Gym Workout Routines For Beginners and Intermediates (Men and Women)

You joined a gym. The equipment looks amazing. The energy is off the chart. You’re excited about the possibilities. You show up for your first workout, and realize something important: You have no idea what to do.

Or maybe that’s not your story. Perhaps, you’ve been showing up at your fitness center for months, but have finally admitted you’re not getting any results. You gravitate to the same cardio or strength equipment each workout, not because you think they’re working for you, but because they’re the only things you know how to do.

You’ve started to wonder what a typical gym workout should be like. Is there a “best” workout routine? With all of the equipment available, how should you plan your workout, anyway?

This might come as a surprise, but you’re not alone if you feel lost. Most people don’t know what to do at the gym, even if they look like they do in their Lululemon or Under Armour apparel.

In this article, I’ve:

  • shared the secrets to designing an effective exercise program.
  • explained why strength training, and not cardio should be your main focus.
  • provided a beginner and intermediate gym-based workout routine, with sets, reps, and exercise videos.

Get Genesis, my 24-week Beginner Gym Workout Program for free here.

When you’re ready to take your training to another level, consider joining VIGOR Training, where you get access to a number of different training programs, and the camaraderie of the VIGOR Training membership community to keep you motivated and on track with your goals.

Thorne Multi-Vitamin Elite AM PM Tom Nikkola

Feel your best. Use the best.

Thorne sets the standard for nutritional supplement quality, purity, and efficacy. Get VIP pricing and personalized recommendations when you use my dispensary.

Nikkola Newsletter Logo

Don’t miss out! Every Thursday, I send my Nikkola Newsletter, which includes content you won’t find on my site or podcast.

The Nikkola Newsletter is guaranteed free of left-wing ideologies, including critical race theory, open borders, vegan diets, mandatory vaccination or masking, socialism, communism, and cancel culture, unless it’s included to explain its absurdity.

Why Gym Workouts Are Better Than Home-Based Exercise Programs

For almost everyone, working out in a gym, or “fitness center,” is almost always better than working out at home.

First, when you go to a gym, you get out of your home environment. You’ll be out of the reach of excuses, interruptions, and temptations that keep you from getting your training sessions done.

Second, the energy of being around other people focused on their fitness is infectious. A motivational quote poster and loud music are no match for the inspiration of being around other people doing the same thing you are.

Third, most people don’t have enough equipment to follow a complete strength training program.

A solid home gym would have, at a minimum:

  • Adjustable squat rack with pull-up attachment and safety bars
  • Barbell and weight plates
  • Dumbbell set
  • Adjustable bench
  • Cable attachment or tubing

Buying fancy gym equipment won’t motivate you to workout. You need the motivation before you buy the equipment, or the fact that you don’t use it will become an irritation, not motivation.

Some will read this, and think, “If you need a gym, then why is Beach Body so popular?”

“Home entertrainment systems” are easy to sell. They’re just what the average person wants to hear.

Move from the couch to the floor in front of your TV, and follow this easy 30 minute routine. We’ve even included sexy models to keep your heart racing.

People buy the programs, but that doesn’t mean they work long-term.

If you want to get and stay fit, be around fit people. They’re at the fitness center.

The First Rule of VIGOR Training

Before delving into the gym workout programs, I need to address one rule and five program design guidelines.

I use this rule to determine whether or not to use or recommend an exercise, a nutrition choice, or a lifestyle habit.

Like a smart investor who analyzes deals with the lens of “don’t lose money,” I consider my recommendations with a similar rule:

The First Rule of VIGOR Training:
Don’t Lose Muscle

Muscle loss wreaks havoc on your metabolism, and contributes to the myriad of health problems the average person faces today.


  • stores carbohydrates, so you can eat some treats without them turning them into muffin tops.
  • supports your skeleton, so you can move with minimal effort well into old age.
  • has a minor metabolic effect, so you burn a few more calories each day, even while sitting still.
  • has a direct connection to bone density, so as you build muscle you also enhance bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
  • has a direct impact on longevity, as it provides a storage of amino acids used when dealing with sarcopenia and cachexia, or degenerative disease.

Unfortunately, the standard approach to nutrition and exercise does the opposite. It causes muscle loss. You know the advice:

That’s horrible advice!

