Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices

, Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices, Dr. Nicolle

So you’ve spent the last few days admiring the muscle tone of people at the gym. You’ve compared their muscle tone to yours. You now realize that your muscles aren’t nearly as impressive!

All those months at the gym have unfortunately failed to produce the muscle tone you want. As a result, you haven’t been able to achieve muscle strength. So what now? How do you enhance your knowledge of strength training as well as get desired results?


As a weight-lifting novice, this is exactly the guidance you require. As you read on, you’ll realize that you’re much closer to muscle strength than you think!

, Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices, Dr. Nicolle

Consider these tips when completing weight training:

1. Reps overweight.

You may be impressed by the weights your gym mates can lift. But try not to be discouraged. You can easily achieve muscle definition by doing more reps with lighter weights.

  • Heavier weights with fewer reps build bulk quickly. But if you’re more interested in definition, go for lighter weights with more reps. That way, you achieve better muscle conditioning.
  • At the onset, free weights may work better for you than weight machines. Working with body resistance as opposed to machine resistance limits exposure to injury.

2. The dietary involvement.

A big part of strength training success is a healthy diet. The correct combination of exercise and diet will aid you in your strength training.

  • Protein intake is crucial for muscle building. Before and after working out, consume high-protein foods
  • If you’re lifting weights, carbohydrates are also important. They help to provide the fuel you need to keep going. The longer you can keep at it, the sooner you can expect to see results.

3. Core strengthening.

Having a strong core is important to developing overall strength. When you have a strong core, you’re better able to maintain your weight-training regimen. You’ll get good back support and you can stave off injury. Some good core strengthening exercises include:

  • Planks, which are awesomely effective core strengthening exercises. All variations help to strengthen the abs, lower back, shoulders, and other muscle groups.
  • Balance ball routines, which provide overall core strengthening support. The abdominals form part of your core and you can get really effective workouts using the balance ball.
  • Pushups have a similar effect to planks, but focus a lot on upper body strength. Building strength this way makes working with weights much easier.
  • Oblique twists, which support the transverse abdominis, target the muscle group located under the obliques and wrap around your spine for protection and stability.

4. Building endurance.

If you want to develop strength, plan to build up your endurance. Endurance training is important for sticking to a weight training routine. You can build endurance with any or all of the following workouts:

  • Walking is by far the simplest endurance exercise. Start out with 10 minutes, then gradually increase the time and speed of steps. Walking gets your heart rate up, which can cause you to feel winded. By resisting that feeling and continuing the routine, you’ll eventually eliminate that winded feeling.
  • Aerobics exercises help to build endurance and muscle strength at the same time. Spinning, for example, provides a great leg strengthening workout for its aerobic value.
  • Swimming and playing racket sports like tennis or squash also require a high amount of energy. Building endurance results from routinely participating in these and other high-energy sports.

Include these minor changes in your workout regimen and you’ll achieve better muscle strength and definition sooner than you think! Get started today!

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, Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices, Dr. Nicolle


I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.


I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.


Weight Monitoring

Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).


Physical Activity

Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.


I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.



Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.


Resistance Training

Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.


Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.


Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.


Stay healthy,


Dr. Nicolle


PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices

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Introduction to Strength Training for Weight-Lifting Novices

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