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Daily Workout Schedules for Beginners: Routines for Men and Women New to Exercise

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 7/29/2010

Creating daily workout schedules is extremely important to folks just starting out on a pathway to a healthier life by committing to physical fitness. Here, we’ll tell you why that is so, and then present several schedules involving routines that will certainly help beginners get started exercising.

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    The Foundation of Motivation and Dedication: A Schedule

    The Lure of the Peak The Foundation of Motivation and Dedication: A Schedule

    Daily workout schedules form the guidelines that will explain to beginners exactly what they need to do in order to stay committed and focused to exercising regularly. Think of it as a kind of constitution which provides the details pertaining how to remain free from the bondage of an unhealthy life of being out of shape, terminally fatigued, and at risk to all sorts of avoidable diseases, ailments, and injuries. Strive for the peak of your personal conditioning.

    The beginner needs specific details on exactly what to do each day; the exercise and duration, the number of repetitions and sets. Both cardio routines and strength training need to be divvied up throughout the course of a week. A good, safe practice is an alternating six day schedule with three days for strength routines and the other three for heart pounding cardiovascular activities. The seventh day should be taken off as a means to rest, reward, and reflect on the good work you performed.

    It’s extremely important that the beginner take it easy and not to push their bodies too far. That’s a sure road to injury or frustration that may lead to quitting altogether. Focus on what your body can do, rather than what it can’t do. Adjusting to a conditioned life takes time. Your muscles and mind must get used to the new stresses and demands that physical fitness causes. Read in detail about how it will help you avoid diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure in Health Benefits of Exercise.

    One day at a time should be the credo, thus avoiding nagging thoughts about how arduous and tedious the process might seem over a course of a lifetime. Having something physical to look at it (print out the schedule) is often touted as a better way to maintain a drive and commitment to goals. In all the routines that follow, your goal is to become better, faster, and stronger. Mix it up with classes where you are exposed to the camaraderie and challenge associated with being in a group that seeks the same results as you do. So let’s get down and dirty with the details now. If you’re unfamiliar with any specific strength exercise, it will take you 30 seconds to find out what it entails and looks like on the Web. As always, consult a physician first and understand there is risk of injury involved. Know your limitations, but don’t use it as an excuse.

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    Day 1

    Warm up with 5 minutes of stretching (type in “stretching exercises” on our search feature, and you’ll find a bevy of options for different body parts). Start with something easy and likable like walking, biking, or jogging. Find a pace that gets your heart rate up so that your working hard but again, don’t go for broke. Engage in whichever activity you choose for a half hour and over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, gradually increase it to an hour. For all the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of walking that will motivate you, read this series dedicated to explaining all that.

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    Day 2

    Embark on strength training by hitting the weights. The first day you’ll do chest and triceps. Start with light weight; you’ll still be sore the next day. Gradually work your way up to your maximum weight over 4 to 6 weeks.

    • Bench Press - 3 sets of 8 -10 reps.
    • Tricep Pull Down - 3 sets of 8 -12 reps.
    • Dumbbell Press - do 2 sets of 10 reps.
    • Diamond Pushups - do as many as you can for 3 sets.
    • Chest Flys - use dumbells or fly machine; 2 sets of 20.
    • Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 8 -10 reps.
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    Day 3

    Sole F80 Treadmill Warm up with 5 minutes of stretching. Do 30 minutes of cardio; walking, jogging, biking, a treadmill, stairmaster, a rowing macine, or elliptical (again in 6 weeks, you should be up to an hour with it).

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    Schedules For Daily Workout RegimensProviding a daily workout schedule, as well as explaining the importance of seeing it on paper and following it, are what this article is all about. This is a carefully composed schedule spanning a week that will go a long way toward getting the beginner in excellent shape. This page of the article gives you Day 4 through Day 7. You owe it to yourself to exercise toward a more healthy, fulfilling life.
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    Day 4

    Strength workout for back and biceps: Start with light weight; and gradually work your way up to your maximum weight over 4 to 6 weeks.

    • Straight Barbell Curls - 3 sets of 8 -10 reps.
    • Lateral Pull Downs - 3 sets of 8 -12 reps.
    • Concentrated Curls - 2 sets of 12 - 15 reps.
    • Fly Machine Facing Inward - 3 sets of 8 -12 reps.
    • Upright Rows or Row Machine- 3 sets of 8 -12 reps.
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    Day 5

    New Class Take a cardio class or buy a DVD and follow along at home. Among the many available are aerobics, kick-boxing, a step class, or some sort of cardio fusion. Choose one you find appealing. Try and recruit a friend to take it with you. The DVD option is great if you’d rather do it alone. Yoga is an excellent option too, it might not technically be cardio, but this ancient practice aligns your body, mind, and spirit in an extremely healthy way. This series detailing just how beneficial yoga is explains three different types of yoga disciplines that you can choose from. Instructors should provide easier alternatives, in any class, for each exercise if you’re really struggling. Don’t be intimidated, everyone has to start somewhere.

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    Day 6

    Strength workout for legs and shoulders: This article on the best leg strengthening exercises will give you all you need to know for legs. Even though it’s written for men, all the routines are the same for women too. As far as shoulders, the military press machine, or dumbbells on a straight-back bench ( 3 sets, 8-10 reps) and shoulder shrugs ( 3 sets, 8-10 reps) will set you straight.

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    Day 7

    Rest and reward yourself for all the hard work by doing something you really like. Congratulations, you’ve undertaken a positive tract toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.


    Northern Lights Yoga, Helena, Montana