It’s even worse when you add on today’s popular low-protein diets like Keto or a vegan diet.

We’ll keep the focus on exercise here, as I’ve covered nutrition elsewhere. Here are a few articles to complement the strength training program below:

Muscle won’t make you “big and bulky”

Most people think about big, bulky bodybuilders when they envision building muscle. That’s not what I’m referring to. Unless you’ve got Serena Williams’ or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s genetics, or you’re using steroids, you won’t get bulky, no matter how hard you try.

From an aesthetics standpoint, building muscle simply gives you shape to your arms and legs, and a little bit of a taper to you torso, so your waist looks smaller than the rest of your upper body.

The muscle you build makes your arms and legs more dense and firm, more than it makes them bigger.

Note: One caveat is women with PCOS. They often have a higher level of testosterone and put muscle on easily. Exercise is still important, but they may need more cardio than others to maintain a healthy weight and body fat level.

Muscle helps you get leaner faster, and say leaner longer

The nutrition, lifestyle and exercise choices that help you build muscle also help you get leaner and healthier.

This is especially true for beginners. During your first several months, you can build muscle and drop body fat at the same time.

In fact, most people see a significant difference in how they look, feel, and perform by adopting just 3 simple habits, what I call The First 3 Habits of VIGOR(ESS) Health. As you’d expect, strength training is one of the three habits.

Muscle is Your Quality of Life Investment Account

You know you’re supposed to build a financial “nest egg” as a young and middle-age adult, so you have something to rely on in your later years.

Your muscle tissue is your health and fitness “nest egg.” At a certain point in life, either because of age or due to disease, your body will become catabolic, meaning it’ll break down muscle faster than you can build it.

Once you reach a threshold of minimal muscle mass, your health significantly deteriorates. The more muscle you have when you begin this process, the longer you’ll last before reaching that point of deteriorating health.

Muscle mass is your quality-of-life investment account. The more you have, the more you can afford to lose later in life, and still enjoy the same quality-of-life.

Read more: 9 Strength Training Benefits for Health, Fitness, and Anti-Aging

5 Principles of Program Design

Although other factors influence how I design ongoing programs, like VIGOR Everyday Athlete and VIGOR Strength Athlete, the following are five principles that guide my program design all the time.

1. Remain Consistent Long Enough to Make Measurable Progress

Somewhere, some amateur personal trainer came up with the idea that in order to be fit, you have to “keep your body guessing.” There’s two reasons why a fitness professional would say something stupid like that.

  1. He or she wants you dependent on them. They know that if you believe your training needs to change each session, you’ll train with him or her forever, because you’ll never understand how to “mix things up.”
  2. He or she doesn’t understand the importance of progression. They think the key to fitness is simply to make you burn a bunch of calories and feel wiped out by the end of your session.

You need to stick with the same routine long enough to make measurable improvements in strength. That’s what builds muscle.

I have VIGOR Training members follow the same weekly plan for anywhere from 3-6 weeks. By doing the same sessions you did the previous week, you can ensure you work harder the next week. You just need to use a little more weight, or do a couple of extra reps each set.

2. Change the Program Often Enough to Limit Plateaus

Though you’ll make progress following the same routine for a while, eventually, you’ll plateau. For example, you might add 10-20 pounds to your back squat for a few weeks, and then your progress slows significantly. It’s about that time that your training plan should change.

The longer you’ve been training, the slower your progress is from week-to-week as well.

Beginners see significant improvements as their coordination improves or they learn to use more of the muscle they already have. An experienced exerciser has to slowly build more muscle to gain strength, as they already know how to use everything they have.

I recommend following the same routine for three to six weeks, and then changing exercises, sets, reps, etc.

I design training plans with an annual calendar in mind. Then I divide the overarching training goals into three month mesocycles, and divide those into three to six-week training blocks. The training programs below would be one of those blocks.

3. Use Good Form and Full Range of Motion

A muscle is only as strong as its weakest point in the range of motion.

Case in point: The Bench Press. I see a lot of people lower the barbell only low enough for their arms to reach a 90 degree angle, with the bar still high above their chest. They probably heard from a friend who heard from a friend, who heard from a friend that you should never lower the bar below 90 degrees. That’s bad advice.

