13 Things Every Fitness Beginner Needs to Know
3. What type of training should I do to build strength and muscle?
For building strength and muscle, you’ll need a well-designed weight training program that primarily utilizes free weights and compound (multi-joint) exercises. A four-day-per-week program works quite well for most, using a two on, one off; two on, two off pattern. This allows you to hit each muscle group hard once per week, while providing you three days for rest and recovery (which is when actual growth takes place).
I suggest starting with about four exercises for three sets each for major muscles like back, quads, hamstrings, chest, and shoulders. For smaller groups like biceps, triceps, traps, abs, forearms, and calves, you’ll do well with just three movements for two to three sets each. Perform one to three warmup sets before each exercise (more are needed earlier in the workout), and then work sets of 13 to 15, 10 to 12, and 7 to 9 reps.
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