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It’s Time to Start Lifting Weights: 4 Trainer-Backed Moves That Will Transform Your Body

Every personal trainer uses these fundamental exercises.

weight lifting moves to transform body
Nathan Legiehn
There’s this hackneyed idea floating around that lifting weights equates to bulky muscles. Maybe that’s why the weight floor is overwhelmed by grunting men and nary a woman in sight. But it’s time to throw away that notion, because if you look at the results and the science behind condition training—aka exercises that increase your strength, speed, and endurance—this is the stuff that works. “These four moves below are fundamental in any type of conditioning because they use essentially every muscle in your body; they help build coordination, improve posture, and injury-proof your body,” Equinox’s fitness manager, Kericia Gowrie, tells us. “Activating a large amount of muscle also increases the metabolic effect of the workout and causes your body to burn more calories even at rest.” Follow along with Gowrie below.

Trainer tip: “I would recommend starting with a weight that causes failure [ed note: this means when you absolutely cannot push yourself to do another rep] in 12-15 reps. Once you can make it to 20 reps, it's time to get heavier!”


Move #1

Kettlebell Dead Lift

weight lifting moves to transform body
“Standing with the kettlebell directly between the arches of your feet, keeping a straight back, grip tightly and stand up tall by clenching your glutes. Start with a weight that causes failure in 12-15 reps. Do four sets.”

Move #2

Narrow-Grip Pull-Up

weight lifting moves to transform body
“Grabbing the overhead bar with your hands in a neutral and narrow grip, pull upwards until your chin reaches the overhead bar. Do four sets.”

Move #3

Kettlebell Goblet Squat

weight lifting moves to transform body
“Holding the kettlebell with an underhand grip, bend the knees until the hips are parallel with the knees. Keeping an upright torso, maintain a tight midsection to straighten the knees until you reach a tall and proud standing position. Do four sets.”

Move #4

Incline Barbell Bench Press

weight lifting moves to transform body
“Gripping the bar tightly with your hands shoulder width apart, lower the bar until it touches your chest. In a slow and controlled manner, return to the starting position. Do four sets.”

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