In everyday movement, you push and pull through a longer range of motion. If you push a lawn mower up a hill, hoist a box onto a shelf, or catch your son or daughter as they jump into your arms, you need strength throughout that full range of motion.

Or, another example…you should be able to squat with good form low enough that the crease in your hips is even with or just below your knees. However, most people stop before even getting halfway to a full squat. Then, when they have to jump, squat under something, or even sit down on the toilet, they have the stability and grace of a toddler trying to stand on a beach ball.

Read also: Why are my muscles so tight?

4. Minimize muscle loss by using cardio conservatively.

Strength training builds muscle. Cardio or endurance training contributes to muscle loss.

Don’t lose muscle!

If you follow the program, you won’t have to worry about getting your heart rate up. Most people can get significant cardiovascular benefits from strength training, so skip the cardio or endurance training unless it’s absolutely necessary.

For example, in VIGOR ACFT, my Army Combat Fitness Test training program, I’ll have the soldiers run up to 2.5 miles. That’s because they have to complete a 2-mile run as part of their test.

Or, in VIGOR Rags & Mud, I include some running because the program is to prep for a Ragnar Run or Tough Mudder.

Outside of circumstances like those, keep the endurance training to a minimum.

5. When possible, leverage competition for camaraderie.

If you follow a training program with other people, you can compare performances, and use it as motivation. If you don’t know what other people are doing, you won’t understand what you’re capable of.

I use leaderboards in VIGOR Training to help people see what others accomplish. When you have a growth mindset, it doesn’t matter where you place on the leaderboard. If you’re low, you know you can do better because other people are doing better. If you’re near the top, you know you’d better keep improving or others will catch you.

It’s never about winning. It’s always about improving, and encouraging others to as well.

General Guidelines for the Training Programs

Alright, we’re almost ready to jump into your gym workout plan. Just to make sure we’re speaking the same language, and you know what your doing when you get to the gym, I’ve outlined some terms you should know, and guidelines to follow.

Terms To Remember

Prep Work: “Warm-up” movements that improve joint range of motion or help to engage muscle groups important to the upcoming workout.

Time Under Tension: The time, in seconds, of each of the four parts of a movement, designated by four numbers (i.e. 2010).

  • Eccentric: Moving with gravity, such as lowering your body on the squat
  • Pause: The time between the eccentric and concentric movement
  • Concentric: Moving against gravity
  • Pause: The time between the concentric and eccentric movement

Sets: The number of times you perform a collection of repetitions.

Rest Period (if noted): The time you use to recover between sets or exercises.

Alternating Sets: When two exercises are paired together, and you perform a set of one exercise, rest, a set of the next exercise, rest, and then go back to the first exercise.

Superset: When you perform one exercise, and then another without resting.

Rate of Perceived Exertion: A subjective measure of intensity, measured on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 is watching someone workout while you lay on the couch. 10 is an all out intensity you could handle for up to 30 seconds.

Workout Log: Your journal of the exercises, sets, reps, and weight you used for your training session. It’s important to track these, so you know what you’ve done in the past, and can attempt to exceed the reps or weight used from previous sessions. VIGOR Training members get access to a specific app that allows for this.

To avoid repeating this for each day of your training, keep the following in mind each time you show up at the gym:

  • If you’re coming in cold, like first thing in the morning, take some extra time to walk on a treadmill or use an elliptical. It shouldn’t feel like a workout. This is just 5-10 minutes to get the blood flowing at a comfortable pace.
  • Always avoid static stretching before a training session. It compromises muscle strength and power.
  • Train in a fasted state. Coffee is great, assuming it’s black, but avoid calorie-containing food or supplements. I assume you’re not a high-level athlete reading this, as you wouldn’t be interested in a beginner or intermediate workout program, if that was the case. You don’t need carbs, protein, or even amino acids before or during your training sessions, contrary to what someone at your local supplement store might sell you.
  • Do the prep work! You might look at some of the prep exercises and think they’re not necessary. You might be tempted to jump right into the strength training. Don’t do that. The prep work helps you unwind some postural issues and muscle weaknesses caused by everyday life.
  • Unless otherwise noted, maintain a tempo of about 2010. This should be a comfortable speed, where you’re always in control of the eccentric movement, but don’t have to put much thought into your tempo count. On something like back squats, your tempo will be closer to 3010 to 3020. Always in control of the bar, DBs or cable, but not rushed and not especially slow.
  • Rest “as needed” between sets with rep targets of 6 or less. Rest 90-120 seconds between sets with rep targets of 6-15. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets with rep targets of 15+.
  • Do 1-3 warm-up sets on the first movement of any major muscle group (back, chest, legs).
  • Most training sessions should take an hour or less.
  • Keep track of your training sessions. VIGOR Training members log their sessions in their app so they can look back at what they’ve done before, and make sure they improve upon it with their next training session. You could also use a note taking app, or go old-school and use a notebook.
Rep TargetRep Range

