Looking for a weight loss workout plan for beginners?
By now I’m sure you have heard about all of the benefits of working out, from weight loss and increased strength to improved overall health.
But where is the beginner to start?
There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet and in fitness magazines about fitness and weight loss plans. It can be difficult to know where to begin!
Here is the ultimate weight loss workout plan for beginners!
What makes this beginner’s exercise plan stand out from the rest? It’s based on actual scientific research to bring you the most effective workout plan to help you lose weight.
In addition, we know that you’re a busy dad with a hectic schedule. That’s why this plan is set up to allow you to incorporate your workouts into a shorter period of time.
Lose Weight With Cardio and Strength Training
The best weight loss workout plans for beginners contain cardio and resistance training exercises. Both of these are necessary to achieve weight loss.
Cardio training is important for a number of reasons. For one, you will be burning calories at a high rate during the exercise itself.
In addition, your body will continue to burn calories even after your workout has finished.
Yes, it’s true that cardio burns calories. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on an elliptical to lose weight. In fact, the best weight loss plans for beginners need to combine both cardio and strength training.
Weight training is especially important for weight loss for a couple of reasons. If you are trying to lose weight, your body will tend to not only lose fat, but also muscle.
Strength training will help preserve muscle mass even as you are losing weight. In addition, this increased lean muscle mass will keep your metabolism high to further aid in weight loss.
Exercise for Overall Health
Studies have shown that long term exercise decreases the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, and obesity.
Combined training with both cardio and resistance exercise not only improves fitness but can also prevent or lessen the impact of chronic health problems.
If you’re a beginner looking for a weight loss program, it helps to have a weekly schedule set up for you.
This takes the guesswork out of deciding when to incorporate certain aspects of your training. But you can always change around a few of the days to fit your schedule if needed.
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Weekly Weight Loss Workout Plan for Beginners
Monday: Full Body Weight Training/Resistance Training.
Full-body resistance or weight training is a crucial component in your weight loss program. Increasing and maintaining lean muscle mass will make your body an efficient calorie-burning machine.
Plus, you’ll build a toned physique and improved strength!
Below is a full-body workout routine you can include in your weekly schedule that is perfect for the beginner.
The moves are simple but extremely effective at increasing strength and muscle size. Plus, you can efficiently target all of your major muscle groups in one session.
Do 10 reps with each leg. You can do these with or without dumbbells depending on your strength and level of fitness.
Dumbbell Arnold Press
Do 10-12 reps either seated or while standing. Standing will force you to engage your core to a greater degree than sitting with a back support. Maintain good form and posture throughout the movement.
Standing Bicep Curls
Choose a weight that will allow you to complete 8-10 reps. Try not to use your back, or swing your arms to use momentum when performing this exercise.
Dumbbell or Barbell Bench Press
Aim for 10-12 reps. Contract your pecs at the top of the movement and slowly lower the weights down to your chest. If you do not have a bench you can do this while lying on a mat.
Bent-Over Dumbbell or Barbell Rows
Make sure to engage your core as you aim for 10-12 reps. You can use an over or underhand grip on the bar or dumbbells.
An overhand grip will work your upper lats, rhomboids, and traps to a greater degree, while an underhand grip will work the lower lats and also recruit the biceps.
If doing this routine multiple times a week, try switching up the grips each time to target the muscle groups from different angles.
Attach a rope attachment to a high pulley. Hold the rope with your palms facing each other.
Bring your torso forward at about a 30-degree angle. Contract your triceps to pull the rope down until your arms are fully extended.
The upper arms should always remain stationary and only the forearms should move. Hold for a pause and then bring the rope slowly back up.
Start in an RKC plank position, on your toes, body straight, on your elbows at 90 degrees.
Push upwards with your upper back, pushing your shoulder blades away from the floor.
Breathing out, squeeze your quads and glutes as hard as you can and hold. Hold the tensed position for as long as you can as you continue normal breathing.
After you complete a round of this circuit, take a two-minute break. Walk around, stretch out the arms and legs, and grab some water. Then repeat two more times!
Tuesday: Cardio Day
After your strength training day, follow this up with some cardio the next day to increase your cardiovascular fitness and continue to burn calories.
Tailor this to something that you enjoy. This could be an exercise class at your gym, a run outside, swimming laps, or even water aerobics.
Anything that gets the heart pumping! Try to aim for at least 30-60 minutes.
If you are short on ideas, below is a great walking interval workout you can try.
This can be done on a treadmill or outside. Walking is a great weight loss exercise for beginners, and can be modified to your current level of fitness.
Studies have shown that walking programs in adults aged 45-75 significantly decrease cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.
Low- and moderate-intensity walking is associated with numerous other health benefits.
Consistent exercise, including walking, can help improve cholesterol markers, control high blood pressure, and slow the development of osteoporosis.
|Workout||Duration||Intensity||Treadmill Speed||Treadmill Incline|
|Warm-up||5 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||0%|
|Interval 1||2 minutes||Moderate Pace||3.5-4 mph||1.5%|
|Interval 2||2 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||1.5%|
|Interval 3||3 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||4%|
|Interval 4||2 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||1.5%|
|Interval 5||3 minutes||Hard Pace||4.5-5 mph||1.5%|
|Interval 6||2 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||1.5%|
|Interval 7||3 minutes||Moderate Pace||3.5-4 mph||6%|
|Interval 8||3 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||3%|
|Interval 9||3 minutes||Hard Pace||4.5-5 mph||3%|
|Interval 10||2 minutes||Moderate Pace||3.5-4 mph||5%|
|Cool Down||5-10 minutes||Easy Pace||2.5-3 mph||0%|
Wednesday: Stretching and Balance Training
Think of this day as an active recovery day. This is a great time to do some light stretching and balance moves in the comfort of your own home.
