Strength Training For Beginners | BodyPhi

Strength Training For Beginners


Nov 27

The key to the fountain of youth lies within a couple of hours per week!

You never need set foot in a gym to get stronger!

Stressed out? Strength training can reduce cortisol by up to 24% within just four weeks.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard that strength training has a number of health and longevity benefits.

I’d even say it goes further than this, and is in my honest opinion the closest thing we have to the elixir of life and fountain of youth. [1]

Did you know that the amount of muscle mass you have is the number one predicator of a long and healthy life! [2]

Think about it … that’s crazy! Let’s dive in to how exactly strength training will benefit you.


  • Why strength training is man’s best friend for health, success and longevity
  • How to avoid the dreaded “skinny fat” look.
  • How to boost your testosterone levels by 40%.
  • How to ramp up your metabolism and burn fat.
  • The best bodyweight exercises to build a stronger physique
  • The minimum equipment you need to get started with a home gym.
  • The optimum frequency of strength training to look awesome naked.



Trimming down excess body fat is critical to looking awesome naked, but it’s not the whole story. I’ve seen a lot of dudes who, yes have lost weight on the scale, only to look like a smaller, but still flabby version of their original self.


Yea … the dreaded “skinny fat” … that’s what weight loss WITHOUT strength training looks like! What’s up with this?

Well … the key here is indiscriminate weight loss – losing both muscle and fat – NOT what you want.

Whilst you may not be able to avoid a small amount of lean body mass loss, you can certainly do a better job than those who follow a plan of excessive cardio and following some random “weight-loss diet!”

Strength training and constantly challenging your muscles during weight loss will result in a hot bod without the disastrous skinny-fat look.

This way, your body has a reason to hold on to what muscle you have and drop more body fat instead – exactly what you want.

Without resistance training, you risk losing muscle – NOT fat. Bad news!

“People who lose weight due to caloric restriction may also lose substantial muscle mass. When they regain the weight, they mostly regain fat and do not return to their basal muscle mass.” [3] #JustLift

Oh … and the other good thing – you don’t have to be in the gym 24/7. Studies have shown that a very simple 2–3 times per week routine is enough to elicit all of the amazing health benefits of strength training. [4]


Two hours a week is just over 1% of your weekly time dedicated to health, longevity and looking sexy. What was your excuse again?


Muscle is metabolically active tissue – this means a more muscular body burns more calories just by sitting on the couch compared to a fatter, less muscular body. [5]

I’ve seen the metabolic-enhancing benefits of resistance training time and time again and is one of the reasons I get every single one of my clients, lifting weights. [6]


I’m sure you’re well aware of how much a killer stress can be – check out all about it below.

Resistance training is my number-one, foolproof way of channelling any negative stress I may have.

Out of the hundreds of clients I’ve trained, not one has EVER finished a session more stressed than they started.In fact, a common scenario is:

client is a couple of minutes late …
he forgets his water bottle …
he tells me about this super-important work deal he needs to close by the weekend
he’s worried about his daughter’s school grades etc. etc. etc.
… easy to see his stress levels are through the roof.

Once I get him warmed up and do some quick drills to make sure he’s present and focused for the session, ten out of ten times he finishes the session ready to tackle the challenges ahead in a more level-headed way.


It just works. Strength training, both long-term and even after just one session, has been shown to produce the most reliable and robust decrease in anxiety. [7]

The health benefits that exercise has on mental health and stress relief cannot be ignored. [8]


A lot of the reasons why men find it hard to get to sleep at night, despite all the useful tips and tricks out there, is because they’re so wired.

I sometimes joke with my wife that I can literally hear her think when we drop of to sleep at night, whereas as soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out.

I’m convinced a large part of that is to do with the fact that I strength train on a regular basis.

Strength training does seem to have a positive correlation to sleep patterns in adults, and since we all know how important sleep is, this is another reason to grab some iron. [9]


What if I told you that you could gain 40% more testosterone within four weeks without taking a simple pill, potion or over-the-counter concoction. Just by getting your arse in the gym this can be achieved.

A group of scientists tested some untrained men for four weeks, giving them a solid resistance training plan consisting of full-body exercises with three sets of ten reps.

The result? A 40% increase in testosterone and a 24% decrease in the tissue wasting (catabolic) hormone, cortisol. [10]



I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve trained who’ve said in their initial consultation – “I just want to feel good in my clothes and get some confidence back."

The confidence-boosting and mood-enhancing effects of resistance training and developing your physique cannot be understated.