The Beginner’s Gym Routine

The Beginner’s Gym Workout plan is for those who just joined a gym for the first time in their life, or who have been gym members, but have never followed a good, structured strength training program.

The program closely resembles one of the training blocks from my intro program, VIGOR Athlete-in-Training (AIT) Phase II.

AIT Phase II is the second 12-week training program for beginners who join VIGOR Training. As I explained earlier, no routine is “the best” routine because your body adapts.

I recommend following this plan for up to four weeks, and then changing the exercises. Each week, you should be able to increase your weight and/or do more repetitions.

This plan is based on a four-day split routine, meaning you’d do these workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, or a similar schedule.

Day 1

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise:

  1. Superman
  2. Dead Bugs
  3. Hanging Scapular Depression
  4. Hip Raise

Back Squat

3 sets of 5 reps each.

Barbell Overhead Press

3 sets of 5 reps each.


Your choice of cardio. If you use a treadmill, keep the incline at 5% and your hands off the handrails. Rate of perceived exertion: 5.

Day 2

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise:

  • Quadruped Thoracic Rotation
  • Scapular Retraction
  • Cook Hip Lift
  • Walking Spiderman with Hip Lift and Overhead Reach


3 sets of 5 reps each.

Pull-up or Pulldown

If you can do even ONE strict pull-up, do pull-ups for three sets, as many as possible. If you cannot do any pull-ups, do pulldowns and complete 3 sets of 6 reps.

Barbell Reverse Lunge

3 sets of 5 reps per leg. Alternate legs throughout set.

Day 3

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise:

  • Quadruped Opposite Arm-Leg Reach
  • Double Crunch
  • Fire Hydrant
  • Reverse Shrug on Dip Bar

Back Squat

3 sets of 5 reps each.

Bench Press

3 sets of 5 reps each.


Your choice of cardio. If you use a treadmill, keep the incline at 5% and your hands off the hand rails. Rate of perceived exertion: 5.

Day 4

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise.

  • Hanging Scapular Depression
  • Scapular Retraction
  • Standing Banded Rotations
  • Band Pull-Aparts

Bent-Over Barbell Row

3 sets of 5 reps each.

Close-Grip 45 Degree Pulldown

3 sets of 5 reps each.

Barbell Walking Lunge

3 sets of 5 reps on each leg (10 total)

After you’ve completed a month of the Beginner Gym Routine, consider joining VIGOR Training so you keep progressing toward your goals.

The Intermediate Gym Routine

This gym workout plan is an example of the VIGOR Everyday Athlete program. It’s intended for those with at least a year of consistent strength training experience.

It involves alternating sets and supersets, so the pace of the training sessions is much faster than the beginner workout plan. With the increased pace, you’ll do more work, and will get much more of a cardiovascular benefit. It will also help you improve your body fat levels.

That said, if your goal is weight loss and you haven’t done strength training in the past, don’t start here. You have to practice perfect strength training technique first, which is what the beginner program is for.

This plan is based on a four-day split routine, meaning you’d do these workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, or a similar schedule.

Day 1 – Chest, Back, and Shoulders

Movement Prep

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise.

  • Walking Spiderman With Hip Lift & Overhead Reach
  • Lying Handcuffs
  • Lying Hip Raise
  • Pillar to Press-Up

Alternating Sets – Neutral Grip Pull-Up & Dips

Neutral Grip Pull-Up: 3 sets of 8 reps.