For beginners engaging in a weight loss training plan, stretching is vital!
Another great option for this day is to try out a yoga class. Research has shown that yoga is just as effective as stretching–strengthening exercises in improving functional fitness.
Here are some sample balance and stretching moves that you can use in your weekly routine if you need ideas.
At Home Stretches/Balance Exercises
Stand with your arms at your sides. Keep your weight on your left leg and place the sole of your right foot inside of your left thigh.
Once balanced, bring your hands in front of you in prayer position. Extend your arms overhead, separated and facing each other.
Hold this position for 30 seconds. Lower and repeat on the right side.
Downward Facing Dog
Start on all fours with hands directly under your shoulders. Move your hands a few inches forward and spread your fingers wide.
Press your palms into the floor and press your butt toward the ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V position. Your feet should be hip-width apart with the knees slightly bent.
Hold for three deep breaths. Come into a plank position, and then return to the downward facing dog for another three breaths.
Upward Facing Dog
Start by lying on your stomach with your hands near your shoulders. Inhale and press your hands firmly into the floor and slightly back.
Straighten your arms and lift your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor. Hold for three deep breaths.
Straighten into a plank position, then return to the upward facing dog for three breaths.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Cross your right foot over the outside of your left thigh. Keep your right knee pointed up.
Then, place your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Place your right hand on the floor behind you near your lower back.
Twist to the right as far as you can. Hold this for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
Sit with both legs straight out in front of you.
Bend at the waist and extend your arms forward towards your feet.
Hold for 20-30 seconds and then release back up.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on your right knee and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you with your knee bent.
Lean forward stretching your right hip towards the floor.
Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.
Sit up on your heels. Bring your torso forward, and allow your forehead to rest on the mat or floor in front of you.
Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
Hold the pose and take several deep breaths.
Thursday: Full Body Weight Training/Resistance Training
Repeat the strength training workout that you did Monday, or try a workout from the Fit Father Project, like the free 24-minute full-body workout!
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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to burn calories and tone muscles.
Research has shown that HIIT training can be a very time efficient component to include in a weight loss program.
It is great for beginners to incorporate HIIT into their weight loss workout plans.
Many gyms offer their own version of HIIT training, and there are many workouts available that follow this format.
If you would like to try something on your own, try out this workout below.
Sample HIIT Workout:
Perform each move for 30 seconds, moving right into the next move. Once finished, repeat one more time for a total of four minutes.
Remember, this is only the warm-up, so there’s no need to go all out here.
- Jump Rope
- Butt Kickers
- Jumping Jacks
- Jump Squats
Rest for one minute then start the main set.
For the main workout, you will perform each move for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.
As your fitness levels improve, increase the interval to 45 seconds with a 15-second rest.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Squat down and place your hands on the floor. Kick back into a push-up position. Do one push-up.
Jump your legs back to a squat and jump up. Land and repeat.
Alternating Lunge Jumps
For this exercise, you start in a lunge position.
Lower your back knee toward the ground in a lunge while keeping your front shin as straight as possible.
Do not let your knee track over your toe.
Push explosively off the ground, jumping and switching the position of your legs while in mid-air.
Land in the lunge position with the opposite leg forward.
Repeat, switching legs on each jump.
Start in a push-up position.
Engage your abs as you bring your right knee to your chest and then straighten it back to the starting position.
Then bring your left leg to your chest and back again.
Side to Side Push-Ups
These can be standard width, wide width, or military push-ups.
Start in a push-up position. Move to the right with your right arm and right leg while bending at the elbows to lower your chest to the ground in a push-up.
Extend your arms to return to the top. Then repeat to the left side.
Continue alternating sides.
Begin with your knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of you, palms down with your fingertips together at chest height.
Dip into a quarter squat and immediately explode upward.
Drive the knees towards the chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of the hands. Land softly with slightly bent knees.
Russian Twists with Dumbbell
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt while holding a dumbbell in both hands.
Lean slightly back without rounding your back. Twist slowly to the left, bringing the weight to your left side.
Then rotate to the right with the weight. Continue alternating sides.
Make sure you are using your abs and not just swinging your arms. You can do this with your feet on the ground, or you can hover the feet above the ground for an added challenge.
This is basically just running in place, but try to bring your knees up to the level of your waist. Really engage your abdominals as you do this.
Start in a standard pushup position. As you lower your body toward the floor, bring your right leg out to the side and try to touch your knee to your elbow.
Return to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg
When you’re done with this circuit, rest for one minute then repeat. After, do some light walking or jogging in place followed by some static stretching.
Saturday: Rest Day or Full Body Strength Day
You can use today for a rest day. Or if you are further along in your training, you can add another full-body workout day here.
Sunday: Rest Day
Make sure to include at least one rest day into your weekly schedule. This is especially important for beginners in these weight loss workout plans.
This will let your muscles recover and rebuild.
It will also decrease your risk for injury, and help prevent burnout so you are motivated to start again the next week!
The mid-week stretching day helps with muscle recovery, but a complete rest day should be incorporated as well.
Rest days are vital not just for physical recovery, but also for mental recovery.
Get the Support and Guidance You Need
If you are looking to start a new fitness program, the Fit Father Project offers a number of resources that are perfect for the beginner.
There are countless articles on workouts, nutrition, supplements, and overall health.
If you are someone who likes having their fitness regimen set out for them, there are a number of structured programs available.
The free 24-minute workout program is a great introduction to strength training and provides you with the right tools to get started.
And if you are looking for a more long term program, FF30X will give you structured workouts, great dietary advice, and will keep you accountable to your fitness goals.