The foundation workout program is designed for those with no previous lifting experience or for those with joint or mobility concerns using free weights. For those that are new to the gym and wondering where to start, this program is perfect to build a solid “foundation” of strength and mind muscle connections to build upon.
My word of warning though is to begin with caution and not over do it. That’s why I have for you a simple four week workout for first time beginners. If you have some training experience already, you can skip ahead to the beginners workout to introduce use of free weights.
By using machines, you don’t have to focus on balance or stability and can completely focus on the movement and muscle activation at this time. This will really help you build a strong foundation of that mind muscle connection required for proper muscle activation and help you ease into a regular lifting routine.
The optimal workout duration is probably around 45 – 60 minutes.
Start by selecting a weight that allows you to complete 10 – 15 repetitions at a time (each set). You want to have a weight where you are challenging yourself and only just completing the 15th repetition before being unable to complete any more reps. This point in the set is called “failure”.
Don’t worry too much about breaking any power lifting records at this point, but instead focus on using correct technique, control of the weight movement and good muscle activation. Use the guides on this page for each exercise and follow the instructions provided on each machine. You can also call for help by gym staff, trainers and experienced lifters around you to get assistance on correct technique.
In the next few weeks, you’ll add an additional set per week until you are completing three sets of repetitions for each exercise by week 3. Between each set, allow yourself a full 60 seconds rest between sets.
In Week Four, start to increase the weights you are using. Get an idea of what it feels like to move more weight than you are used to. If your body can already comfortably move the weight, then it will not be required to adapt and grow, but if you are trying to move weight that it’s not used to, then it gets a strong signal to grow and get stronger so that it can better handle the load in the future.
Study the exercise photos and the descriptions carefully and continue to use correct form, technique, speed, control and breathing during each movement. As a general tip, blow the air out of your lungs during the difficult exertion part of the movement (lifting the weight) and breathe in during the easier return to the start position (lowering the weight).
Make sure you allow at least 24 – 48 hours rest between workouts to allow your muscles to rest and recover. Don’t worry if you feel a little sore or stiff after your first few workouts, as this is perfectly normal. You can read more about this muscle soreness in the recovery section of the transformation toolkit. Click here to read.
The most popular weekly schedule is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with weekends off. If you prefer, you can choose any other three nonconsecutive days per week.
Your foundation workout program includes the following exercises.
- LEGS – Leg Press (1 – 3 sets 10 – 15 reps)
- CHEST – Machine Chest Press (1 – 3 sets 10 – 15 reps)
- BACK – Machine Back Row (1 – 3 sets 10 – 15 reps)
- SHOULDERS – Machine Shoulder Press (1 – 3 sets 10 – 15 reps)
- ABS CORE – Ab rolls (1 set 10 – 15 reps)