Beginner gym training plan


Front squat with military press 3x12
Split lunge with biceps curl 3x12 each side
Horizontal pulls 3x12
Push ups with half burpee 3x12
Flat leg raises 3x12

Beginner gym training plan. Get fit in 5 easy exercises!

Choosing the appropriate workout program will help you to achieve your goals. Each type of program is different and you need to decide what suits your needs best. This beginner gym workout routine is the collection of body weight and free- weight movements, suitable for beginners as well as more advanced lifters. You will train main body parts, all in one session, focusing on strength and cardiovascular fitness.

What are benefits of full body workout?

  • Full body workout is easy to fit into your schedule, helps you to save time as you can train all the main body parts in one session. Most of the exercises are ideal for home workouts, all you need is your body and, additionally, set of dumbbells.
  • The recovery rates are usually increased. You will have at least one or two days off between each session, so your muscle can recover quicker. You can work hard on your training day, and come back fully recovered ready for another session!
  • Full body workout leaves you time for other activities, such as cycling, running or swimming. You can also join variety of classes available at your gym.
  • This gym training plan will help you to to improve muscle functions and prevent muscles asymmetry.
  • Full body workouts help you to maintain and develop strength. Couple of weeks should be enough to see the difference already!

Time to start!

This gym training plan contains 5 exercises, each one of them should be performed in 3 sets with 8-12 repetitions. The rest time between sets is 20-30 seconds. Using heavier weights, you can increase your strength level, whereas light weights will help you to improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Start with a lighter weight and increase your resistance with a number of repetitions with each session. You can also decrease your rest time and increase the total number of sets. Remember about at least one rest day between sessions to allow your body to fully recover.

Let’s get squatting first!

Squat with the military press

3 Sets of 12 repetitions

This exercise is the combination of two exercises: Squat and a military press. If you add military press to your squats, you will engage also your shoulders. You can perform it using a barbell or free weights.
Squat is one of the best exercises, whether you want to build muscles, lose weight or get toned and stronger. It is also one of the most natural and functional movement for humans. Different depths of motion while performing squats allows you to work different muscles. The best way is to perform FULL range of motion, as it develops all the muscles equally. What does the full motion mean? You should squat until your hamstrings are touching your calves and you can not go any further. You will probably hear that full range of motion is bad for your knees…. This is not true! Squat can be only bad for your knees, if you developed a knees problems in the past. In that case, you should avoid heavy resistance. Squat performed correctly can only strengthen your knees and muscles.

Military press makes your upper body stronger and helps you to tone your shoulders. The arm muscles are the prime movers, but while lifting, your core and back muscles are engaged for stabilisation as well. Your abdominal and erector spine (lower back) helps to maintain your torso in a straight position. In the beginning of this program, you should be using light weights, but with time when you’ll feel more comfortable, you can increase it.

Muscles involved:

Squat – main muscles involved: quadriceps, and gluteus maximus. Synergists (helper muscles): gluteus minimus/medius, erector spinae, transverse abdominis, hamstrings, soleus,gastrocnemius.
Military press  main muscles involved: anterior and medial deltoid muscles. Synergists : triceps, upper trapezius.

Step 1:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place barbell on your collar bone with palms facing forward grip. Turn your out toes slightly .Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Move the hips back and bend the knees slightly.

Step 2:

Looking forward, perform the squat, making sure that you keep your knees in line with your feet. Control the movement by lowering yourself using muscular control. Remember to keep your back straight, with neutral spine, your chest and shoulders should be up. Do not lean too much forward when descending. Descend at a controlled speed until you’re resting against your calves. Come back to the starting position, remembering about muscular control. Inhale as you going down, and exhale going back up.

Step 3:

Now, take a big breath and perform the military press by pressing the bar in a vertical line over your head. Lift the bar up as you exhale. Remember to keep your back straight, abs tight and chest up. Don’t use legs, keep them straight or slightly bent in knees. Return the bar with controlled movement to the starting position and repeat the exercise from the beginning (step 1) for 8-12 repetitions.

Split lunge with biceps curl

3 Sets of 12 repetitions

This exercise will improve your balance and stability. Lunge activates your glutes and helps to increase hip flexor stability. Lunges are the easiest and the most effective exercises to tone your legs. In split version, it will put less stress on your back, especially lumbar vertebrae. If you’ll add the elevation (for example step or a bench), you will push your muscles to work harder and deepen the range of movement. This will require more body balance. Start with split lunges and with time, you can progress to a lunge or elevated split lunge. Adding biceps curl will also allow you to improve your arms strength.

Muscles involved: quadriceps, gastrocnemius, biceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, core.

Step 1:

Start in a split leg position, one foot forward. Separate your feet with feet apart. Hold your dumbbells (one each in each hand) and keep your arms straight (don’t hyperextend your elbows). Keep your back straight and core tight.

