m convinced it will help me change my figure for the better but I just don’t know to start. There are so many fitness influencers that all have so many routines that it’s all too confusing. Any advice on which ones are good or where to begin? Or do you have a plan or program that you could recommend?”
YAYYYYY so happy you’ve decided to begin resistance training!
It’s a life-changing decision and your future / older self will be so much better off for it. congrats!!
Okay, but in terms of “where to start”….
The good news is that: when you are a beginner, ANYTHING works.
As in, ANY type of lifting program or ANY type of resistance training will create beneficial results because your baseline is zero.
So if you tried something that was like 2/10 or 3/10 in effectiveness, it’s still an improvement on what you were doing before. So, a win either way!
That said, if you’re looking to get THE MOST bang for your buck, lifting weights in a consistent manner with planned progressions is the way to go.
That’s your 10/10.
In as little as 3 workouts per week that last 45 to 90 minutes each, you body will absolutely start to change.
Now, there are TONS of great programs out there on the interwebs.
You’re absolutely correct when you say “there are so many fitness influencers that all have so many routines” — some of them are shit and some of them are great.
What matters is that they follow a few great principles of strength training, and that you can consistently fit them into your schedule.
I’d also say you should try to pick something that’s fun and enjoyable as well.
For example, if a well-rounded bodybuilding program is 10/10 in terms of effectiveness, but going to a crossfit class is more fun for you (even though it’s only like a 7/10 effectiveness for adding muscle), I’d say do the crossfit class!
It doesn’t matter which is “the best” because there is no such thing as “the best” — there’s only “the best FOR YOU” and only you will know what means in your guts.
That said, I’m going to give you a list of programs from some intelligent people I trust who have ready-made programs that you can purchase and do on your own time (even at home!):
#1 - THE BEGINNER BODYBUILDING PROGRAM FROM THE MUSCLE AND STRENGTH PYRAMIDS - obviously I’m biased because I helped make the books lol but it’s free on one of my co-author’s websites and it’s as simple as it gets. Balanced, easy to follow, lots of exercise options, everything you need!
#2 - BEFORE THE BARBELL - If you’d prefer to learn from a female, you’d like some guidance easing you into the heavier movements, and you don’t mind paying a few dollars a month, this is what I would recommend. Meg is a legend. She’s been a competitive athlete in a few different strength sports and has loads of education and experience. But most importantly, I think she does a great job breaking things down in general and is a great teacher.
#3 - STREET PARKING - If you’re more interested or intrigued by the whole crossfit / functional fitness style of training (which combines some cardio with your strength work) I’d recommend this ongoing training program. Unlike most other crossfit-style programs, the intent of this isn’t to spend hours a day maximizing your fitness to extreme levels for competitions. Rather, it’s about creating consistent results with short concise workouts. Their core offering is only like 30 minutes a day and you only need dumbbells at home to make it happen.
And bottom line, there’s no “wrong” way to do it!
Pick something you’re excited about and give it 3-6 months. If you don’t like it or find it’s too hard to stick to or you don’t enjoy it any more, try something else!
Keep in mind that you’ll probably (hopefully) be working out for the rest of your life, and there’s no rush or hurry to finding “the perfect” program or way of training.
But with ALLLLLL that said….. if you ARE ready to learn how to create your own super fancy bodybuilding-specific program tailored to your goals, my friends and I just released this new humongous video course on exactly how to do it.