Upper-Body Workout for Beginners

Upper-Body Workout for Beginners

If you’re new to lifting weights and don’t know where to start, don’t worry – many people are in the same situation.  Fortunately, once you are acclimated to the environment and with some exercises, you will quickly get a hang of the process.  Here is a sample upper-body workout for beginners to resistance training and other kinds of functional workouts.

The Upper-Body Workout for Beginners

The following is a guideline to a workout for someone who is new to the gym.  Try your best to follow the guidelines as best as possible, but do not stress too much if you need to modify it to make it work with your body and your needs.  Follow the workout in order of the listed numbers and take 45-60 seconds in between sets for proper rest.

  1. Warm-Up. A warm-up is necessary with every workout you do.  A warm-up is designed to ease your heart, joints, and muscles into activity so that you do not hurt yourself.  With that said, complete about five minutes of range of motion activities such as arm circles, light push-ups, active stretching, and upper body appropriate activities to get your arms going.
  2. Seated Chest Press. This is a great way to learn the motion of a true bench press.  Your goal is to complete three sets of 10 reps with weight that will challenge you on your final two reps.  Let the chest press machine guide you through your correct range of motion.
  3. Seated Row. Start with three sets of 10 reps.  The key with this exercise is to keep a straight back and to squeeze your shoulder blades as best as possible to work the posterior shoulder area.
  4. Triceps Press Down. Use a machine for this exercise and complete three sets of 10 reps.  Your goal with this exercise is to bend and straighten your elbow joint as much as you can to gain the most benefit in your triceps.  Adjust your weight so that it is challenging on the final two reps of your exercise.
  5. Biceps Curls. Use a cable machine to complete this exercise. Your task is to bend and straighten your elbow as much as possible to gain the most benefit in your biceps.  Complete three sets of 10 reps and make sure you are challenged on the final two reps in this exercise.
  6. Forearms Curls. Your forearms are vastly important for functional elements in life and strengthening your forearms can be an important part in your lifestyle.  Follow along with the demonstration here for good form and use light dumbbells to gain control on the exercise.  Complete three sets of 10 reps and gain the most range of motion that you can by only flexing and straightening your wrist joint.
  7. Lat Pull Downs. You Latissimus dorsi muscle is your large back muscle and is a critical part of your workout.  Follow along with great form here and make sure to squeeze your back muscles as much as you can to gain the most benefit in your exercise.  Complete three sets of 10 reps to fully work this large muscle.


Strength training is a critical part of a balanced workout regimen and has great rewards.  Use the machines to help guide you through proper range of motion when you can.  Once you have made it consistently through the workout over about 6-8 weeks, then you should consider swapping some machines out for more functional activities and free weights.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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