The Ultimate Beginner Workout Plan

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It’s the new year!  That means a LOT of people are either trying to get in shape for the first time, or get BACK in shape for the first time in a while!  Now, getting a gym membership is great, but it can be expensive, for one, and intimidating, for another.  So, if you’re NOT quite ready to take that step yet, here is a beginner guide for you!

Please note, this is a beginner, MINIMAL equipment guide, not a beginner NO equipment guide.  The fact is, there are some muscle groups that you can’t really work properly without at least a pull up bar or bands.  However, these are still cheaper than a gym membership, and readily available on Amazon or at your local department store!

Exercise is only part of the puzzle when it comes to getting in shape, however!  For nutritional advice, you’ll want to check out check out Macros and You!  If you’re looking to lose weight The Secret to Burning Fat will help with that.  On the other hand, if you’re on the slimmer side and you’re looking to bulk up, check out The Secret to Building Mass.  It’s not easy (or optimal) to attempt to build significant mass with just body weight exercises, but you can build some!


Equipment Required

Pull Up Bar
Resistance Bands
Chair or Bench

Station –  Perform all sets of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise.  Rest 1-3 minutes between sets.

Level 1:
3×3-10 Bodyweight Squats
3×3-10 Incline/Wall Push Ups
3×3-10 Resistance Band Pull Downs (bump up to a heavier resistance band and/or multiple bands as this gets easy)
3×3-10 Lunges (walking or stationary – I linked walking because I like em more.)
3×1-10 second Straight Arm Hangs (hang for as long as you can, even if it’s just a second or two, work your way up, then start trying the shoulder shrugs Shane talks about in this video)
3×3-10 second Kneeling Plank (or full plank, if you’re feeling up for it)

Level 2:
3×5-10 Bodyweight Squats
3×5-10 Kneeling Push Ups
3×3-5 Chair Assisted Pull Ups (start attempting these once you’re having a hard time challenging yourself with the resistance band pull downs)
3×5-10 Incline/Wall Push Ups (go as low as you’re comfortable on these now)
3×5-10 Step Ups
3×5-10 Hanging Knee Raises

Level 3:
3×5-10 Seated Pistol Squats
3×5-10 Push Ups
3×3-5 Pull Ups
3×5-10 Pike Push Ups
3×5-10 Step Ups
3×5-10 Hanging Leg Raises

Level 4:
3×5-10 Pistol Squats
3×5-10 Decline Push Ups
3×5-10 Pull Ups
3×5-10 Incline Push Ups (this dude is a little…extra. But the tutorial’s good!)
3×5-10 Toes-To-Bar


20-30 minute Walk/Jog (once you’re able to put in thirty minutes of running, bump up to the A/B workouts)
A: (interval run)
20 minutes – 1 minute running at a “hard pace,” 3 minutes running at an “easy pace.” Repeat 5 times (for twenty minutes total of nonstop running.) Frame of reference for intensity; at your “hard pace” you should be breathing heavily enough that you’re not really able to easily talk, “easy pace” is conversational speed.
B: (long run)
30-60 minutes “easy pace” running. Again, for “easy pace” you should be running at an intensity where you’re pretty comfortable holding a conversation with someone. Your goal is go go for at least half an hour, but if you gotta walk for a bit after that half hour, that’s cool.

Indoor Circuit: (do when you can’t and/or don’t want to go for a run)
Don’t rest between exercises, move from one to the next and do the exercises as quickly as you can.
10-25 Jumping Jacks
10 Lunges (walking if you prefer)
10-25 Criss Cross Jacks
10 Bodyweight Squats
10-25 Paddle Jacks
10 Mountain Climbers
Rest 1 minute
Repeat 3-5 times


Day 1: Strength
Day 2: Cardio A (or beginner or indoor circuit)
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Strength
Day 5: Cardio B (or beginner or indoor circuit)
Day 6: Strength
Day 7: Rest


And that’s it!  If you’re hitting level four, you’re doing pretty damn well for yourself, even with minimal equipment!  From beginner to game character in four stages!


That’s it for today.  I’ll see you again on Sunday for a check-in with Real Life Game Character Marshal Ashlin, one of our badass regulars here in the BaGC community, and his quest to become Roronoa Zoro from One Piece!  We’ll se you then!  Until then, as always, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

The Best Dan Wallace

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