Best Gym Workout For Beginners and Intermediates | Tom Nikkola
Tom Nikkola | VIGOR Training | Fitness For Men

VIGOR Training

Get strong. Get fit. Then get on with it.


VIGOR Training is recommended for a specific type of person. If you appreciate participation trophies, believe people are entitled to more than what the Declaration of Independence suggests, believe your feelings are someone else’s responsibility, or are hoping for the “easy button” to get fit and strong, VIGOR Training is not for you. It’s best to move along to something else.

Your life shouldn’t revolve around your workouts, meals, supplements, and half-naked Instagram photos showing off your progress. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of fitness in today’s superficial world.

Instead, strength training should be seen as a tool that takes the place of the physical labor our ancestors endured. That physical labor makes you strong, resilient, and healthy.

That said, it also needs to be convenient to fit into today’s busy lifestyles. That’s exactly what VIGOR Training is all about.

I designed VIGOR Training as a simple, effective, and easy-to-follow program that’ll make you stronger, inside and out.

But it only works if you leave your excuses at the door.

Follow the training plan. Eat lots of protein when it’s mealtime, and get sufficient sleep. Then, get on with your life take a strong stand for what’s good and what’s right.

VIGOR Training makes the rest of your life better.


My Guidelines for the Best Workout Plans for Men and Women

In my opinion, the best fitness programs have three requirements. They’re:

  • Progressive: You should be able to follow the program for months, even years and make steady gains. That means the programming has to include enough consistency that you can make steady improvements on specific exercises for weeks at a time, while varying the movements often enough that you don’t get bored or hit plateaus too often.  
  • Simple: While no workout should be easy, each training session should be simple enough to execute. You might need to watch a video and practice the movement a few times to get comfortable, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re part of a circus act when getting it done. Build a stronger, leaner body requires basic movements performed consistently, with increased intensity over time. It’s a simple gym workout plan that simply gets results.
  • Prioritizes Strength and Conditioning: Most people overdo cardio and do too little resistance training. You can significantly improve your cardiovascular conditioning through weight training, but you cannot increase strength and muscle mass with cardio. Most of your time in the gym should focus on strength training, some mobility, and a bit of conditioning-specific work. That’s just how I design your VIGOR Training workout plan.

Nutrition: Guidelines, Not Diets

With exercise, you need a specific plan so you can build on what you’ve done in the past, and be ready for what’s coming in the future. Your plan must be progressive and specific.

With nutrition, you need guidelines, not rigid rules and meal plans. Though meal plans work in the short-term, most people get so dependent on them, that when they get off track, they completely lose their way. When my clients adopt a handful of guidelines, they feel free to live their lives, enjoy eating out or splurging on occasion, and still stay close to a healthy body fat year-round.

Of course, if someone needs to have a shredded six pack or look their best for a wedding, that’s different. I can help people get in that kind of shape, but it’s a short-term thing.

The guidelines include:

Camaraderie, Competition, and Community

One of the most common complaints I heard from clients over the years was this: “My spouse is frustrated with the time I’m spending in the gym and with people from the gym, versus the time I’m spending with my family.”

Your training shouldn’t feel like a sacrifice. If anything, it should add to your family time. But I don’t want to make someone feel like they need to spend anymore time at the gym than is absolutely necessary.

That’s why I add leaderboards into many of the workouts, and encourage people to message their team with encouragement and questions. It helps you feel like you’re part of a community and have a sense of camaraderie, without consuming a bunch of your free time.

Tom Nikkola VIGOR Training Workout Program Founder

The fundamentals of fitness never change. Your priorities often do.

No matter your age or fitness level, your body needs resistance training. But you don’t need to spend all of your free time at the gym to get in shape.

I’ve designed VIGOR Training to help you get stronger, week-after-week, year-after-year by focusing on only the most important aspects of health and fitness:

  • Consistent, periodized resistance training
  • High-protein nutrition
  • Foundational Supplements
  • Quality sleep
  • Camaraderie and healthy competition.

Your mind follows your body, so if you want to be all-around strong, VIGOR Training will help you get there.

See what members are saying.

Down 64 pounds and counting this year with the help and guidance of this program! The workouts within VIGOR Training are very well planned, efficient, and super effective. Tom takes all planning and guesswork out of the equation, and has provided a tool that easily tracks my daily progress. The program is easy to follow. All I have to do is show up and put in the work that is laid out for me on gym day.


Ryan Gentry

This mom, career woman and coach appreciates how organized and user the friendly each workout is. If you don’t know a movement is, there is a video right there to watch to gain a clear understanding of how to perform it properly.


Kristin Matthees

I came into VIGOR Training without any real experience to weight training. The results in percent body fat loss, skeletal muscle gain, and overall weight loss have been life-changing.


Nathan Charlan

This week of training has been incredible. I have “lifted” for the past 15 years. This week was the first time I ever felt like I actually “trained”. It was a humbling yet invigorating week. I’m excited to progress in your system and look forward to how 40 years old is gonna look on me!!!


