I have to admit that I feel a little bad referring to people as "new year's resolutioners." If you're one of them — and I hope you are because these workouts are going to be perfect for you — I wouldn't blame you for being offended. This term isn't often used in a respectful manner, especially by fitness professionals and people who have been into fitness for a long time.
Still, it's an apt description for a group of people who are either just starting out or returning to fitness after a long absence, and January is the largest instance of it. So, if you're a new year's resolutioner, don't take it as an insult. You want to build muscle, lose fat, and get in better shape — that's a huge and admirable step by itself.
The hard part is trying to figure out what to do and how to follow through with it. For the latter, check out this blog post about making your new year's resolutions stick. As for what to do, keep reading.
Beginners can typically make progress by just doing something more than they're already doing. Anything is better than nothing, right? I can't disagree with that, but since you have the opportunity to start fresh, you might as well start right. That means consistently using and progressing big bang-for-your-buck exercises like presses, squats, and deadlifts. It also means incorporating balance between muscle groups, including conditioning work to build a foundation of endurance, and much more.
It's a lot to think about, so I'll stop writing paragraphs and switch over to writing workouts. The following two beginner workouts are:
- Full body
- Easy to learn
- Easy to progress
- Applicable to a number of fitness goals
How To: For both workouts, do one exercise at a time. For Workout A, that means do all three sets of the Goblet Squat, then do the same with the Assisted Pullup, and so on. Take one to two minutes of rest between sets. The finisher is just another exercise, but it's tougher than the rest of the workout. For exercise listed as "xTough", go until the difficulty feels like an eight or nine out of 10.
Progression: The first way to progress these workouts is to increase the amount of weight you use on each exercise. The second way to progress them is to transition to more difficult exercise variations. A few examples:
- Goblet Squat -> Goblet Pause Squat
- Glute Bridge - > Single Leg Glute Bridge
- Hands Elevated Pushup -> Full Pushup
- Split Squat -> Walking Lunge
A) Goblet Squat 3x8
B) Assisted Pullup 3x10
C) Weighted Glute Bridge 3x10
D) Plank 3xTough
Finisher: Farmer's Carry x100 feet x 3-5 sets with 30s rest between sets
A) Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift 3x8
B) Hands Elevated Pushup 3xTough
C) Split Squat 3x8/side
D) Cable Twist 3x8/side
Finisher: Skier x20 + Jumping Jack x20 x 3-5 sets with 30s rest between sets