A Beginners guide to weight training: Part 2

Following on from Part I (find it here >HERE),  I’m going to drop some more knowledge bombs on you. The first thing on today’s agenda, the two different forms of exercises; compound and isolation.


Compound exercise – These exercises are multi joint, multi muscle movements. These exercises should make up the foundations of all programs, especially if fat loss is your desired goal.

A list of compound exercises:

Pull/chin up
Bench press
Shoulder press
Walking lunges


Isolation exercise – These exercises are single joint, single muscle movements. These exercises make up the rest of your workouts and are often used to strengthen weaker areas.

A list of isolation exercises:

Bicep curl
Leg extension
Lateral dumbbell raise
Laying hamstring curl
Tricep extension


Common questions and answers

How often should you be weight training?
To begin with, you should see some great results from 3 weight training sessions per week. At the start you want to be doing as little as possible whilst still seeing results, this leaves room for you to add more in as progress slows/stalls.

Won’t weight training make me look bulky/ I don’t want to get too big.
 Don’t panic, there is no chance that you will ever get too bulky or too big by accident; this is especially true for you ladies! I have NEVER in my entire career seen anyone get too bulky. You ladies just don’t have the genetics for it.

 Surely going out for a run will help me lose weight quicker?
 Nope. It’s a common misconception. In fact you will burn more calories from a good weight training session than going for a run. Plus you’ll add some good quality muscle tissue (assuming that you are eating correctly) and more muscle tissue = more calories being burned on a daily basis – winner!

I’m really sore for two days after a workout, am I injured?
 It’s not uncommon for you to feel muscle soreness for the following days after a weights training session. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. This can last from 24 hours up to 7 days in rare circumstances. If you were really sore, I’d recommend a hot bath with some Epsom salts.

 Should I be using light weights with lots of reps to tone?
 First things first, the word ‘tone’ is a made up word. No idea where it came from but anyway it really annoys me. A ‘toned’ look simply means losing some fat and building some muscle. Anyway, I digress. The answer is no, you’re muscles need to be stimulated with heavy weights in order to create change. This can be done from 1 rep through to 50. To begin with, I’d keep it at the lower end circa 8-12 to get used to the exercise and feel the muscles being used.

The wrap up
 In order for you to achieve your dream body, weight training is the smartest way to do it. It’s gonna seem scary and daunting at first but it will be worth making the leap, I wouldn’t lie to you!

Bonus tip
 Check out the video and it’s not what you think. Thank me later 🙂

Rich Gunter

Director – Impact Personal Training

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