The ultimate home workout program for beginners

Updated: Oct 14



Home workouts are good for most people, which probably includes you. The convenience of no gym commute, no gym clothes to carry in the car, and no crowded gym make working out from home an attractive option. However, you might think you need the gym equipment to get in a quality workout. There is no truth to that. If you are looking to lose fat, build muscle, get fitter, or all three, you can do so from home with no equipment, but the program I will share in this writing only call for a pair of dumbbells and a pull-up bar.


The equipment

Equipment for your home workouts does not need to be extensive. The more you have, the more options you have, and the more you can be varied in your program. A pair of dumbbells and a pull-up bar can provide you everything you need to work out from home.


Now you might say you do not want to purchase any equipment. That is fine. You can complete only the calisthenics (body weight) portion of the program I include in this writing. That said, the equipment will not be expensive and will be a good investment in your fitness future.


The dumbbells

Virtually any pair of dumbbells will work. The caveat is the pair must provide sufficient resistance for the weighted portion of this program. If that means a pair of 10 pound dumbbells, 25 pound dumbbells, or a set of adjustable dumbbells, then that is what you should have.


If you have already been working out with dumbbells at the gym, you can base what you buy for home on what you use at the gym. For example, if using 10 pounders at the gym does not provide enough resistance, but 45 pounds is too heavy, then opt for something in the middle, such as the 25s.


In reality, the best investment will be a pair of adjustable dumbbells, even a cheap pair. The logic is you will be able to use different amounts of weight for different exercises, meaning adjustable dumbbells will allow you to vary the load used for different exercises.


Having multiple dumbbells is an option, but these take up more space and cost more in the long run. You might say the pair of 10s and 25s are cheaper than the pair of adjustable dumbbells you saw online, and you would be correct if you are simply referring to the initial buying price of each.


For example, we have a pair of USA Elite PowerBlock 90s. The cost hovers between $500-600. The cost of a pair of AmazonBasics 10-pound dumbbells is about $35, while the 35-pound pair is about $80. For about a fifth of the cost of the PowerBlock 90s, you receive two pairs of dumbbells. At that rate, you would pay about $500 for 10 pairs of dumbbells, but the PowerBlock is equivalent to 28 pairs of dumbbells. While the initial cost is more, the long-term investment is less.


The pull-up bar

Virtually any pull-up bar will do as long as you can perform a pull-up from a deadhang with your feet extended. As long as you can meet that position a door pull-up bar, pull-up station, or any other set-up will work.


Program overview

The home beginners workout program included in this writing follows a four-week repeating design. Ideally you run the four-week program for a minimum of 12 weeks. With each repeat four week period, you try to do better than the previous period, as defined by completing more reps, using more weight, using less rest, running faster, running further, or some combination of the above, as applicable to the given workout.


For example, if a rep range is listed for a weighted exercise, then using more weight or completing reps more within the rep range is progress. Imagine the exercises is the dumbbell squat and the rep ranges is 8-12 . Now imagine that you completed 8 with a pair of 25-pound dumbbells the last time you performed the exercises. This time you might increase, such as going to 30, or increase , such as going to twelve. Or you might do both. What you would not do is go below 8 or go above 12 . The given reps are targeted with purpose.


The same logic applies to a fixed rep amount. If the exercises specifically calls for 8 , then complete 8 and try to increase weight with each iteration. The same logic applies to distances. If a run offers a range, then complete the run within that range. For example, if the run is one mile, and you ran it in 8:00 minutes las time, then you would try to get a better time, not more distance.


The specifics of the program are targeted with purpose. Deviating from the targets affects the quality of the program and the progress you will achieve. So, follow the target exercises, distance, and other details of the program if you want the best results.


The weeks

Each week has four days of workouts that you complete from home, which includes cardio and resistance training. Each week is labeled Week 1, Week 2, etc. The days are labeled Day 1, Day 2, etc. Simple and easy to understand. Keep the resistance and cardio workouts scheduled as-is. For example, the Day 1 has a resistance portion and a run portion. Complete both on that day. If you need to complete them at different times of the day, that is fine, even preferable, since arguably you will be able to give more energy to each individual component that way.


