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How Often Should You Work Out If You're Beginning Weightlifting?

Lifting weights offers many benefits, such as increased energy and balance. If you're new to lifting weights, start slowly and follow our guide to help you get started.

Steven Hill
How Often Should You Work Out If You're Beginning Weightlifting?
Table Of Contents

If you're new to weightlifting, you might wonder how often you should lift weights to see results. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on your individual fitness goals and how much time you're willing to commit to working out.

That said, you can follow some general guidelines to ensure you get the most out of your weightlifting routine. This article will discuss how often you should lift weights as a beginner and offer tips on making the most of your workouts.

What You Should Know Before Start Weightlifting

Before starting weightlifting, it's important to understand how weightlifting can impact your body. Weightlifting stresses your muscles, which can lead to soreness and injury if you're not careful.

  • Make Sure You Warm Up: Warming up before you lift weights is essential for preventing injury. A warm-up helps increase blood flow to your muscles and prepares your body for the workout.
  • Use Good Form: Using good form when you lift weights is crucial for avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workout. Ensure you understand how to perform each exercise correctly before attempting it. If you're not sure, ask a certified trainer for help.
  • Don’t Lift Too Much Weight: When starting, it's essential to lift lighter weights so you can perfect your form. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the weight you lift.
  • Take Rest Days: Giving your body time to rest is just as important as working out. When you exercise, your muscles need time to repair and rebuild. This process, known as muscle recovery , is essential for gaining strength and avoiding injury.
  • Start With Light Weights and High Reps: If you're new to weightlifting, start with light weights and high reps. This will help you slowly get used to the movement and build strength. As you get stronger, you can increase the weight you lift.
  • Keep Your Workouts to 45 Mins or Less: When starting, it's important to keep your workouts short and sweet. Aim for 45 minutes or less, including your warm-up and cool-down. As you get more experienced, you can slowly increase your workouts' duration.
  • Listen to Your Body: Last but not least, you must listen to your body. If you're feeling pain or discomfort, stop lifting and rest. Never push yourself beyond your limits. Weightlifting can be a great way to get in shape and improve your overall health. These tips will help you stay safe and avoid injury.

Benefits of Lifting Weights

In addition to helping you get in shape, lifting weights offers several other health benefits. Here are some of the benefits of weightlifting:

Boosts Mental Health

Lifting weights can help improve your mental health. Exercise has been shown to release endorphins, resulting in a better mood and reduced stress.

Helps Gain Muscles

If you're looking to gain muscle, weightlifting is an excellent way to do it. When you lift weights, you're breaking down your muscles. The muscle recovery process helps your muscles grow back stronger and bigger.

Promotes Weight Loss

Lifting weights can help you lose weight. When you exercise, your body burns calories. The more intense the workout, the more calories you will burn. In addition, lifting weights can help you build muscle. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so adding muscle to your body will help you burn more calories and lose weight.

Improves Bone Health

Lifting weights can also improve your bone health. When you put stress on your bones through exercise, they grow stronger. This can help reduce your risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

Increases Your Energy Levels

Lifting weights can help increase your energy levels. When you exercise regularly, your body becomes more efficient at using energy. This can lead to increased energy levels and improved stamina.

Improves Heart & Brain Health

Exercise is good for your heart, and lifting weights is no exception. Weightlifting can help lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels. This, in turn, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Lifting weights can also improve your brain health. Exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

Improves Balance and Coordination

Weightlifting can also help improve your balance and coordination. As you get older, you may lose muscle mass and bone density. This can lead to balance problems and an increased risk of falls. Lifting weights can help slow down this process and improve balance and coordination.

How Often Should You Lift Weights as a Beginner?

Now that you know the benefits of lifting weights, you may wonder how often you should lift weights to reap the most benefits. The answer will vary depending on your goals. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends lifting weights at least twice to three times weekly to improve overall health.

If you're trying to build muscle, you may need to lift weights more often. According to a 2018 study, you should lift weights three to five times weekly to build muscle.

If you're trying to lose weight, you may need to lift weights more often than if you're trying to improve your overall health. Another study found that lifting weights four times per week was more effective for weight loss than lifting weights two or three times per week.

No matter how often you lift weights, give your muscles time to recover between workouts. This means not lifting weights every day. When you first start lifting weights, you may only need to work out every other day or two. As you get more experienced, you can increase the frequency of your workouts.

Weight Training Exercises for Beginners

If you're new to weightlifting, starting slow and easing into it is crucial. You should perform an average of 3–4 sets of 20 reps each when you're just starting. As your muscles adapt to specific movements, you can increase the number of reps and sets you do during your workouts.