Although the correlation between poor body image and dissatisfaction has been documented for women – all you have to do is look at the media, magazines, instagram etc., to see just how much pressure there is on young males to look a certain way also. [11]

Resistance training has, time and time again, shown positive psychological benefits when it comes to how you feel inside.


How many elderly people do you know who’ve had an unfortunate tumble and broken a hip or knee?

It’s all too common for this type of scenario to happen and at times can be fatal. Some very basic weight-bearing exercise can ensure you have strong bones later in life, so that if you do have a fall – they’re less likely to break. [12]

Resistance training has been shown to be more beneficial on bone density than aerobic training. Sometimes strength training isn't about what you can visually see on the outside, but rather, all the good it’s doing on the inside.



The mental game of the BodyPhi™ lifestyle cannot be understated. We promote deep and restful sleep for the benefits of mental rejuvenation.

We’re big on automating success and not leave decision-making up to willpower alone – freeing up mental faculties.

Stress also should be well managed so you can focus on the things you need to do to be awesome.

But what if I told you, that the very act of getting stronger can also help improve brain function!

Strength training has been shown to improve not only muscles, but brain and cognitive abilities as well. [13]

There’s even some newer research showing that weight training might be a solid way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. [14]

And since your mental state is paramount for success is all areas of your life – this is yet another reason to strength train. A healthy mind equals a healthy body.



Resistance training is a highly-effective way for preventing the causes of morbidity and mortality associated with ageing. [15]

It is the wonder drug you can self-administer for free and don’t need a prescription.It should come as no surprise – the fitter and stronger you are, the lower incidents of age-related illnesses and better all-round quality of life.

What’s more – these anti-aging benefits can occur within six short months of weight training. [16] Think about it ... if someone told you they possessed a pill to significantly delay ageing within six months – would you take it?

Of course you would! In fact you would probably pay good money for it, and rightly so. The good news is – taking up strength training doesn't necessarily mean signing up to a posh gym.

You can get all the benefits from the comfort of your own home with a few basic bits of kit.


What’s the point in looking great naked if you’re dead? Blunt and straight to the point, but it needs to be.Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in today’s society, but guess what?

Resistance training affects heart health in a positive way by lowering blood pressure, so it doesn't have to work as hard. [17] Winner … after all your heart is your most important muscle.

The other big threat to our society – especially with decreasing physical activity and increasing fast food? Diabetes.

Strength training directly combats diabetes through improvements in insulin sensitivity and nutrient partitioning i.e. more of the food you eat will go building muscle rather than being stored as fat!


You know … years before I ever set foot in a gym, in my late-teenage years, I remember doing bodyweight circuits at home using nothing but a pair of dumbbells.

I’m convinced that doing that from an early age helped build the foundation of my physique today.

So many dudes get overwhelmed with which gym they should join, what training split they should do, what machines to use etc.

And whilst these are all valid questions, building the foundation of your physique can just as easily start at home.


Generally your best exercises are going to be big bang for your buck ones. In the fitness space, these are called compound exercises, meaning that they work more than one muscle group at a time.

Getting really good at these will give you the best results in the shortest amount of time, compared with isolation exercises that are merely the icing on the cake.

If you have access to absolutely no equipment whatsoever, I recommend the following exercises:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Press Ups – wide, medium and narrow
  • Dips – using a seat or bed
  • Glute Bridges – using a seat or bed
  • Plank Holds
  • V-sits
  • Crunches

Basic, but the majority of your body will be trained via these movements. Saying that, I can see very few scenarios where someone couldn’t go out and buy some basic dumbbells with attachable discs up to say 20kg.

Even with this one bit of equipment, you dramatically increase what you can do and the effectiveness of the workout.

There are many different ways to programme, but if you are just starting out, I recommend going through these exercises in circuit fashion doing about 10–15 reps per exercise.

Once the entire circuit has been complete, take a 2-minute rest and then repeat for another 2–3 times in total.

Doing the above three/four times per week is a perfectly reasonable way to start your journey into training for better health and a great body.