Step 2:

Take a big breath. Flex your knees, until your back knee is almost touching the floor. Your front knee should be a 90° angle. Keep your elbows close to the body. Perform the biceps curl at the same time when you’re going up.  Exhale on your way up and inhale when you’re going down. Return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets with 8-12 repetitions for each leg.

Horizontal pulls

3 Sets of 12 repetitions

Many people think that pull ups are an extremely difficult exercise. Don’t worry, if you can’t do a full pull up. When people talk about pull ups, they usually mean FULL pull up. If you are a beginner, it might be extremely hard to perform a full movement. This is why most of the people will stick with weight training or machines. Don’t do it! Remember… you can always try a different variation such as horizontal pulls. Rather than jumping in to the deep water straight away and trying to perform a full pull up, work your way through step by step. Horizontal pulls will improve your back strength and allow to perform more difficult exercises later on. 

Muscles involved: latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhombosis.

Before you perform this exercise, find a horizontal base. While training at the gym, you can use a barbell attached to as smiths machine, whereas working out at home, you could use your kitchen or dining room table. Make sure that the top you are holding on to will safely carry your body weight. Ideally, barbell (or a table) need to be around your hip level.

Step 1:

Using overhand grip, get down with your chest and lower body underneath. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up from the floor. Keep your body locked straight and body tensed. This will allow you to keep your body weight only on your heels and hands. This is the start position.

Step 2:

Pull yourself up, until your chest touches the barbell. Keep your knees and your whole body aligned, come back to starting position with a slow controlled movement.  Exhale going up and inhale when you’re going down. Perform 3 sets with 8-12 repetitions in each set.

Small tip: In order to make this this exercise easier, you can bend your knees or place the barbell a little higher. You can also use trx ropes instead of the barbell.

Push ups with half burpee

3 Sets of 12 repetitions

Push up is one of the best exercises for upper body, that will help you to tone and build muscles. It’s also safe, because it’ll improve your functional strength and, performed correctly, strengthen your joints and tendons. Ordinary Bench press exercise can irritate your elbows and damage wrist joints, whereas push up, coordinates lower body and midsection. Push up has a lot of different variations. You don’t have to do the full push up straight away. Simply start with kneeling push ups, half push ups, incline or wall push ups.

My push up combination with a half burpee, allows to involve much bigger range of muscles at the same time. Half burpee is the shortened version of a full burpee. It is a cardiovascular exercise that engage your whole body, so it is perfect as a part of weight loss program! It will also help you to increase hip flexibility and strengthen your core by working on stabilisation of the abdominal.

Muscles involved: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, anterior deltoid, triceps, core.

Step 1:

From the kneeling position, place your hands on the floor and straighten out your legs. If you choose a kneeling position, kneel on the floor with feet together. Keep your arms straight, with shoulder width apart and in line with your chest. Torso, hips and legs should be in alignments. Keep your legs together. Look forward. This is your start position.

Step 2:

Bend your arms until your chest will touch the floor. If you don’t feel comfortable, perform the shorter range of motion and try to increase it with every repetition, until the full movement is reached. Keep your arms straight at the top position, but don’t hyperextend your elbows. Exhale on the way up, and inhale on the way down.

Step 3:

Now, with your feet together, jump back out. Try to catch your feet as far away from the body, as possible. Use your abs to drag your legs forward, keep your body low, head should be high, use your abs to drag it back and perform the push up again (in straight or kneeling position).

Flat leg raises

3 Sets of 12 repetitions

Rectus abdominis (abdominal) is a muscle which everyone pays attention to. This is not just about the appearance. The strong midsection, makes the whole body stronger. The idea, that you need to perform multiple exercises to train your abdominal properly, is not correct. You don’t have to perform a ridiculous number of isolated exercises, because your midsection engages almost every time when you push, lift or punch something. Leg raises are one of the most effective exercises to work your midsection. Leg raises comes with a lot of variations, starting from knee tucks and finishing with hanging straight leg raise. Breathing is a very important when performing abdominal exercises. Always inhale during the negative portion of the rep, and exhale during the positive portion of the movement.

Muscles involved: rectus abdominis, internal and external oblique muscles, hip flexors.

Step 1:

Lie on your back with your legs together on the floor. Keep your hands by your sides, touching the floor. Rise your legs, until your feet are above the pelvis. If you finding it difficult to straighten your legs, you can keep your knees slightly bent. With time and flexibility improvement, you may try to straighten your legs gradually.

Step 2:

Keeping your legs locked together, reverse the motion. Exhale as you lift, inhale as you are going down. Perform 3 sets, each 8- 12 repetitions.

Small tip: if you’re finding the leg raises very difficult, focus on stretching your hamstrings, as it might be the cause.

The above beginner’s gym training plan was created to engage almost all main muscles in your body. The range of variations is making it suitable for beginners, as well as more advanced gym goers. If you’re finding any problems with your performance, decrease the number of repetitions and chose an easier variation. However, remember to increase your resistance and difficulty with time. This will help to build strength and achieve your goal quicker, whether it is to lose weight or gain muscles.

Good luck!


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