The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Strong

Lose weight and get strong at the same time with this five-step plan from fitness trainer Todd Durkin.

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Gabrielle Reece on Her New TV Show, "Strong" (1:39)

Strength training isn’t just for bulky bodybuilders and it doesn’t have to be an intimidating or overwhelming form of exercise. If you’re a beginner or interested in starting a strength-training regimen, start with these five tips from personal trainer Todd Durkin.

1. Choose the right weights.

Always start with light resistance and weights and work your way up to heavier resistance and weights. You want to feel sore but you don’t want to hurt yourself either. Try using resistance bands for the first two weeks.


2. Know how many repetitions to do. 

Get started by doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions or reps each.

3. Follow this rule of thumb.

Remember: “If it hurts, don’t do it. If you’re tired, fight through it.” Make sure to seek medical attention if you’re feeling pain and take time to rest if you are fatigued but don’t let a lack of energy become an excuse for skipping a workout.

4. Work your muscles in the right order.

Start from the ground up. When you work large muscles like your legs first, you’ll rev up your metabolism for the rest of your workout.

5. Determine how often you should train.

Figure out which days work best for your fitness schedule and stick to it. Durkin recommends focusing on total body conditioning for 2-4 days a week. On the remaining days, squeeze in cardio workouts to stay active like walking a dog or taking a dance class.

Stay on track! Print out this beginner’s guide and bring it with you to the gym.