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beginner workout

Beginner Bodyweight Training Plan – Building The Foundation

Do you have difficulties choosing a workout plan to follow?

You don’t know what parameters to use and you feel frustrated?

Don’t worry. In this post, I am going to give a simple bodyweight only plan, that you can follow to advance in your training.

Because everyone is different you might want to make minor adjustments to the plan according to your needs.

This training plan is focusing mostly on strength development so that you can progress further with bodyweight training. If your goals are losing fat or building muscle, this might not be the most direct plan for you.

I am going to assume some things about you so that you can see how the program works. The training plan is aiming at complete beginners that are not yet able to do 30 consecutive push ups, 50 squats [full ROM] or 5 pull ups. Also, I am going to assume that you have no injuries and you are able to do the exercises with correct form.

How To Warm Up

A1. 3-5 min jump rope [1]
A2. 5 min Wrist conditioning
A3. 2 min Hip mobility
A4. 2 min Scapula work

Warming up can help you prevent injuries and prepare your joints for harder movements. It may not seem necessary to you right now, but doing the warm up above can really help you in the long run.

The main workout [2]

With this training plan, you will have to train for at least 3 times/week alternating between W-1 and W-2 and using complimentary workouts on the days in between.

Workout 1:
A1. (sub-max) push ups (progression)
A2. (sub-max) lunges
A3. (sub-max) body rows

B. Hanging

Notes:
* Go from A1 to A3 without rest in between and rest 60-90 seconds at the end of A3. Perform the circuit 3-4 times. Rest for 2 minutes and then practice hanging from a pull up bar.
* Perform the exercises at a fast pace while maintaining good form.
* The goal of W-1 is to build volume and increase endurance.

Workout 2:

A1. 4x(3-8) push ups (progression)
A2. 4x(sub-max) squats

B1. 4x(3-8) pull ups (progression)
B2. 4x(sub-max) calf raises (single leg)

Notes:
* Perform A1-A2 and B1-B2 as separate circuits with 60-90 seconds rest between the circuits and exercises 1 and 2.
* Perform the exercises slowly and with control. For the push ups and pull ups use a tempo of 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up, pausing 1 second in the bottom and starting position. For the squats use the same tempo as with push ups, but with 2 seconds instead of 3.
* Perform calf raises regularly.
* The goal of W-2 is to increase control and the mind-muscle connection.

How To “Cool Down”

A1. Wrist conditioning
A2. Basic mobility
A3. 1/2 spinal twist and other types of stretching

How To Chose The Right Progressions

Choose a push up and a pull up progression in which you can perform at least 10 and 5 reps respectively. Below are some progressions ordered from easier to more difficult.

Push up progressions:

Pull up progressions:

Core Training

You should train the core the same day you are doing the workouts. You can train directly after the workout or train your core separately during the same day. You can choose a beginner core circuit:

Recovery days

In your recovery days, you are going to do mobility drills and stretching to help speed up the recovery. Personally, I do this mobility sequence every morning and sometimes in the evenings.

I recommend you to get into the habit of doing the mobility sequence at least every morning. Along with other benefits, by exercising every day you will get into the habit of moving and it will be less likely to stop training in the future.

Depending on the level of activity you had in the past, you might want to train during the recovery days as well. During the recovery days, I recommend you to focus on exercises like the headstand, the frog stand and the static wall squats and even some balance drills along with your mobility sessions.

Progressive Overloading & More Diffucult Progressions

To progress with the exercises, you have to try to increase the reps in every workout by at least 1, while you can still maintain good form.

When you reach 30 reps in a push progression, 10 reps in a pull up progression and 50 reps at squats, you can progress to a more difficult progression.

Sample Training Plan

sample traning plan
1st month sample

Above is a sample of the 1st month of your training plan. The other months are the same, so I didn’t include them. Notice that the 4th week is going to be a deload week, to help you recover. During the deload with you are going to bring the intensity of your training down to 50-75% of the last week. You can do this by moving to an easier progression or by reducing reps.

Follow this plan for at least 3 months.

~Nick

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[1] If you don’t have a jump rope you can do jumping jacks instead, but I recommend you to buy one since it is not expensive.

[2] You should get yourself something to hang from. Personally, I use a door pull up bar, when I train at home.

photo: Exercise

NB002a

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