Always start without assistance. If you can complete all three sets of 8 reps, hold onto a DB between your knees to add more weight. If you cannot complete all 8 reps using your body weight, start with bodyweight pull-ups. Complete as many as you can. Then, finish your reps using an assistance. Rest 60 seconds and then go to the dips.

Dip: 3 sets of 8 reps.

Strict dips. Do not kip. Once you can complete 3 sets of 8 without any assistance, add weight by holding a dumbbell between your knees or use a weight belt. If you cannot complete 8, start by doing body weight, and then use assistance to complete your 8 reps. Rest 60 seconds, and then go back to the pull-ups.

Alternating Sets – 2-Arm Dumbbell Row & Neutral Grip Dumbbell Press

2-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 12 reps.

Remember, this is a back movement. Pull your elbows up and back, but forget about the weight in your hands. If you concentrate on pulling the dumbbell up, you’ll use too much of your biceps. When you concentrate on pulling your elbows back, you keep the focus on your lats. Rest 30 seconds, then move onto chest presses.

Neutral Grip Dumbbell Chest Press: 3 sets of 12 reps.

Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together, feet flat on the floor throughout. Hands should remain over your elbows to keep the focus on your chest. Rest 30 seconds after your set and then go back to your rows.

Alternating Sets – Close Grip 45 Degree Lat Pulldown & Standing Arnold Press

Close-Grip 45 Degree Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps.

Complete your set, rest 30 seconds, and then move to the shoulder presses.

Standing Dumbbell Arnold Press: 3 sets of 12 reps.

Complete your set, rest 30 seconds, and then go back to the pulldown.

Day 2 – Legs & Arms

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise:

  • Scapular Retraction
  • Hanging Scapular Depression
  • Russian Kettlebell Swing
  • Deep Squat to Hamstring Stretch

Alternating Sets – Back Squat & Lying Leg Curl

Back Squat: 3 sets of 10 reps.

Hip-width stance, meaning your feet should be directly under your hips, toes pointing straight ahead. Complete your set, rest 60 seconds, and then move to the hamstring curls.

Lying Leg Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps.

Complete a set, rest 60 seconds, and then go back to the back squats.

  • Set 1: Keep toes pulled up, and turned in (pigeon-toed)
  • Set 2: Keep toes pulled up, and turned out (duck-footed)
  • Set 3: Keep toes pulled up and neutral

Alternating Sets – Barbell Walking Lunge & Monster Walks

Barbell Walking Lunge: 3 sets of 20 reps (10 per leg)

Rest 30 seconds and do your set of Monster Walks

Lateral Monster Walks: 3 sets of 20 reps (10 reps in each direction)

Rest 30 seconds and then do your next set of Barbell Walking Lunge.

Superset – Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls & V-Bar Tricep Pressdown

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 15 reps.

Sorry, no rest on this paring. Do your set of curls and then go right into the pressdowns, back and forth until your done.

Rope Tricep Pressdown: 4 sets of 15 reps.

No resting, no checking Facebook. After your set, go right back to the curls, back and forth until you’re done.


Treadmill Work: Walk at a 2% incline, 3.0 mph for 10 minutes to wrap this up.

Day 3 – Chest, Back, and Shoulders

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise:

  • Goblet Squat
  • Prone Incline Y Raise
  • Reverse Shrugs On Dip Bar
  • 4-Way Dead Bug

Alternating Sets – Feet Elevated Inverted Row & Deficit Pushups

Feet Elevated Inverted Row: 3 sets of as many as possible.

If you’re unable to do 5 of these, don’t use the bench. Put your feet on the floor instead. If that is too difficult, bring your feet in towards you, so your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Once you can complete 10 with your knees bent, do them straight-legged. Once you can complete 10 straight legged, then use the bench. From there, go for max reps.

Rest 30 seconds after your set and move to pushups.

Deficit Pushups: 3 sets of as many as possible.

Stay on your toes if possible, as long as you can complete the full range of motion.

Rest 60 seconds and then go back to inverted rows.

Alternating Sets – Dumbbell Pullovers & High Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Dumbbell Pullovers: 3 sets of 10 reps.

