Abs = foundation
Don't forget your abs to help build your core strength.
Alternate muscle groups don't just work the same muscles over and over again.
Balance it out
Try to strengthen your weaker muscles first. Strength imbalances can lead to injury.
Aim for smooth, controlled movements. Jerky or uneven movements can strain your muscles.
Don't forget to BREATHE while you're working out!
Change it up
Change your routine every 3 months to keep your body from adapting.
Do a 10-exercise routine
A basic strength workout should include 8 - 10 exercises and work out your legs, shoulders, chest, back, arms and abs.
Don't exhaust yourself
Use an amount of weight that feels challenging, but not exhausting.
Don't strain yourself
Your movements should be controlled and steady.
Drink lots of water while you're strength training. Your muscles need it to recover.
Focus on the movements while you're working out, if your brain is wandering, your form is too.
Get a book
Get yourself a good weight training book, with pictures!
Do 'functional' exercises (movements that mimic everyday movements) for practical strength.
Keep a log
Keep a work out log to keep track of your progress and how much weight you should be lifting.
Large before small
Work out your larger muscles before your smaller muscles.
More reps for endurance
For endurance, do 30 repetitions per set (same motion repeated).
Muscles need fuel
Make sure you're eating protein so your muscles have the building blocks they need to get stronger.
No pain. Period
If you feel pain while your working out, stop or modify what you're doing.
Pick your goals
Set realistic goals for yourself. You might not have that six pack by tomorrow morning.
Plateau then increase
After two or three workouts of comfortably lifting a certain amount of weight for 2 - 3 sets of 8 12 repetitions, you may want to try increasing the amount of weight.
Quality over quantity
It's much better to use lighter weight and proper form.
Take a 60 second rest between each set.
Rest is an important part of your workout (yay!) Your muscles need about 48 hours to fully recover so try not to work the same muscles twice before then.
Sore is normal
It's normal to feel sore when you first start strength training.
If you're just starting out, start with 1 set of each exercise for the first 4 - 8 weeks, and then work your way up to 2 or 3 sets of each. Stick with 8 - 12 reps per set.
Start with the basics
If you're a beginner, squats, chest press, rows, pushups and crunches are some good basic exercises to start with.
Start with the core
As a beginner, training your core muscles - chest, back, legs, and abs - should be your first priority. You need to build your foundation first.
Don't forget to stretch after your strength training workout.
Take it slow
Increase the amount of weight and number of repetitions gradually.
Target 8 - 12 reps
The most common strength training programs include 1 - 3 sets of 8 - 12 repetitions each. Pick a weight that will make you feel fatigued, not exhausted after 8 - 12 reps.
Try this routine
A common strength workout is : Day 1: Chest & Tri's, Day 2: Back & Bi's, Day 3: Legs & Shoulders.
Don't forget to do a 5 - 10 minute cardio warm up before strength training to get your heart pumping and increase the flexibility in your muscles.