Keep the workouts in order. Do not put Day 4 before Day 1, Day 2 after Day 3, etc. The workout order has purpose. If you want to get the most out of the program, then follow the program as designed.


The days

Workouts are designed in a manner that should take 30-60 minutes, including set-up, general warm-up, warm-up sets, workout (cardio and resistance), and cool down/tear down. If you are completing them quicker, you are either:


  • Not warming up and jumping into the quality work—this will reduce the effectiveness by not allowing you to use the necessary intensity for quality work. In essence, some of your quality work will become warm-ups which will lead to less progress.

  • You are skipping work—this will lead to less stimuli, less adaptation, and less progress.

  • You are not resting between sets or not enough—this will reduce the effort you can put into each set. This will lead to less stimuli, less adaptation, and less progress.

  • If you are taking longer, then you may be:

  • Pushing too hard on sets or runs and need more rest due to this—this can lead to injury, overtraining, and a lack of progress.

  • You are lazing about, playing on your phone, or talking—this will lead to less stimuli, less adaptation, and less progress.

  • You do not understand how to time things—for example, you are warming up too much, cooling down too long, resting more than needs, etc. Adjust your timing.


Each day of the beginners home workout program has cardio and resistance. Splitting the two up would be ideal. For example, completing the run at the start of your day and the resistance at some point later or vice versa, would be ideal. The logic is that you can put all energy into one component, rest, and put all energy into the other component. That said, you might complete both components together and that is fine.


If you complete the components together, it really does not matter which element you complete first, as long as you can put sufficient effort into each. However, you might find over time that completing one element first is more beneficial.


For example, if I have a separate running components and resistance component in the same workout, I prefer to run first. I find my running suffers more if placed second in the order than if my resistance is placed second in the order. You might find the same.


Or it might be a mental thing. You might find if you run first, then you are less likely to complete the resistance work. In that case, completing the resistance work first is ideal, since you will be more likely to still complete the running.


Following this logic of doing things as listed, stick the exercise order, rep ranges, and other details, such as target distance. Everything is planned out with purpose. For the best results, follow the plan, including the details for each day.


The Program

Always warm-up properly. This includes a general warm-up of your choice, warm-up sets before resistance training, and a warm-up walk/jog/run before cardio.


For resistance training, be sure to complete 2-4 warm-up sets for the first exercise and, if needed, do the same for consecutive exercises.


For cardio, warm-up with a walk/jog/run that prepares you for the scheduled workout of the day but does not fatigue you.


Generally, rest between sets should be 1-3 minutes in length. The harder the previous set, or the harder the next set is expected to be, the longer the rest. In extreme cases, take up to 5 minutes of rest. However, if you find you regularly need longer rest periods, something may be off, and you will need to assess this.


When selecting a weight, choose a moderate to hard load that allows you to hit the reps but does not push you to failure. You should always have at least 1-2 "in the tank." Adjust as needed to keep safe.


Notes

  • For supersets/circuits, complete one set of the first exercises, then one set of the second exercises, etc., the rest as needed or as listed, before doing the same thing again until all sets/rounds are complete

  • For all supersets, rest as needed between rounds unless a specific rest time is noted.

  • For all exercises, go as heavy safely possible, meaning select a weight that is moderate to hard with good form. Going too heavy or too light will make this program less effective.

Home Gym - Week 1 - Day 1

Dumbbell Front Squat – 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 5, 5 reps

Dumbbell Deadlift – 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 5, 5 reps

Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press – 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 5, 5 reps

Walk/jog/run for 10-20 minutes

Home Gym - Week 1 - Day 2

Dumbbell Lunge Single Arm Press – 5 sets x 10 reps per side

Dumbbell Hang Power Clean – 5 sets x 3 reps

Dumbbell Standing Back Fly – 5 sets x 8 reps

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Dumbbell Front Raise - 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 8 reps

Jog/run for 1-3 minutes, walk for 1-3 minutes, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 1 - Day 3

