The Perfect Beginner Workout Routine For You

To avoid that, choose a goal to work towards and allow that to dictate the types of workouts you use. When you’re not feeling up to working out or you’re struggling with a set of exercises, just reflect on the reason you got started and the goals you’ve set. Doing that will keep you motivated and decrease your chances of quitting. 

Here are three beginner full body workout routines that will get you started with a goal and help you achieve a better you:

A Great Beginner Workout For Weight Loss: The Bodyweight Circuit

The best thing about this workout is that you can do it pretty much anywhere – at home, at the gym, in a park, and so on.  Bodyweight exercises are fundamental movements that are great for establishing a basic fitness level, and they provide all the resistance you need for a full-body beginner workout routine. These are the fundamental bodyweight movements:


If you can’t do full pushups, do them from the knee. Pull elbows in tightly and work to maintain a firm plank position. The wider your grip is, the more you’ll work the chest muscles and the tighter they are to your body, the more you’ll work your triceps. Don’t forget to draw in your abdominal muscles to support your back. 


The squat is the king of all functional movement exercises. Begin with the “air” squat – squatting only your body weight. From a standing position, slowly lower your hips to parallel to the knees, keeping your chest and shoulders lifted.  This will avoid putting excessive stress on your lower back. Make sure you are pushing all of your weight through the whole foot and not just through the heels. 


Planks are probably the most straightforward exercise to learn, but they’re among the most difficult to master. Start with your hands under your shoulders, feet hip-width apart and abs contracted to support your spine.  When you’re ready, lift your knees off the floor and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.  Planks are a great static exercise and they’re good for you, no matter what your skill level. Do these in place of situps or crunches to avoid back injuries. 

Walk and/or Run

You need to build endurance, so start with brisk walking and work up to jogging and walking intermittently until you can jog the whole time. Continue to work up to sprinting, depending on your goals and how your body feels. Be sure not to push it too much, too quickly. 

Beginner Bodyweight Circuit Routine For Weight Loss

Start by walking or running 400 meters or 2 blocks to warm up. Then stop and do:

  • 10 pushups
  • 15 situps
  • 20 air squats

Repeat this three times. You can add 3 reps of each exercise each time you repeat the workout, and increase distance by 400 meters each week.  To make this an easy beginner workout routine, scale the movements as needed. If you need to hold onto something while you squat for stability or take longer rests between sets, no problem. Just make sure to increase that intensity over time so that you’re making gradual progress.

A Great Beginner Workout For Increasing Muscle Mass: The Barbell For Beginners

If you really want to add some muscle, you’ll eventually need equipment to get past plateaus with simple bodyweight exercises. Most gyms come stocked with what you’ll need for an easy beginner weightlifting workout, just make sure there’s a squat rack, a few benches, some standard barbell plates (typically 5lbs-45lbs), and dumbbells. The most effective barbell movements will take you through a full range of motion and are compound movements that utilize multiple muscles simultaneously. Here are the fundamental barbell movements to learn:


Squatting in proper alignment is critical to avoid stress on the lower back and to protect the knees.  Place the bar across your traps & shoulders and sit back and down, keeping your chest lifted and in line with your shins. Let your knees track in line with your toes. Start with air squats then move to small dumbbells if the barbell feels too heavy to manage. You’ll get stronger quickly, but be sure to increase weight safely as you go.


The bench press is another staple in the weight room and there’s a reason: It yields results. There are a variety of bench presses (incline, decline), but you should start with a flat bench until you get comfortable with it and develop a higher level of strength. Another great press is the overhead or military press. Overhead strength and stability are important and often ignored in the gym, because pressing overhead is challenging. Start with dumbbells and move up to a barbell over time.


The most fundamental human movement might just be the deadlift – picking something up and putting it down again. Load a barbell with light plates and focus on maintaining a straight back as you lower the bar slowly down and up the front of your legs. Remember to contract your abs as you perform a deadlift to support your back.

A Muscle Building Free Weights Routine For Beginners

Work in sets of 12-15 to build muscle.  Alternate the squat and deadlift so you don’t hit them on the same day and so you aren’t hitting a leg-specific workout more than 3 times per week. Hit the accessory lifts for 5 sets of 10 reps each. Remember that the point is to slowly increase weight over time. Try some version of the following workouts to get started:

Squat day:

  • 3 sets of squats for 12-15 reps
  • 3-5 sets of your choice of these accessory lifts:  Leg press, leg extensions, glute/hamstring raises, lunges

Press day:

  • 3 sets of bench press for 12-15 reps and 3 sets of military press for 12-15 reps
  • 3-5 sets of your choice of these accessory lifts: close grip bench press, curls, lateral raises, pullups

Deadlift day:

  • 3 sets of deadlifts for 12-15 reps.
  • 3-5 sets of your choice of these accessory lifts: good mornings, dumbbell bench rows, lateral pull-downs

A Great Beginner Workout For Sports Performance: The Power Circuit

Getting in shape for a specific sport means building power and endurance simultaneously, so you’ll get the most benefit from combining strength-building exercises with functional exercises. A good beginner workout routine should be simple but challenging. If you think of intervals and rest periods as percentages of your maximum work capacity, the intensity should should shift from about 90 percent to “rest periods” of about 40 percent. 

  • Run, bike, or use an elliptical or similar equipment for your intervals. Work as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then drop to a resting pace (don’t stop, just bring your respiration back down) for about 60 seconds.
  •  Focus on building the length and intensity of the sprint portion without increasing the rest. For example, your first week’s intervals should look something like 30/60 x 8, and your second week should look something like 40/60 x 10.
  • Follow your intervals with some sport specific resistance training using bodyweight or dumbbells.

A Beginner’s Sample Power Circuit For Sports Performance

Three rounds of Intervals:

Round One

  • Run at 90% for 30 seconds
  • Perform 15 pushups
  • 12 pullups
  • 12 dips
  • Walk (or run at 40%) for 30 seconds

(no rest period)

Round Two

  • Run at 90% for 30 seconds
  • Perform 25 air squats
  • 12 lunges (each side)
  • 12 calf-raises (each side)
  • Walk (or run at 40%) for 30 seconds

(no rest period)

Round Three

  • Run at 90% for 30 seconds
  • 20 Russian twists
  • 15 crunches
  • 30-second plank
  • Walk (or run at 40%) for 5 minutes

You should aim to increase the intensity and rep count for each subsequent week. Done consistently, you’ll quickly build power and endurance. This is a beginner workout routine, so scale the movements as needed and increase intensity over time.

Build The Perfect Beginner Workout Routine For You

Pick workouts you know you can fit into your schedule, and that don’t require learning new skills at all at once. Building a fitness foundation takes time, so start with a solid beginner workout routine and be consistent. Increase resistance, reps, duration, and distance slowly to make progress without injuring yourself. 

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