Sam Wood’s Top Tips For Those Wanting To Kickstart Weight Training

"Rest is key."

Sam Wood’s Top Tips For Those Wanting To Kickstart Weight Training

Whether you’re a beginner or you simply need a refresher, here are Sam Wood’s top tips for kickstarting your weight training routine.

For those about to begin weight training, you may feel overwhelmed entering the gym not knowing what half of the equipment is or does – and that is completely normal.

Of course, if you go to a good gym, they should absolutely help you with the right exercise choice, weight, and technique, but that is not always the way. 

This in mind, here is my beginner’s guide for anyone getting into weight training for the first time. It can be done at the gym or at home with little equipment. 

Start with the right basic exercises (the ones that work the big important muscles). Here are my top 6: 

● Pull Ups (with bodyweight or band) 

● Squats (with bar or dumbbells) 

● Chest Press (with bar or dumbbell) 

● Lunges (with dumbbells) 

● Plank (Bodyweight) 

● Overhead Press (Dumbbells or Bar) 

Don’t start too light; don’t go too heavy

As a very simple guide. For strength gains and  building/toning muscle remember this rule. If you can perform the lift for more than 15 reps it is  too light. If you can’t do 5 quality reps, it is likely too heavy. As you gain strength, continue to up  your weight to stay in this rep range. 

Technique is more important than weight or reps

I always say to my clients that you should be controlling the weight, the weight should not be  controlling you. Slow and controlled movements with good posture and control is what you are aiming for. Forget the ego, warm up well and you will move well. Avoid injury, and get great results. 

Rest is key

Make sure you have adequate rest between sets (60 – 120 secs) and when you are just starting out with your weight training, you do not need to train every day. Train for 3 sessions a week with a rest day after each workout. Get out for a walk, ride, swim and stretch on these days to aid recovery and reduce any post workout soreness. 

Weight training shouldn’t be something you should feel intimidated by. If you are wanting to test out training at home prior to heading to a gym, there are plenty of at-home exercises, online demonstrations, and tutorials to set you up for success. 

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There of course are many ways to introduce weight training into your life or routine but the important thing is you just get started. When we do weight training consistently, we improve strength,  posture and bone density while also turbocharging our metabolism and improving fat burning.

Most importantly, know your limits. If in doubt, always talk to your trainer or an experienced PT to lead you in the right direction. 

For more information and tips, you can head to

Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of  Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the  founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he’s  also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in  Brighton, Melbourne.

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