T Nation

New to Weight Lifting

I’m new to weight lifting. The past six months I’ve been doing cardio workouts, eating healthy, and so on. I’ve lost 92 lbs.

Anyhow I’ve been weight lifting for 2 months so far, but my question is…When i do my sets of reps, do I start with light weights and go to heavy weights, or go from heavy weights and go to light weights?

I’ve been going from heavy weights to light weights, but my friend from work tells me he goes from light to heavy weights. Which is better for results.

There are roughly 7 million workout programs on this site. I suggest you browse through them (even just their titles) and take a closer look at the ones the suit your specific wants/needs. The question you’re asking doesn’t even really have an answer.

However to TRY and answer your question directly, assuming i understand it, I believe that especially since you’re new to lifting you should be doing a warm up set with light weight and after that using your heavier/heaviest weights on the last set(s) when performing a movement. The reverse would almost be like drop sets and at your stage that’s more than likely not necessary.

Essentially what you should probably be doing is using light weight in 1 set to get your body prepared for heavier weight and then use the heaviest weight you can possibly use to suit your rep scheme. IE if you’re doing a 3x10 rep scheme, use the most weight you can get 10 reps off with.

I have to be honest, though, I feel as opposed to trying to answer your question I should just be telling you to read because by no means am I as knowledgeable as the people who write for this site. Try to take the time to read as MUCH as possible.

Here’s a good article to read, and depending on your goals, you can design your own program. I personally tried out what it said and it worked for me. Maybe it can work for you too.


There are other articles in the site as well. Keep browsing to get a better idea about what you’re getting yourself into.

Just make sure you don’t spend too much time reading the forums. They key to success is to focus on lifting.

Start with this thread over in the “Beginners” forum. A lot of excellent information:

Are You A Beginner II


To answer your question about going from heavy to light or light to heavy.
At first I started going from heavy to light. Then I started thinking it was silly. Consider this.

If you go from heavy to light. You have to warm up with light weights, then go to heavy, then back down to light. Where if you go from light to heavy there is no zig zagging with the weights. The light high rep IS your warmup.

I personally find Chad Waterbury’s Anti Bodybuilding Hypertrophy program to be the best one of I have done between a Mens Health program I followed, a program by Arnold, and Chads’.
Check out his program here

Not only have I gained noticable strength in less then a month but the program is so simple it is almost criminal.

Though it is very low rep which will probably be hard on your connective tissue (your ligaments, tendons and what not). I have heard it is better for a beginner to use higher reps at first, just to get your body used to it. Anyhow, once you start that program you won’t regret it, I guarantee.

Congrats on losing the weight, it must feel a lot better when you look in the mirror, and guaranteed your heart is thanking you.