Brandon Carter | Start Here

Workout Plan for Beginners: How to Train If You've Never Held a Weight in Your Life

In this post, I cover the best Strength Training, HIIT, and Dieting tactics for someone new to fitness. If you're a beginner, this post is for you!

As a personal trainer, I have helped countless men and women achieve their dream bodies. Some of my clients are absolute fitness newbies, while others have trained for years following a dozen other training routines.

Personally, I prefer training those who fall into the former category. In my experience, devising a workout plan for beginners is far simpler.

Why I Prefer Training Newbies

In Zen meditation, there is a concept known as the beginner’s mind, which basically states that neophytes are better able to absorb new information due to having an open, fresh, and unbiased mind.

I believe the same applies to fitness.

When I train those who have followed other programs, they often have a harder time adjusting due to my methods conflicting with some of the other workout styles they’ve done in the past. Beginners, on the other hand, absorb my training principles like a sponge.

Strength Training Regimen for the Novice

So what kind of regimen do I recommend for beginners?

I recommend exactly the same workout that I do for everyone else. That means weight lifting and HIIT cardio workouts.

sportive man doing plank core exercise training back press muscles looking at camera with smile concept gym sport sportsman crossfit fitness workout strenght power.

The only difference is that I tell my beginner clients not to train to failure during their first few workouts.

Instead, I tell them to emphasize on developing good form and stopping a rep or two short of failure.

I especially advise my clients to focus on form and body posture when executing compound movements because these have a higher risk of injury.

Beginners also tend to use more weights at the expense of good form, thus compounding the risk of a preventable injury that will keep them sidelined.

Beginners will see some results even when they don’t train to failure simply because their previously sedentary bodies aren’t accustomed to the regular physical activity.

Weight lifting is necessary to build bigger muscles, but if you're and absolute beginner, you may want to start out with HIIT only.

HIIT for Beginners

When it comes to HIIT, beginning clients simply perform the workout to the best of their ability. In the initial stages, they may have to reduce the duration of each exercise and/or extend the resting time.

It may also include performing an easier variation of each exercise, such as pushups on the knees in place of regular pushups. As they become fitter, they can always gradually transition to normal HIIT.

After performing their first, “feel out” HIIT session, most beginning clients will be able to make the appropriate adjustments.

Here's one of my 15 Minute Abdominal Assault HIIT workouts. Like I said, follow along as best you can. Don't worry if you can't do every movement perfect the first few times, you will get better and better as time goes on.

IF you want to check out all of my HIIT videos, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube page.


I may also advise clients to ease into their diets. Eating clean, after all, is a huge change for someone accustomed to drive-thrus and junk food binging.

For some people, a sudden transition to dieting the way I recommend can be akin to quitting smoking cold turkey. This is why the shift should be gradual.

For example,  I may keep the protein ratios lower since most people aren’t accustomed to eating that much meat and dairy.

If you are completely lost about how you should be eating for fat loss or gaining muscle, than my Custom Meal Plan can help jumpstart your results! .

It’s About Developing the Foundation

As you can see, a workout plan for beginners is everything someone already in decent shape would do.

Newbies just spend the first few workouts focusing on developing the fundamentals and priming their body for a physically active lifestyle.

Ultimately, whether you’re a beginner or have long treated the gym as a second home, I do recommend that you check out my Get Ripped Fast program..

Check out what one of my pupils was able to accomplish.


He was able to accomplish his weight loss goals following the philosophies and strategies that I outline in my Get Ripped Fast program. .

So... what are you waiting for? .