The Basic Workout
This basic workout helps with most goals, including fat loss, increasing strength, and general fitness. It focuses on your larger muscle groups (which burn the most fat), and the exercises are functional, so they'll keep you strong and injury free.
General info: This is a full-body workout done every 2-3 days (2 or 3 times per week). Follow the order listed, and do 2 sets of each exercise - a warm-up set, and a heavier set. For the warm-up set, use a relatively light weight, and do about 10-15 repetitions ("reps"). For the heavy set, use a weight that is challenging, and do 8 to 12 repetitions. If it doesn't feel challenging or heavy by the 7th rep, or you can do more than 16 reps, use heavier weight.
Train smart. If you have any medical issues, get a doctor's clearance before starting a strength training program. If you're unsure of your form on your exercises, video yourself. Even better, work with a good personal trainer.
At home, use resistance tubing. Or do pushups. If you can't do at least 6 pushups, do incline pushups (higher hand position = easier, lower = harder). If you can do more than 15 floor pushups, put a weight on your back or wear a weighted backpack.
Stand up momentarily every 3 reps to reduce back fatigue. A barbell may be used instead of dumbbells.
If it hurts your lower back, do the 1-arm dumbbell row.
That's it for day 1. For your second workout, do all of the above, then add:
If you have knee pain, very weak legs, or you are very overweight, start with split squats
Alternatives: , 1-arm Cable Chest Press, or Single-arm barbell press (Place hand right below plate, not at top of bar as shown),
> Standing Cable Row - (set the cable at elbow height)
At home, use resistance tubing, or do chinups.
For your third workout, add:
> Use 2 dumbbells, a barbell, or anything heavy. If it hurts your lower back, skip this exercise.
For your fourth and later workouts, add:
Hold the dumbbell sideways, not vertical. You can use 2 dumbbells instead of 1, or hold.
> Ab wheel. If you don't have an ab wheel, put your hands on furniture sliders, paper plates, or towels, and do the same movement.
Updated April 2017