  • Adjustable Dumbbells with Discs
  • An adjustable Bench
  • A Barbell
  • A Swiss Ball
  • Resistance Bands


  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Barbell Bent Over Row
  • Standing Military Press
  • Yates/Underhand Grip Row
  • Barbell Squats
  • Barbell Lunges
  • Incline Dumbbell Curls
  • Tricep Overhead Dumbbell Extensions
  • Weighted Swiss Ball Ab Crunches



Warm Up

5-Minute Light Cardio – brisk walk around the block 
Dumbbell/Band Rotator Cuff Warm-ups
Shoulder Rotations and Wall Angels

Main Session

3 x 12–15 Barbell Back Squat
3 x 10–12 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
3 x 12–15 Resistance Band Lat Pullovers
2 x 30 Steps Dumbbell Lunges
2 x 12–15 Flat Dumbbell Flyes
2 x 12–15 Yates Row
3 x 10–12 Incline Dumbbell Curl
3 x 12–15 Dumbbell Tricep Overhead Extension
3 x 12–15 Weighted Swiss Ball Ab Crunch

Cool Down

10 minutes static stretching


Research is pretty clear that you can build muscle using heavy weights and low rep ranges, or lighter weights with higher rep ranges. [18]

Due to the decreased risk of injury, limited access to super-heavy weights at home, and most importantly time-saving with higher-rep training, I recommend doing most of your home training in the 10–15 rep range.

Heavy enough to stimulate growth, but not so heavy it’ll take you ages and needlessly increase your risk of injury. For starters, 2–3 sets per exercise as laid out is adequate. [19]


As a rank beginner, you will make great gains on this program by following it 2–3 times a week – tops. [20] If you want to push it to four, you can, but that’s probably unnecessary to start off with.

Ideally you would do something like train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with the weekends and days in between off, or doing something else active in your day-to-day activity.

Leading an active lifestyle goes way past structured exercise in the gym or at home! See below for more about that.


One of the biggest determinants of muscle growth (hypertrophy) is volume. [21] All volume means is a calculation of: Sets x Reps x Weight.

For example: 50kg on the Bench Press for 3 sets of 12 reps

Volume for this would be: 1,800 (50x3x12)

Now, in order to progress in terms of looking great naked, you need to ensure that over time, your volume is going up. You can do that mainly by:

- Increasing the weight on the bar- Increasing the amount of reps performed with a given weight- Adding on a set to the exercise

Whilst increasing volume is important, it’s important not to do everything at once and realise that you’re in this for the long haul.

If you can somehow beat the previous workout by a rep here, or a bit more weight there – I guarantee that over time you will see fantastic results.



Strangely enough, your muscle tissue doesn’t grow when you're training! It grows outside these times – through correct nutrition and the all-important sleep.

Since you’re not a super-endurance athlete doing multiple events a day, your window to refuel for your next workout as well as supply protein for new muscle growth, is quite large.

Saying that, it might be wise to get about 25–40 grams of protein an hour or two either side of your workout. [22] This could be:

• A couple of chicken breasts
• A couple of tablespoons of Greek yogurt mixed with whey protein
• 3 whole eggs and a couple of egg whites
• 150 grams of lean mince


Simple. Get yourself a notepad and pen and write your workouts down, so you know exactly what you did and when so you can improve upon it.

It’s not good enough to feel like you’ve been “hit by a bus” at the end of every workout – there are far funner ways to feel tired after an hour’s time.

You must be purposeful with tracking your sessions and making sure, in some capacity over the course of weeks and months, you are beating our previous workouts.

It would also be beneficial to quickly jot down feelings of tiredness, hunger, sleep, energy, libido, motivation etc., as this is all great data for you to use.



Small wins are the keystone to success in all aspects of your life. Tiny habits that are so simple to execute you can’t fail, day to day you won’t notice any effect, but long-term they’re massive!

Here are a few to get you stronger. Read all about how to design more of your own below.

Wake up Workout: as soon as you get up … 15 push-ups + 30-second plank hold.

Bathroom Break: every time you visit the bathroom do 20 bodyweight squats.

Food Shopping: ditch the trolley for baskets. Park as far away from the entrance as possible and carry shopping to car.

Gardening: Gardening is a strenuous, physical activity, offer to help a friend if you don’t have one of your own. You’ll burn about eight calories a minute – just 30 minutes a week adds up to 12,480 calories a year or about 3.5lbs of fat a year!

Weighted Vest: A weighted vest adds 20 pounds to your body weight. You can wear it while you wash your car or gardening or wear for 30 minutes a day – and just walk around wearing it.


• Strength training is the ultimate secret to looking awesome naked.

• Staying strong as you get older is the best anti-aging strategy for men.

• A strong physique helps:

• Avoid looking “skinny fat” after weight loss.
• Boost your metabolism.
• Cope better with stress.
• Sleep sounder.
• Improve testosterone levels.
• Ensure strong bones.
• Elevate mood and confidence.
• Boost brainpower.
• Combat heart disease and diabetes.

• You don’t necessarily need any equipment to develop a powerful physique.

• Just two hours a week is enough to get fantastic results.