Jesse Johnson

I like that I’m the lightest I’ve been in 20 years, but I love that I’ve never been this strong. I feel great and my wife loves it too, so that’s a huge bonus!


Jeremiah McLean

With your VIGOR Training membership, you get…

  1. Access to all VIGOR Training teams and programs, so you can change your plan when your goals change
  2. Personalized supplement plan and nutrition guidance
  3. Loyalty gifts you’ll absolutely love
  4. Community support from your VIGOR Training team members through in-app chat and the VIGOR Training Facebook group
  5. 28 Days quick start diet e-book
  6. Limited-time bonus: 45-minute One-on-One Consultation / Coaching Session ($99 value)
28 Days Cover For VIGOR page

For a limited time, your membership includes one nutrition coaching session with Tom ($99 value).

Professional programming meets top-notch technology

  • Daily “readiness” questionnaire to track trends in stress levels, recovery, and energy levels
  • Periodized training program: Annual programming with 6-12 week training blocks based on specific fitness goals (i.e. strength, conditioning, lean mass, speed, power, etc.)
  • Exercise, set, rep prescriptions: Specified training variables to make ensure you get the results expected in each training session
  • Training history record: Sets and reps are saved after recording them for reference during future training sessions to help ensure you push yourself beyond past performances 
  • Video/written exercise demonstrations and instructions
Screenshots of exercise recommendation and tutorial video

Included Teams and Programs

Every team and program will help you build muscle and improve your body composition and conditioning. However, the right program depends on your primary goals, exercise experience, and current fitness level.

VIGOR Strength Athlete

Primary goals: Muscle growth, strength, and power, while steadily improving body composition and mobility
Frequency: 4-6 days per week designed with split routines to focus on specific muscle groups or movement patterns.
Time commitment: 50-70 minutes per session
Equipment needed: Standard gym equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells, squat racks, benches, cables, some machines, kettlebells, bands/tubing, and other accessories

VIGOR Everyday Athlete

Primary goals: Muscle growth, improved body composition and conditioning while maintaining muscle and strength
Frequency: 4-5 days per week designed with full-body workouts or split routines depending on the training block and time of year.
Time commitment: 40-60 minutes per training session
Equipment needed: Standard gym equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells, squat racks, benches, cables, some machines, kettlebells, bands/tubing, and other accessories


Primary goals: Build strength and conditioning with minimal equipment. Perfect while gyms are closed or inaccessible.
Frequency: 3-4 days per week
Time commitment: 40-60 minutes per session
Equipment needed: Resistance bands, a couple of kettlebells, and adjustable rings would suffice.

Additional Programs

Athlete-In-Training: 3-6 month base strength and fundamental movement program. Perfect for those who’ve never trained with free weights. Workouts start out as full-body workouts and progress to split routines.
Rags & Mud: 12-week training program to prep for an adventure race.
Road Warrior: Short-term program for training while traveling.
ACFT: 12-week program to prepare for the Army Combat Fitness Test.

Frequently Asked Questions

What age groups benefit most from your workout routines?

While almost anyone would benefit, I have a special affinity for men and women over 40 years old. It’s about this age that we realize fitness isn’t about aesthetics, but about quality-of-life. There’s greater meaning to me in helping people in middle to older age become the fittest they’ve ever been.

Do you personally design the programs?

I design all the training plans myself. That’s why it’s worth at least $29 per month, instead of using a generic app with no intelligence behind it for $10 a month.

I also use the VIGOR(ESS) Strength Athlete plan for my own training. I stay a week ahead of the rest of the team so I can make sure I set up the plan correctly.

Are the workout routines gender-specific?

No. The training programs are the same for men and women.

Do I need a gym membership for VIGOR Training?

For the most part, VIGOR Training is designed as a gym workout program. The equipment available at a basic gym or fitness center makes a significant difference in your ability to get long-term results. However, I do have a couple of at-home programs that will work for a few months of training at home, with minimal equipment, when you don’t have another option. For the other teams and programs, a gym, or full home-gym is necessary.

For a home gym, you’d need a barbell, plates with weights totalling at least 200 lbs, dumbbells up to at least 50 lbs, squat rack with pull-up attachment, and adjustable bench.

Though you can probably find all of this equipment for a good deal on Craig’s list, I strongly recommend joining a gym. You’re more likely to follow through with your training plan when you’re around other people getting fit.

Do I need to commit to a long-term contract?

Nope. Your membership is month-to-month, so if you want to cancel, just contact me at least 48 hours before your next charge processes.

If I want or need a specific diet plan, can you make one for me?

Yes. You get one nutrition coaching session included with your membership, and can purchase more if you’d like. I can personalize and customize your program in our session(s).

What does a typical workout week look like?

The programming varies for each program, and within each program, I change up the week’s training sessions every 3-6 weeks. Therefore, I don’t have a “typical” workout week to show you. HOwever, I do offer a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

So, the best way to see if VIGOR Training will work for you is to give it a serious try. Join now.


30-Day Money Back Guarantee

If you’re not thrilled with VIGOR Training during your first 30 days, I’ll give you a full refund.