If you've had little to no experience with strength training, here's a good regimen to get you started. This mix of 8 machine-based exercises works all of your major muscle groups.

  • Lying leg press machine
  • Leg extension machine
  • Lying leg curl machine
  • Incline chest press machine
  • Should press machine
  • Seated row machine
  • Arm curl machine
  • Triceps pushdown (lat pulldown machine)

Start by doing one set (at least 8 repetitions) of each exercise. When you can do 12 reps, you can increase the weight -- but by no more than 10 percent. If you do more than one set, be sure to rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

This regimen focuses on weight machines, which are generally considered easier and safer for beginners. As you gain strength and experience, you may want to vary your workouts by including free weights.

Remember to leave at least 48 hours between strength-training workouts so that your muscles can recover. If you have any health problems, consult your doctor before starting this or any other exercise regimen.