Ease into Fitness…A Progressive Plan for Beginners
After checking out our Total Body Blitz (part two found here) workout plan, many of our readers felt this plan was a bit too intense for someone brand new to fitness, or has been out of the game for a while. This was a fair assessment. Our Total Body Blitz workout is definitely for someone with at least basic fitness abilities and an understanding of exercise. There were many requests by some of you beginner’s for a plan that would help ramp you up to more intense routines.
After hearing all the concerns, we spent the past month putting together what we felt is the perfect balance of ease and progressive challenges to give your body a solid base to start a more high-intensity routine. If you were one of our readers who felt unready to take the Total Body Blitz challenge, the following workout plan is exactly what you will need to get your body and mind ready for more advanced routines.
At the end of the day, you know your body best. If you feel the 4 weeks included in this plan still doesn’t have you where you think you should be, feel free to run through this routine one more time. If you’re giving these workouts your all, you should definitely be ready for something more challenging after the 8th week.
One last point; there are obviously different levels of beginners out there. If some of this stuff seems too easy, feel free to add a) total time to cardio b) lengthen the “work” portions of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) movements or c) continually bump up weights used while weight training.
This routine has a heavy emphasis on cardio, as this is where most of our readers felt they were lacking most. This is understandable as this is the aspect of fitness that gets most “rusty” for those that have been away from fitness for a while. Take things easy at first and gradually bump up your intensity, weights, etc. As always, any questions, feel free to ask.
Day 1: 30 minute jog on treadmill/outside. Try to maintain 12-13 min/mile pace.
Day 2: 3 sets of 10: Dumbbell bench press, bicep curls, bench dips, upright rows, tricep kickbacks, dumbbell military press. 100 crunches.
Day 3: 30 minutes HIIT cycling on stationary bike. Use a :15/1:45 format. What this means is, cycle as fast as you can for 15 seconds, then cycle at a more relaxed pace for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Repeat this :15/1:45 cycle a total of 15 times. (30 minutes.)
Day 4: 3 sets of 10: Dumbbell squats, bench step ups, dumbbell lunges, calf raises. 60 body weight squats. 100 crunches
Day 1: 40 minute jog. Try to maintain a 11-12 min/mile pace
Day 2: Jump rope HIIT. Get yourself a cheap jump rope (~$7) and try a :20/:40 cycle. What this means is, jump rope for 20 seconds non-stop. Follow this with 40 seconds rest. Repeat this :20/:40 cycle 40 times for a total of 40 minutes.
Day 3: 3 sets of 10: Lat pulldowns, dumbbell squats, dumbbell skullcrushers, incline dumbbell bench press, reverse dumbbell lunges, tricep rope pushdowns, incline dumbbell curls.
Day 4: Cycle 45 minutes. Try to maintain a 12-15 mph pace.
Day 1: 3 sets of 10: Barbell bench press, incline barbell bench press, close grip seated rows, arnold presses, hammer curls, wide grip rows, reverse dumbbell flys. 50 bicycle crunches/50 flutter kicks/50 crunches/30 second plank.
Day 2: 45 minute jog. Try to maintain a 10-11 min/mile pace.
Day 3: 45 minutes HIIT cycling on stationary bike. Use a :20/1:10 format. Repeat this cycle 30 times.
Day 4: Complete the following exercises in as few sets as possible: 50 box jumps/500 jumps with the jump rope/50 box step ups/100 mountain climbers/20 burpees/100 bicycle crunches
Day 1: 50 minute jog. Try to maintain a 10 min/mile pace.
Day 2: 20 minutes HIIT cycling (:20/1:10 format) , 20 minutes HIIT jump roping (:25/:40 format), 100 body weight squats, 100 lunges.
Day 3: 3 sets of 10: Barbell bench press, incline dumbbell flys, close grip bench press, lat pull down, barbell preacher curls, lateral dumbbell raise, seated wide grip rows, bench dips, tricep rope pushdown. 2 sets of planking for 45 seconds.
Day 4: HIIT running. Follow a 15 second/1 minute and 45 second format (:15/1:45). Sprint at near 100% effort for 15 seconds. Follow this up with a 1 minute and 45 second jog at a relaxed pace. Repeat this cycle 15 times for a total workout of 30 minutes. Follow this up with 15 minutes cycling, aiming for a 15 mph pace.
This will have taken you through one month of training. You should notice a heavy emphasis on not only cardio, but on HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio. This method of training is far more effective for increasing metabolism, burning calories, building lower body muscle, and increasing cardiovascular endurance than static-state cardio, i.e. jogging/cycling/etc at one pace for an extended period of time. By balancing both formats of cardio (static/HIIT) we are able to progressively increase endurance levels in newer exercisers. If any of this feels too difficult, don’t feel bad about backing off and taking things even slower. You may need to extend the period you are on this beginner routine, but rest assured, you will get to where you want to be eventually.
The most important thing about this routine is consistency. Don’t skip days, stay consistent, and give 100% effort everytime. You do that and good things are sure to follow. Any questions, feel free to ask as always!