The Ultimate 4-Week Beginner’s Workout Guide

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This guide will walk beginners through everything they need to reach their fitness goals, including a 4-week beginner workout plan. 

Starting a workout program can seem intimidating for beginners. There are so many exercises and workout plans to choose from, and it can be challenging to know where to start. But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! This ultimate beginner’s guide will walk you through the basics of starting a workout routine and include a 4-week beginner workout plan to get you up and running to get fit and healthy in no time! 

Beginner Workout Guide: Set Realistic Goals

beginner workout guide goals

Before beginning any exercise regimen, setting realistic goals is essential. First, think about what you want from your workouts, then create a step-by-step plan to help you achieve those goals. When setting your goals, ensure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely). This will help keep you motivated and focused on achieving your desired results.

According to fitness influencer, bodybuilder, and powerlifter Jeff Nippard, men should aim for 10-20 percent body fat, and women should aim for 18-28 percent body fat. 

Beginner Workout Guide: Get Adequate Rest & Recovery

It’s also essential for beginners to understand the importance of adequate rest and recovery between workouts. Your body needs time to repair itself after exercising, so ensure you get enough restful sleep each night. Additionally, many people find that taking days off between workouts helps them stay motivated and energized throughout their routines.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your workout progress is essential to any successful exercise regime. It allows you to track the progress that you have made and pat yourself on the back for being consistent with your diet and workouts. By logging your workouts, you can track changes in strength, endurance, power, and overall health over time. 

This will help you to recognize which areas need adjustment or improvement, allowing you to maximize the results of your fitness regime by focusing on specific goals. Tracking your fitness progress is also key to creating motivation. Looking back at how far you’ve come over time will keep you inspired and motivated between exercise sessions. 

Watch What You Eat

Achieving your fitness goals is impossible without a healthy diet—you can’t out-train a bad diet. It all starts with protein, essential for building and repairing muscle. Finding protein sources low in saturated fat, such as fish or lean meats, can make a massive difference to your body composition. 

Aside from protein, it’s essential to pay attention to portion size and calorie intake. Eating to hit your daily calorie goal will ensure you get enough nutrients without over-consuming energy—making sure you fuel your workouts without gaining extra fat! A healthy diet should have all the right pieces: protein, carbs, and veggies, all in balanced portions. 

Start Slow, Progress Gradually, and Get Help 

When starting a new exercise program, taking things slow and gradual progression is essential. Trying too hard too soon can lead to injury or burnout. Instead, start with light exercises like walking or stretching and gradually increase the intensity as your body gets used to the new activity. 

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and can provide many physical and mental health benefits. Not only does it help to maintain a healthy weight, but it also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, asthma, stroke, and some cancers. Additionally, regular walking provides improved joint mobility, stronger bones, and improved posture

In addition, you can enlist the help of a personal trainer or fitness instructor who can create an individualized plan for you based on your specific needs. A personal trainer will track your workouts and progress and offer valuable insight on calorie-burning exercises and nutrition. 

Additionally, with a personal trainer, you get consistent motivation and accountability. Having someone track your progress, provide realistic feedback, and cheer you on when you need a boost can increase motivation levels to stay active, healthy, and fit. 

Eventually, you’ll want to start incorporating a weightlifting routine since resistance training is critical for reaching your fitness goals—it’ll build muscle, speed up your metabolism, help you lose fat, and improve your overall health and body composition

4-Week Program 

Once you feel comfortable enough to start a workout plan, you can start with the exercises below—all great for beginners. 

Dumbbell Goblet Squat

The dumbbell goblet squat is an excellent introduction to lower body training. It increases stability, balance, and joint mobility. In addition, this exercise strengthens the core and glutes while providing an improved posture and range of motion in the hips. 

Machine Bench Press

A machine bench press is perfect if you want to build strength without putting excessive strain on your joints. This machine allows you to target your chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. 

Cable Seated Row 

The cable seated row is another machine that engages your back and biceps muscles. It’s excellent for allowing you to work your pulling muscles (back and biceps) without putting your form at risk, such as a movement like a barbell bent-over row, which requires more technique. 

Resistance Band Curl 

The resistance band curls are excellent for engaging your biceps and keeping the tension on your biceps throughout the entire range of motion. In addition, bands are safer than free weight exercises and ensure your form is good. 


The planks are a staple movement for anyone with a strong core. It requires you to hold your body weight on your forearms for as long as possible, engaging all the muscles in your abdominals. 

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Goblet Squat 3 10
Machine Bench Press  3 10
Cable Seated Row  3 10
Resistance Band Curl 2 12
Plank  2 Max time 

*Note: Rest 2-3 minutes between sets for dumbbell goblet squat, machine bench press, and cable seated row. Then, reduce the rest to 1-2 minutes between sets for resistance band curl and 30 seconds to 1 minute for planks. 

These exercises are a full-body workout routine that’ll engage all your muscles each workout. We recommend you do this workout 3x a week and target all your muscle groups each workout. After 4 weeks, you can increase the volume you do—more reps, sets, and exercises—and move to 4 workouts per week. In addition, you can start incorporating more movements or move to a split routine—separating each muscle group into different days, e.g., push, pull, and legs

Final Word 

Starting a workout program doesn’t have to be intimidating—it can be pretty enjoyable once you get into the swing of things! By setting realistic goals, starting slow, progressing gradually, and getting adequate rest and recovery between workouts, beginners can set themselves up for success as they embark on their fitness journey. With this ultimate beginner’s guide in hand, you have all the tools necessary to make your dream of becoming fit and healthy come true! 

Check out our 2023 weight loss guide if weight loss is your goal!

And share this article on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for anyone who could use the guidance getting started with their fitness journey this year!

Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.