This workout is designed for what I like to call “newbies” to the gym. For beginners, machines are often the best choice for building and toning muscle because they simplify each movement and allow you to train in a safe and controlled manner. The goal of this entry level gym routine is to get you comfortable with using machines and familiarizing yourself with each major muscle group, starting with the basics:
Upper body – shoulders, biceps and triceps
Lower body – Hamstrings and quads
Why Start With Machines?
Although they might seem intimidating at first, machines are very easy to use and take a lot of the guess work out of how to properly perform an exercise. There’s no need to worry about how to hold the weights or which way to move; most machines are designed to guide your movements and control the weight so you don’t injure (or embarrass) yourself. Gyms offer a wide variety of options, and diagrams are almost always displayed to make it even easier to figure things out.
You may have noticed that I left a few muscles out of my description at the beginning. Even though I’d like you to hit every major muscle in your body, I typically don’t recommend that newbies train their chest or back muscles. Most ladies ARE NOT interested in developing their pecs or back, and they often require strenuous, compound movements that are a better fit for experienced gym enthusiasts.
And why no abs you ask? Many women have the misconception that doing ab exercises is the key to developing a washboard stomach, but the truth is that diet and calorie control are the most important factors. No ab exercises alone will give you the washboard abs you desire.
Don’t worry… there will be plenty of time to focus on other muscle groups if you decide to become serious about training! So let’s get into some beginner workouts for anyone new to the gym:
New to the gym? What you should know before getting started →
Workout Routine #1
Beginner Workout Routine #1 with machines (full body). Complete 3-4 times per week, with 1 day of rest between workouts.
Workout Routine #2
Beginner Gym Routine #2 with machines (full body). Complete 3-4 times per week, with 1 day of rest between workouts.
Workout Routine #3
Beginner Workout Routine #3 with machines (full body). Complete 3-4 times per week, with 1 day of rest between workouts.
More Advice for Beginners:
Never be afraid to ask an employee if they can help you use a machine, all gym staff should be trained to do so. Most gym’s offer a free “introductory workout” when you signup. Take advantage (and take notes!) so you can learn how to properly use the equipment.
During your first workout or two, you may want to consider a warm up and just two sets of each exercise, rather than three. If this is your first time training with weights you’ll undoubtedly be sore, so you can limit the stress (and pain!) in your body by easing into things slowly.
Choosing the appropriate weight to use on each machine can be a little bit tricky as well. Start off light, and then work your way up until you feel a moderate burn on your last 3-4 reps of each exercise.
ALSO, feel free to interchange the exercises in each of these beginner routines. Maybe your gym doesn’t have the right equipment, or maybe you prefer one machine over another. The key is to hit each muscle group per day: shoulders, biceps, triceps, quads and hamstrings.
Ready for the next step? See Beginner Dumbbell Routines →