How to guide to beginners weight training at home- no equipment needed!

women squatting with kettle bell

February 15, 2024

It’s easy to associate weight training with having to be at a gym. But not everyone has the time, the money or the inclination to be training at a gym. That’s why a beginners weight training programme for home can be a perfect place to start.

Perhaps you’d like to start trying some weights but feel self conscious doing it around other people? You may be a mum and not have time to get to the gym? Or perhaps a job that means you’re always moving around with no option of a gym membership? If some of that resonates with you, I’d like to reassure you that you don’t need to be at a gym to start lifting some weights. You don’t even need any equipment! All you need is a small space, your body weight, and some enthusiasm! This guide to beginners weight training at home will talk you through how to get started. We’ll go over what exercises are best, how often you need to do them and gives you a programme to get started with.

What is weight training?

When I talk about weight training, it doesn’t have to be lifting very heavy weights, or squatting or dead lifting with barbells. When I say weight training, I mean resistance or strength training. Something that helps to activate your muscles and make them stronger. This can be to improve your overall fitness, rehabilitate from an injury or improve muscle tone. It can be to keep you fit and strong as you get older. In fact, for me, there is nothing more important as a women, than strength training as you get older.

With this in mind, all the exercises in this article will be body weight exercises. They are easy to do at home, require no prior experience in weights and don’t need any fancy equipment. My aim is to get you started on a journey that I’m sure you’ll see the benefits from. As always, when starting a new exercise programme, consult your GP or medical professional first.

What are the benefits of a beginners weight training programme at home?

Weight training has many benefits, whatever your age or fitness. It is never too late to start! In fact, you can read more about the benefits of weight training during the menopause here. Some of the benefits of weight training include:

1. It improves bone density

2. It helps prevent injuries

3. It improves fitness and muscle tone

4. It increases your metabolic rate

You can read more about the benefits of weight training in our article here. Healthline also has a fantastic article about the benefits of weight training. As you can see, there plenty of reasons to start a beginners weight training programme at home!

beginners weight training at home- women with dumbells
image from freepix

What do you need to start a beginners weight training programme at home?

You don’t actually need any equipment to start doing a weights programme at home. Your bodyweight alone is more than enough!

Make sure you have a space cleared for you to workout in. It can be nice to have a yoga mat to workout on but it is not essential. A couple of our exercises will also use a chair as part of the workout- a dining chair works really well.

What equipment might be useful?

If you would like to invest in more equipment, there are loads of great ideas for at home workouts. Dumbbell set“>dumbbell sets for around £50, then they tend to get pricier the heavier weights you need. You can also get The Dos and Don’ts when you’re starting a beginners weight training programme at home

  • START WITH A LIGHT WEIGHT– this only applies if you’re adding a dumbbell or kettle bell to your workouts. Start with a weight you can do about 10-15 reps with. If it’s too easy, you can always increase later on! With bodyweight exercises, aim for the amount of reps stated, but if its too much then start with less and build up as you’re able. It can be helpful to record how many reps/weights you do, then you can track your progress as it happens. \

  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY– this links in with the point above. Whilst it might be hard to do some of the exercises, and your muscles may hurt with the effort, they should not be painful. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t push on through. Stop, have a rest, try again. And if it still hurts it may be worth consulting a professional.

And don’t forget…

  • GOOD FORM IS BETTER THAN GOING HEAVY- it can be easy to get caught up with lifting a heavy weight, which can often lead us to having poor posture when doing the exercise. Don’t do this! Good posture when doing an exercise is much more important, the ability to lift heavier will come.

  • REPS AND SETS– what are these?! Well, reps is the repetitions (the number of times you do an exercise), sets are the number of times you do those repetitions, with a rest in between. For endurance strength and muscle tone (which is what you should aim for as a beginner), we suggest 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

  • UPPER BODY VS LOWER BODY– sometimes it can be difficult to know what to train, should we train upper and lower on different days, or all together? Our beginners exercise programme is a total body programme, containing a set of upper body, lower body and core. That way, you don’t overload one body part, and can enjoy the variety of exercises. As you progress and start lifting heavier, you may want to train different body parts on different days to allow greater focus and recovery in between.

Beginners weight exercise programme

Here it is! Our beginners exercise programme….no weights or equipment required. This is an total body beginners weight exercise programme, with a set for upper body, lower body and core. The aim is to do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each exercise, but if you are new to exercise, listen to your body and build up to this slowly.

Have a go and let us know how you get on! You can try some more of out workouts on our programmes page.

Credits Image courtesy of FreePix. Programmes designed using weight labs.

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