Beginner’s Guide to Building Muscle

muscle building for beginners

A lot of people come to Gulf Coast Fitness because they want to build muscle and have that amazing look of a fit person. In short, they want to start with some muscle-building workouts. In this blog post, we’re going to tell you all you need to know about building muscle and which workouts are the best muscle-building routin for beginners.

What Is Muscle Building?

To put it bluntly, muscle growth is a process of micro tears and damages to your muscle fibers followed by repair. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds!

Muscles increase in volume (become larger and more prominent) after regular strength training. During strength training workouts, your body experiences fiber hypertrophy, which is basically a scientific term to what I’ve just described above. Here’s what happens:

  1. Strength training exercises result in miniature damage to your muscle fibers
  2. Your body repairs the damage by regrowing the fibers and making the diameter of each fiber larger in the process
  3. As a result, your muscles grow and become more visible/prominent

The tension of strength training exercises forces your muscle fibers to increase in volume. So, if you want to build muscle, strength training is the way to go.

Essential Muscle Building Exercises for Complete Beginners

The best thing about strength training and building muscle is that you don’t need tons of expensive equipment. Dumbbells and kettlebells are great for starters (although you’d want to supplement your strength training with some cardio for the best effect). Let’s have a look at some muscle building workout routines that are just perfect for beginners.

Bodyweight Squat

  1. Stand with your feet at the width of your shoulders and put your hands behind your head.
  2. Start the squatting movement by flexing your knees and hips and sitting back with your hips. Keep your heels firmly on the ground, your back straight, and push your knees out.
  3. Continue to lower yourself to a full-depth sitting position, then reverse the motion to return to your starting position. Do 3 sets, 15 repeats each. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.

Side Lateral Raise

  1. Get two dumbbells, stand straight with the dumbbells by your side at arm’s length. Keep the palms of your hands facing you and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lift the dumbbells simultaneously to your side until you form a straight shoulder-hand line parallel to the floor. You can bend your elbows slightly and tilt your hands slightly forward. Exhale as you do the movement and pause for a moment in the top position.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position as you inhale. Do 3 sets, 15 lifts each. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlift

Caution: this exercise is not recommended if you have lower back problems. If in doubt, consult with your trainer.

  1. Grab a couple of dumbbells and hold them at your sides at arm’s length. Make sure your torso is straight and your legs are shoulder-width apart or a bit narrower. Keep your knees slightly bent.
  2. Without bending your knees any further, bend and lower the dumbbells to right over the top of your feet. Keep moving forward as if you want to pick something from the floor until you feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Keep your back straight. This movement is done while exhaling.
  3. Inhaling, slowly bring your body up to the starting position. Do 3 sets with 15 repeats, rest for 60-90 seconds between the sets.

Air Bike

  1. Lie down on the floor, keep your lower back pressed to the ground. Put your hands behind your ears. You can also put your hands behind your head but be careful not to add strain to your neck.
  2. Lift your shoulders to the crunch position and bring your knees up, keeping your legs parallel to the floor.
  3. Very slowly perform the cycling motion, as if pushing imaginary pedals. As you breathe out, bring your elbow closer to the opposite knee (left to right or right to left).
  4. Go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  5. Continue alternating this way for 3 sets, 15 repetitions. Rest for 60-90 seconds between sets.


End your workout on the treadmill. Depending on how fit you are, run for 5-15 minutes.

We hope that this article will help you get started with building muscle. See you at Gulf Coast Fitness!

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