While I may be strong as an ox, I am very, very not in shape. For a long time I’ve wanted to exercise, but I just never really know where to start (because every routine seems intimidating) or I can’t fit it in my schedule. Since my husband is Mr. Muscles and has gotten great at working out and helping others at the gym with strength training and powerlifting, I asked him to help me out with a quick and simple strength training exercise routine for beginners. This routine should take less than 10 minutes and a great place to start (I am hoping he will help me out with some routines to build up and up after this one too!).
I participated in Mom Blog Tour Sweets & Snacks Expo (#MomBlogTourFF) on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers. I received Power Up products to facilitate my post, but my opinion and creative content are my own.
Something my husband is always talking about is the importance of carbohydrates and proteins to get the most out of your workouts and strengthen your body. We recently started using Power Up Trail Mixes to boost our carb and protein intake before and after workouts. Power Up Protein Packed Trail Mix and High Energy Trail Mix are my go-to workout snacks now.
(Read until the end for a giveaway!)
During my husband’s months overseas, he put a lot of effort into getting healthy, powerlifting and building up his strength, and helping others do the same. He worked until he got into the “1000-lbs Club” (that just means a lot of heavy lifting.). He worked to improve his diet and made time to work out daily. I was so inspired by him, I told him to help get me into working out as well.
Here he is doing a 475-lb deadlift after a 5k run!
Now, you don’t need to turn your “beast mode” on this much (I know I don’t plan to), but I hope this inspires you to build up your strength even if just a little bit. Having extra strength can help you in your everyday life by making tasks a little easier, giving you energy to run and play with your children and keep up with chores, as well as giving you an edge if you find yourself in a scary situation. That is why I really wanted to share this workout with you (and me) so we can get in the habit of exercising our bodies.
Before you start!
Earlier I mentioned how we utilize Power Up Trail Mix in our workouts. My husband recommends consuming some of their High Energy Trail Mix prior to your workout. You can consume a couple hours before or as little as 15 minutes before, just get to know what works best for your body. This will “fuel” your body, giving your body a chance to begin metabolizing. This is so important because your body needs carbohydrates to perform properly.
Power Up High Energy Trail Mix has 22g of carbs per serving to keep you going. It’s the perfect midday or pre-workout snack and helped keep me awake and alert when we moved halfway across the country recently.
When working out…
Don’t overdo it. We all have to start somewhere. If you can only do half of the exercise below, do that. You don’t want to injure yourself; you don’t want your arms to fall off or your legs to turn into gelatin jigglers. No need to push yourself above your body’s limits. Work into it at your own pace and build up your routine as you get more and more used to it. Also…don’t forget to breathe! This sounds like something I shouldn’t have to say, but as someone who accidentally holds her breath while she exercises, I feel it is an important reminder to put out there.
But first, stretch!
Before you even begin your workout, be sure to stretch those limbs. This helps your body loosen up so nothing pulls or tears–just another important way to prevent injury (especially if you’re like me and haven’t exercised in ages).
Stretching only has to take a couple of minutes. Try these stretches:
Under 10-Minute Strength Training Workout for Beginners
You can do these workouts in any order that is easiest for you, but I’ve shared them in the order I have been doing them.
Lunges: 10-20 Reps
Stand up straight then take a step forward with one leg. Here you will basically kneel in the air–bend your front leg in a kneeling position and drop your back leg down so your knee is parallel with the ground at a 90-degree angle, your front leg bent so your knee goes out past your toes. Stand back up then do the same with your other leg forward. This is one full rep. I count like counting with music–“one, two…two, two…three, two…” Do 10 to 20 of these (start at 10 and over time work your way up to 20.).
I love lunges because you can easily do these on a walk, at the beach, down your hallway, or back and forth in a small room.
Cherry Pickers: 15-20 Reps
Stand up with your feet in a regular resting positon and place your arms straight out to the side to make a “T” with your body. Bend your arms to touch your shoulders, put them straight out again, then bring them together over your head, then straight out again. This is one full rep.
Dumbbell Press: 10 Reps
First you will need to choose the appropriate dumbbell weight. If you are just starting out, 2-5 pound weights is where I would recommend staying, then you can work up to 10+ pounds over time. The main point is to have some sort of resistance during the exercise, as opposed to just using your body. Don’t have weights yet? You can use household items like a full water bottle.
You will also need a weight bench. I went to a small gym for mine and now have a weight bench, but if you want to start and do not have one or want to be seen in the gym (been there…still there) then you can use a bench for a table or a couple stools without backs. Just make sure your feet can touch the ground and your upper back is well-supported.