This is a lat movement, so keep your elbows locked and concentrate on pulling “down” with your back.

Complete your set, rest 30 seconds, and then move onto lat raises.

High Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 12 reps.

Complete your set, rest 30 seconds, and then go back to the pullovers.

Superset – Cable Lat Pulldown & Incline Dumbbell Hex Press

Cable Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 12 reps.

No rest here. Do a set of pulldowns, and then move right into the incline presses.

Incline Dumbbell Hex Press: 3 sets of 12 reps.

No rest after your set. Right back to the pulldowns.

Day 4 – Legs & Arms

Prep Work

Perform these movements in a circuit style, moving from one to the next with minimal rest. It is not a race, though. This is just for warming up.

Do 3 rounds of 10 reps of each exercise:

  • Banded Scapular Retraction
  • Banded External Rotation
  • Banded Pull-Aparts
  • Calf Raises

Alternating Sets – Barbell Hip Thrust & Barbell Overhead Walking Lunge

Barbell Hip Thrust: Put your feet on a 4″ riser so they’re slightly elevated. If you don’t have a riser available, use 45-lb bumper plates.

Complete your set, rest 30 seconds, and move to 2-Arm DB row.

Overhead Walking Lunge: If you can handle more than 45 lbs, use a barbell instead of a weight plate. Rep target is per leg.

Rest 60 seconds after your set and then go back to the hip thrust.

Alternating Sets – Glute-Ham Raise & Barbell Front Foot Elevated Reverse Lunge

Glute Ham Raise: 3 sets of 8 reps

Rest 30 seconds and then go to the reverse lunges.

Barbell Front Foot Elevated Reverse Lunge: 3 sets of 16 reps (8 per leg).

Rest 30 seconds and then go back to the Glute-Ham Raise.

Superset – Barbell Curl & Dumbbell Skull Crushers

Barbell Curl: 4 sets of 15 reps.

No rest on this superset. Complete a set of barbell curls, and go right into the skull crushers, and then back to the curls until you’re done.

Dumbbell Skull Crushers: 4 sets of 15 reps.

No checking your phone after your set. Go right back to the curls.

After you’ve completed a month of the Intermediate Gym Routine, consider joining VIGOR Training so you keep progressing toward your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most personal trainers have clients do 10-15 reps per set. However, most beginning clients can’t do more than a handful of perfect reps before they fatigue. A beginner needs to practice perfect form, and focus on building strength in that perfect movement first.

Unfortunately, most people do over half of their set feeling fatigued, and using poor form. They make their muscle and strength imbalances worse. I have beginners use 5-rep sets so they can focus on perfect form, and so that they can see measurable increases in strength each week. Only after building a base of strength and proper form will I have them use higher-rep sets.

Two reasons. First, training four days per week means you’re exercising more days per week than you’re not. In the long-run, that’s how you establish a habit of exercise.

Second, I prefer to spread out the exercises over more days, rather than cramming them into full body workouts you do a few times per week. I always like having beginners end their workouts feeling like they could do a little more, which keeps them coming back, rather than leaving them feeling beat down, as though exercise is a punishment.

The beginner’s gym routine is designed to train you in the foundational movements used in intermediate and advanced programs.

With the low volume each day, you’re able to easily recover and train again the next day. The leg exercises also have a significant impact on your upper body posture and overall mobility. It won’t be too much for those who follow the training plan as outlined.

Absolutely. When you follow a good strength training program like those above, and adopt the diet and lifestyle choices included on this site, such as eating a higher-protein diet, getting enough sleep, and at times, taking advantage of the benefits of a ketogenic diet, you can get leaner and build muscle at the same time.

Absolutely. They’re ideal for both genders.

No. If you follow the workouts, eat enough protein, get enough sleep, and keep your carbs in check, you’ll lose weight without losing muscle. If you want to keep yourself healthy and lean long-term, spending hours each week on a cardio machine like a treadmill, elliptical, bike, or running outdoors is not the answer.

No. You’ll get plenty of core work with the prep work and as your core stabilizes you with the compound movements included in your program. To see your abs, you’ll need to modify your diet.

As I often say, “Abs are made in the kitchen. So are muffin tops.”