Burpee - 5 sets x 10 reps

Mountain Climber – 5 sets x 20 reps per side

Hanging Inverted Row or Pull-up/Chin-up – 5 sets x 1-20 reps

Lying Straight Leg Raise - 5 sets x 20-50 reps

Walk/jog/run for 10-20 minutes

Home Gym - Week 1 - Day 4

Complete as many rounds as possible of circuit of:

  • Dynamic Plank – 10 reps per side

  • The V-Up - 20 reps

  • Rest 30 secs

Jog/run for 1-3 minutes, walk for 1-3 minutes, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 2 - Day 1

Dumbbell Front Squat – 5 sets x 5, 5, 10, 15, 20 reps

Dumbbell Deadlift – 5 sets x 5, 5, 10, 15, 20 reps

Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press – 5 sets x 5, 5, 10, 15, 20 reps

Walk/jog/run for 10-20 minutes

Home Gym - Week 2 - Day 2

Dumbbell High Pull – 5 sets x 3 reps

Dumbbell Renegade Row – 5 sets x 10 reps per side

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Dumbbell Standing Back Fly – 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Front Raise – 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 8 reps

Jog/run for 2minutes, walk for 2 minutes, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 2 - Day 3

Push Up – 5 sets x 1-20 reps

Incline Push Up – 5 sets x 1-20 reps

Body Weight Squat - 5 sets x 20-50 reps

Squat Jump - 5 sets x 20-50 reps

Walk/jog/run for 10-20 minutes

Home Gym - Week 2 - Day 4

Complete as many rounds as possible of circuit of:

  • Alternating Single Leg Plank – 10 reps per side

  • The V-Up – 20 reps

  • Rest 30 seconds

Jog/run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 3 - Day 1

Dumbbell Thruster – 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 5, 5 reps

Dumbbell Deadlift – 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 5, 5 reps

Walk/jog/run one mile

Home Gym - Week 3 - Day 2

Dumbbell Lunge Single Arm Press – 5 sets x 10 reps per side

Dumbbell Hang Power Clean – 5 sets x 3 reps

Dumbbell Standing Back Fly – 5 sets x 8 reps

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Dumbbell Front Raise - 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 8 reps

Jog/run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 3 - Day 3

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Burpee - 10 reps

  • Mountain Climber – 20 reps per side

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Hanging Inverted Row or Pull-up/Chin-up – 1-20 reps

  • Lying Straight Leg Raise - 20-50 reps

Walk/jog/run one mile

Home Gym - Week 3 - Day 4

Star Side Full Plank – 5 sets x hold for 10-90 seconds

The V-Up – 5 sets x 15-40 reps

Jog/run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 4 - Day 1

Dumbbell Thruster - 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 10, 10 reps

Dumbbell Deadlift - 5 sets x 20, 15, 10, 10, 10 reps

Walk/jog/run 1.5-2 miles

Home Gym - Week 4 - Day 2

Dumbbell High Pull – 5 sets x 3 reps

Dumbbell Renegade Row – 5 sets x 15 reps per side

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Dumbbell Standing Back Fly – 5 sets x 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Front Raise – 8 reps

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 8 reps

Jog/run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute, repeat as many times as possible

Home Gym - Week 4 - Day 3

Push Up – 5 sets x 1-20 reps

Incline Push Up – 5 sets x 1-20 reps

Body Weight Squat - 5 sets x 20-50 reps

Squat Jump - 5 sets x 20-50 reps

Walk/jog/run 1.5-2 miles

Home Gym - Week 4 - Day 4

Superset 5 sets of:

  • Alternating Full Plank – 5 sets x 10 reps per side

  • The V-Up – 5 sets x 10-20 reps

  • Rest 30 seconds

Jog/run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 minute, repeat as many times as possible

And that is it. A simple but effective program to help you reach your goals at home. Do not shortchange your results—put in the work and you will move toward your goals. If you have a question or comment, leave it below, email me at nathan@demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com, use the contact from on the site https://www.demetzonlinepersonaltraining.com/, or DM me on social media https://www.instagram.com/nathandemetzpersonaltraining/.



Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

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