Lie down flat with your back on the bench. Hold one dumbbell in each hand to the side of your chest–your knuckles should be facing towards each other. Push the weights straight up into the air, turning your hands to what I call a “Superman Pose” with your knuckles facing away from you. Bring it back down to the side of your chest with your knuckles facing each other again. This is one full rep.
Dumbbell Flyes: 10 Reps
This one is similar to the Dumbbell Press we just did. Stay on your back on the bench. Keep the weights together in the center of your chest, but raise them up in the air with your arms slightly bent and hold the weights together with your knuckles facing each other. Slowly pull your arms apart to either side of your body as if you are opening a door, your knuckles still facing each other. Once you feel your chest and back stretch, pull them back in above the center of your chest. This is one full rep.
One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 10 Reps Per Arm
Stand back up. We will be using the bench again. This time, place your left knee on the bench, bend over, then place your left hand on the bench as well. Keep your back straight and your right foot planted on the ground. Using your right hand, hold the weight down next to the bench then lift it back up towards the right side of your chest. Lower it back down. This is one full rep. Do this 10 times then do the same with the other arm.
Seated Rear Delt Raise: 10 Reps
Sit on the very edge of the bench or a chair with your legs and knees touching or nearly touching. Start with a weight in each hand, bend over, and hold them together underneath your legs/knees. Lift the weights out to either side as high as you can get them, with your arms slightly bent. My husband describes this as a “bird flapping its wings.” Lower them back under your legs. This is one full rep.
Push-Ups: 5-10 Reps
Since most people know what a push-up is, I did not include a GIF image for this one. You can start with the push-ups where you bend your knees if needed. You can start at one and add one more push-up a day until you get to five then keep working with five until you can move up even more. You can do regular push-ups (recommended) where your body remains parallel to the ground. The point is to get your body used to it then work to build up.
Start with your hands a little further than shoulder width apart, your arms outstretched, and your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes touching the floor. Lower your body down until you are almost touching the ground (but not quite) so you are parallel with the ground. Push to outstretch your arms and bring your body back up. This is one full rep.
Go for a Jog
This doesn’t have to be part of this routine–you can do this earlier in the day, later in the day, or whenever you are feeling up to it. It can be long or short. Get your body moving, get some fresh air, and work on your cardio which will also help with strength training.
After your workout…
Right after your workout your body is hungry. You will need to replenish those electrolytes and feed your body protein. This protein is how your body is able to reproduce and repair cells and build up your muscle tissue. Protein can also help strengthen your immune system and curb your appetite. Consuming protein is important for weight loss and muscle gain.
The rule of thumb that my husband sticks to is to intake one gram of protein for every kilogram you weigh so you can maintain your weight or burn fat. This may seem like a lot of protein, but eating nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and supplementing with protein-filled snacks such as Power Up’s Protein Packed Trail Mix will help get you where you need to be.
Note: if you begin to gain weight with strength-training, fear not! As you burn and lose fat cells, you build up muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you may not notice much weight loss when looking at the numbers, but your body will be much stronger and healthier and toned.
Once you get the hang of these exercises, slowly start increasing the amount of reps you do and the weight you are holding. Once you’ve hit the max reps listed above, start adding more “sets” which my husband describes as doing one set of reps, pausing a moment, then starting that set of reps all over again. For instance, he recommends working towards doing three “sets” of Seated Rear Delt Raises, so you would eventually be doing 30 reps and pausing every 10.
Power Up Trail Mixes are gluten-free, vegan, and all natural. They don’t add extra sugars because that’s not what your body really needs and their Almond Cranberry Crunch variety is Cholesterol-free. Their mixes are filling and nutritious and I personally snack on them all the time (even as I am writing this, I am snacking on their High Energy Trail Mix.).
Power Up has several varieties to suit your needs, whether you are an all-day snacker, hiker, or powerlifter. Their current selection includes these eight delicious varieties: Protein Packed, High Energy, Body Boosting Antioxidant Mix, Mega Omega, Nature’s Mix, Summer Trails, Goji Power, and Almond Cranberry Crunch.
We at Arts & Crackers are not medical professionals, but are simply sharing what has proven to work for us and knowledge from much research over the years. Please do not consume Power Up snacks if you have tree nut allergies. Please consult your doctor if jumping into more than just a light exercise and please do not over-do your workout, especially if your body is not used to exercise.
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What Power Up variety are you most excited to try? What is your favorite way to get exercise?