How To Start weight training

So, you want to start working out…

Do you want to build muscle? Get stronger? Burn fat? Get shredded and lean? Shape your dream body? Healthier? Live longer? Feel better? No matter what your goal is there are a few steps that EVERYONE should follow during their first months in the gym. 

With so much bullshit information out there, and everyone trying to sell you their product with their “secret method”, EBT is here to guide you to the most important things to keep in mind! Here’s a step by step, simplified approach to everything you need to know before stepping into the gym.

step 1


It’s far too common that people decide to “get fit” and start weight training 6 times a week, doing cardio every weekend, and halving their calories. This is a ticking time bomb before you start binge-eating chocolate and skipping the gym for a month, losing all hope of ever trying to get fit again.

The method above relies on motivation, and motivation is a limited resource (1). Once you run out of motivation you run out of reasons to go to the gym. Stay one step ahead and create reasons other than motivation to go to the gym:


Accountability means that someone else will KNOW if you skipped a workout, and therefore keep you on track even during days where you feel off. Find a friend who has the same goals as you and you are much more likely to stay consistent together. Got no friends? Hang out on our Instagram, share your goals and comment on our posts. Knowing that you have to “prove yourself” to a person or group is a mental investment that will boost consistency and make sure you keep lifting weights!


Let’s face it, most people start going to the gym to look sexy naked. Maybe you are single and want to attract that special somebody? Maybe you want to get fit for the beach this summer? The problem with this approach is firstly the constant anxiety of having to look “good enough”, and secondly that you lose all motivation to work out as soon as you “settle down”. It depends on an outer factor, or so called extrinsic motivation. Wouldn’t you rather be in shape you ENTIRE LIFE? We sure want to!

This is why it’s important to find your intrinsic motivation: Doing what you enjoy in the gym so that motivation comes from within. No, this doesn’t mean skipping leg day just because you hate training legs, but rather about finding fun ways of doing what needs to be done.

Ask yourself what you enjoy during a workout: Light or heavy weight? Varied or structured workouts? Body weight exercises or weights? The best workout is the one that you do! A “less optimal” workout that you stick to will give better results than “the scientifically optimal workout” that you stop doing after two weeks (P.S. We still love science).


We value what we’ve invested time and money into. Imagine working for years to buy your dream car, and finally being able to buy that Ferrari. Now consider winning the same Ferrari in a lottery instead. Which do you think you’ll value more? The first one! Investing time and money in something tends to make us value it more. So invest in your health: buy some comfortable workout clothes, shoes, pay a personal trainer to teach you the basics. Consider getting a paid workout plan. These things are not necessary, but “buying in” to the process will help you stick to it!


Ask yourself: If I had to train for the REST OF MY LIFE, how many hours a week would I be able to sustain? You might just want to start with an hour a week, and gradually increase the time you can commit. Most people land around 3-4 times a week. If you can sustain this level of exercise for the coming years, you will get WAY better results than training 6 times a week for 2 weeks

Building muscle requires PATIENCE, and even if you will get noticeable results after a few months, the BEST results come after consistently lifting for YEARS. More exercise is not always better, especially as a beginner. Going too hard with workouts and training too much can REDUCE results if your body is not ready for it.

With the above points, your mindset will be correct for long-term success. Let’s now break down exactly WHAT you need to do.



If you’re new to the game, there are a lot of words used while weight training which you might not be familiar with, so let’s make them clear:

Set: Every time you pick up a weight to start lifting it, you are starting a set.

Rep: Lifting the weight “up” and “down” once is one rep. Usually we do many reps in a set.

Concentric Movement: The “up” part of a rep, when the targeted muscle shortens (contracts).

Eccentric Movement: The “down” part of a rep, when the targeted muscle lengthens (relaxes). It is important to keep muscles engaged to control the weight during this part, preventing injury.

Isometric Movement: Using a muscle to keep a weight still, usually by pausing and holding the weight still after having moved the weight “up” in a rep. The targeted muscle is working, but not changing length. It can be quite tiring!

  • Example: try holding your arms straight out to the sides for as long as you can. This works the shoulders isometrically.

Volume Load: A way to “measure” how big workout is, by looking at the total amount of weight moved in all of your reps in all of your sets. It is calculated by Weight x Reps x Sets. Increasing volume over time lets you build more muscle over time.

  • Example: If you did 2 sets of 8 reps on the bench press with 50 kg, your volume load would be 50 kg x 8 reps x 2 sets = 800 kg.

Volume: A simpler way to “measure” how big a workout is by simply looking at how many sets done in total during that workout. There is no universal definition of volume, but EBT prefers looking at volume by looking at how many sets have been done, instead of looking at Volume Load. Thus if you want to increase the volume of your workouts, you simply add more sets!

Failure: When you have done as many reps as you possibly can during a set, with the weight being impossible to move during the last rep, you are said to have reached failure.

Rep-Max (RM): With a heavier weight you will reach failure faster. If you can do 8 reps with a certain weight before reaching failure, that weight is called your “8-Rep-Max” or “8RM”. The weight with which you only can do 1 rep, before failing on rep 2 is your “1-Rep-Max” or “1RM”. As you get stronger, you will be able to lift heavier weights and your 1RM weight will become higher. 1RM tests is generally how strength is measured. Don’t try lifting at 1RM as a beginner! You will most likely injure yourself.

Muscle Names: It can be difficult to know which muscles we are talking about when talking about different exercises. So here’s a simplified breakdown of the main muscles you should be aware of:

Muscle Functions: There is a lot of advanced language here, but the basic principle to keep in mind is muscles used for “pushing” movements and muscles used for “pulling” movements:

  • Muscles used to “push” include: Pecs, Shoulders, Triceps, Quads, Glutes, Calves
  • Muscles used to “pull” include: Lats, Traps, Upper and Lower Back, Biceps, and Hamstrings

Now that you speak the right language, it’s time to head to the gym and start weight training!

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