Got your dumbbells ready? Here are some of the best beginner weight training moves to get you started.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. (You can also do this one seated — make sure to sit up straight). Turn your palms forward. Slowly press the dumbbells up toward the sky, straightening your arms. Keep your spine aligned — no leaning or arching your back! Slowly bring your arms back down to the starting position.

Bicep Curl

Start standing with a dumbbell in each hand. Your elbows should rest at your sides, and your forearms extend out in front of your body. Bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders and reverse.

Triceps Extension

Bend forward slightly at the waist, so your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Engage your core and keep your head, neck, and spine in one line. Place one hand on your thigh for support. On an exhale, engage your triceps as you slowly extend your arm back as far as you can, keeping your arm tight by your side.

Dumbbell Chest Press

Lie face up on a bench or the floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend elbows at 90 degrees and position your arms at about a 45-degree angle to your body. With palms facing toward feet, slowly press the weights toward the sky, extending arms directly above your shoulders. Be sure to keep your elbows soft — don’t lock them! Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Lat Pulldown

Grasp the bar with a wide grip, looking forward with your torso upright. Retract your shoulder blades and pull the bar down in front of you to your upper chest. Squeeze your lats at the bottom of the move. Resist the temptation to lean back to aid the movement.

Seated Row

Sit upright on the bench and plant your feet on the floor or foot pads, knees bent. Extend your arms and hold the handle or cable. Move your shoulders back and down. Brace your core. Exhale. Bend your elbows to pull the handle or cable, keeping your elbows tucked in and your back neutral. Pause for 1 second. Inhale and slowly extend your arms, counting to 3. Complete one set of 12 to 15 reps.


Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a weight in each hand, held at shoulder level with your palms facing forwards. Slowly lower yourself as if you're going to sit in a chair, keeping your back straight.


1. How many times a week should beginners lift weights?

For best results, beginners should lift weights three times a week. Weightlifting has many benefits for beginners, including increasing muscle mass, strength, and bone density, improving metabolism and body composition, and reducing the risk of injuries in everyday life.

Novice lifters should aim to complete two or three sets of eight to twelve repetitions on each weightlifting exercise they perform. They must also use a weight that allows them to complete all the repetitions while maintaining good form. Lifting too much weight can lead to injuries, so it's important to start light and gradually increase the weight being lifted as the person becomes stronger.

2. What is the best weightlifting routine for beginners?

When starting, it's best to focus on compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups. This will allow you to burn the most amount of calories in the shortest amount of time. Some good exercises include squats, lunges, push-ups, and deadlifts.

It's also essential to start with a light weight and gradually increase it as you get stronger. If you try to lift too much weight too soon, you're more likely to injure yourself and set yourself back. Be patient and focus on progressing steadily over time. And lastly, make sure to rest your muscles adequately in between workouts to repair and grow stronger.

3. How long should a beginner lift?

For beginners, lifting weights for less than 45 minutes is best. This will allow you to lift with good form and focus on your target muscles. Lifting weights for more than 45 minutes can lead to fatigue and potential injuries. Start with a weight that is comfortable for you and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger. Remember to use proper form when lifting weights!

Final Thoughts

Lifting weights offers many health benefits, from improved mental health to weight loss. If you're new to weightlifting, start slow and ease into it. As you get more experienced, you can increase the number of reps and sets you do. Most importantly, give your muscles time to recover between workouts by not lifting weights daily. If you're looking for more guidance on how to get started with weightlifting, consider hiring a personal trainer or taking a weightlifting class at your local gym.

Reading List

Article Sources

  • Erickson, Kirk I., et al. “Exercise Training Increases Size of Hippocampus and Improves Memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 108, no. 7, Feb. 2011, pp. 3017–22. PubMed Central,
  • Iversen, Vegard M., et al. “No Time to Lift? Designing Time-Efficient Training Programs for Strength and Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review.” Sports Medicine, vol. 51, no. 10, Oct. 2021, pp. 2079–95. Springer Link,
  • Landry, Bradford W., and Sherilyn Whateley Driscoll. “Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.” PM&R, vol. 4, no. 11, Nov. 2012, pp. 826–32. ScienceDirect,
  • Ralston, Grant W., et al. “Weekly Training Frequency Effects on Strength Gain: A Meta-Analysis.” Sports Medicine - Open, vol. 4, Aug. 2018, p. 36. PubMed Central,
  • Sharma, Dr. Tanu. A Study on the Effects of Physical Activity on Mental Health at Various Stages of Life | Think India Journal. Accessed 22 Sept. 2022.

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Steven Hill

Steven is a passionate health & fitness writer. Steven has considerable research experience, but also enjoys writing nutrition and workout articles for general readership. Today, it's easy to find health and wellness information. People use many different sites to get the information they ne

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