Whether you’ve never adhered to a fitness plan or are coming back to fitness after some time off, a little bit of guidance can go a long way. People who work out without a proper plan in place are at much higher risk of injury and may not see the results they want.

But for those looking for additional information, we’ve built this complete, full-body workout plan for beginners that you can start today!

text on left reads, "Beginner Workout Plans" with gym workout equipment on right

Upper Body Workouts

To ensure maximum performance and adequate rest, we recommend alternating workouts between different muscle groups. This is why you’ll hear people refer to “leg day” or “upper body day.”

For example, if you are working out four days each week, you’ll want to dedicate two of those days to upper body workouts.

Upper body strength is critical for performing day-to-day activities (like carrying groceries or a child!). A great upper body routine will also improve flexibility and range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury during your daily routine.

Arm Workouts

  1. Bicep Curl

    This is one of the simplest arm movements for beginners, helping to build muscle strength in your biceps.

    Hold a dumbbell in each hand (or start with one hand at a time) and rest them at your side. Slowly bend your elbow with the inside of your arm facing you to lift the weight up to your shoulder. Then slowly lower the weight down by unbending your elbow so the weight rests back at your side.

    Complete 10 times for a single set.

  2. Dumbbell Skull Crusher

    For this arm exercise, we’ll be working the triceps. You’ll want to lie down with your back flat on a bench. Bend your knees off one end of the bench, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Your head should be resting on the other end of the bench.

    Grab a dumbbell in each hand (or one at a time) and lift it straight up with your elbows facing away from you with the backs of your hands facing away from each other. Grip the dumbbell with your thumb facing downwards.

    Slowly bend your elbows so the dumbbells come down next to your head. Be careful not to hit your head with the dumbbells – they should come down just next to the crown of your head. Slowly lift the dumbbells back up to complete the rep.

    Complete 10 times for a single set.

Back Workouts

  1. Pull-ups

    Pull-ups are a complete upper body workout, incorporating all muscles of the arms and back. There are a number of variations on pull-ups. You can maintain a wide or narrow, use an underhanded grip for chin-ups, or try any other of more than a dozen different types of pull-ups.

  2. Lat Pulldowns

    At Method Gym, we have machines specifically geared for lat pulldowns. At this machine, you’ll sit on the end of the bench closest to the machine while facing it. Select your weight, then place one hand on each side of the bar overhead. Slowly pull down on the bar to bring it towards your chest. Complete 10 times for a single set.

Lower Body Workouts

Though often challenging, it’s important to never to skip leg day! You use your leg muscles every day to stand, squat, walk, and climb stairs. Keeping your leg muscles strong is crucial for maintaining your mobility and flexibility as you age.

A great lower body workout will strengthen your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abs, obliques, and lower back muscles.

Here are some workouts you can add to your fitness plan today:

Leg Workouts

  1. Walking Lunges

    This is an easy and accessible movement you can perform not only at the gym, but outside or in your home as you find time during the day.

    To perform a walking lunge, begin standing up straight with your feet together. Keep your head up, looking straight ahead. Lunge forward with your right leg so that your knee bends at a 90 degree angle with your feet flat against the floor. Then slowly straighten your right leg with your heel pushing up as you bring your left foot forward to return to a standing position. Repeat this process with your left foot lunging forward to complete a rep.

  2. Lateral Lunges

    This movement will help you improve your balance while also strengthening your legs.

    Begin by standing with your feet underneath you, slightly wider apart than your hips. Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward as you slowly shift your weight to the right side. Bend your right knee, keeping your right leg straight while your left leg straightens out diagonally. Unbend your right leg and come back to an upright position, then do the same process on your left side to complete a rep.

Core Workouts

Your core plays a major role in your body’s balance and overall stability. As the center of your body, it ties together your upper body muscles and your lower body muscles.

Let’s dive into some easy core exercises you can incorporate into your workout plan:

  1. Crunches

    This is one of the simplest – and most effective – exercises for your core.

    Start by lying down on your back on a mat. Place your feet flat against the floor so your knees are bending up, pointed to the ceiling. Fold the fingers of your hands together and clasp your hands behind your head so your elbows are pointed away from you. Then, using only your core muscles, fold your upper body up against your knees (or as close as you can get) while your feet remain flat on the floor. Then, slowly lower your upper body back onto the ground. Complete 10 times for a single set.

  2. Planks

    Another classic at-home exercise, planks are great for strengthening your core, back, and glutes while promoting proper posture.

    Lay down on the floor on a mat with your forearms pressed down against it. Lift your body so only your forearms and toes are touching the mat, keeping your back as straight as possible with your head lifted and facing forward. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds to complete a set.

Glute (Butt) Workouts

  1. Squats

    Begin by standing with your feet just barely farther than hips-width apart. Keep your feet flat on the floor with your toes slightly pointed outwards. Clasp your hands together in front of you.

    Keep your torso upright and your head facing forward as you slowly drop your body down, bending your knees until they are at a 90-degree angle with your thighs parallel to the floor. Then slowly raise your body back up to a standing position to complete a rep.

  2. Russian Twist

    Grab a single dumbbell for this exercise. Sit on a mat with your heels and butt against the mat, your toes and knees pointed in the air with your back leaning at a 45-degree angle. Clutch the sides of the dumbbell with your hands with your elbows pointed out. Twist your torso to the left side so the dumbbell moves with your body. Now twist to your right to complete a single rep.

Weight Loss Workouts at the Gym

If you’re starting your fitness journey at Method Gym with the goal of losing weight, we have a number of tools to help you get there. Here are a few workouts you can complete to start seeing changes on the scale.

  1. HIIT Classes

    We offer HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) fitness classes at all three Method Gym locations! HIIT is an intense, full-body workout with a focus on torching calories. HIIT classes challenge your body in such a way that you even burn calories after the workout is complete through a process known as EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption).

    Plus, HIIT classes are fun and can be enjoyed alongside family and friends!

  2. Running on the Treadmill

    Combine your strength training workout with a 20-30 minute run on the treadmill for a complete, full-body workout that will burn calories and leave you feeling confident and accomplished as you exit the gym.

    Running is also excellent for your heart health, encouraging healthy blood flow in the body.

  3. Yoga

    Looking for a more relaxing vibe? Try Method Gym yoga classes! Yoga is great for recovery, allowing you to increase your endurance so your workouts last longer and accomplish more. Additionally, yoga is great for your mental health by reducing stress and strengthening the connection between your mind and your body.

Gym Workout Trainers in VA & MD

Beginning a workout plan that you can actually stick to is not easy. At Method Gym locations in Dale City, VA, Leonardtown, MD and California, MD, our personal training program makes you successful! Learn more about personal training and contact us to get started now.