Beginner’s Workout Program For Men

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

beginner's workout program for men

You know you need to get in shape, but you don't have a clue where to start. You need a beginner's workout program for men!

Whether you are just starting a workout program or are getting back into fitness, you already know that the benefits of working out are numerous.

From weight loss to building strength, there are a variety of workout plans that can help you improve your physique and fitness levels.

On top of that, daily physical activity can help stave off chronic diseases to keep you healthy and fit for years to come.

However, all of the advice on the internet and in magazines about fitness and weight loss plans can seem like information overload.

This makes it tough to know where to begin!

Luckily the Fit Father Project is a great place to find the ultimate beginner's workout program for men.

What makes this plan stand out from the rest?

It’s based on actual scientific research so that your workouts will be efficient and effective.

Which is essential for all the busy dads out there!

Ready to get started with your beginner's workout program for men?

Don't forget about healthy eating! Learn how to read nutrition facts labels so you know exactly what you're eating!

30 day fitness kickstart

Here’s How Busy Guys 40+ Are Finally Losing Weight…

30 day fitness kickstart
If you’re in your 40s, 50s, & 60s, you need to eat and exercise differently to lose weight & actually keep it off…

Beginner’s Workouts Should Include Both Cardio and Strength Training

The best workout plans should contain a combination of cardio and resistance training exercises.

Both of these are necessary to achieve weight loss and build muscular strength and endurance.

Aerobic 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, something known as EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

While it’s true that cardio burns a significant amount of calories, this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours plodding along on a treadmill to lose weight or build endurance.

In fact, the best beginner's workout program for men also needs to include resistance training.

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.

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 workout 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.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Weekly Beginner's Workout Program for Men

Monday: Full Body Weight Training/Resistance Training

Full body resistance training is a crucial part of any beginner's workout program for men.

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.

Studies have shown that as men age, the most efficient workout plans involve full body workouts spread out three times a week as compared to only hitting specific muscles once a week.

So plan on doing a resistance workout at least 2-3 times a week to hit your strength building potential.

Here 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.

Alternating Lunges

  • Do 10 reps with each leg.
  • You can do these with or without dumbbells depending on your strength and level of fitness.

Dumbbell Shoulder 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 8-10 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 also 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.

Tricep Dips

  • Place your hands on the edge of a stable surface, like a chair.
  • Place your feet out in front of you.
  • Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, then push back up.

Elbow Plank

  • Hold an elbow plank for max time.
  • Try to increase the duration of your hold each time you do this circuit.
  • Make sure to maintain good form throughout and avoid arching or bowing the back.
  • If you break form, you have reached your max time.

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!

This full-body dumbbell workout can be done at home in less than 30 minutes!

Tuesday: Cardio Day

After your strength training day, follow this up with some cardio the next day to increase your aerobic fitness and continue to burn calories.

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.

Studies have shown that something as simple as a walking program in adults aged 45-75 significantly decreases cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

Low- and moderate-intensity walking is associated with numerous other health benefits as well.

Consistent exercise, including walking, can help improve cholesterol markers, control high blood pressure, and slow the development of osteoporosis.

Learn how to do cardio at home to lose weight with HIIT and LISS!

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.

Another great option for this day is to try out a yoga class.

Research has shown that yoga is just as effective as 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.

Tree Pose

  • 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 butt toward the ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V position.
  • Feet should be about hip-width apart with the knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for three deep breaths.
  • Come into plank position, and then return to 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 upward facing dog for another three breaths.

Seated Twist

  • 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.

Hamstring Stretch

  • 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 your with your knee bent.
  • Lean forward stretching your right hip towards the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds then switch sides.

Child’s Pose

  • 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.

Here are 10 stretches for normal people that you should do every day!

Thursday: Full Body Weight Training/Resistance Training

Repeat the strength training workout that you did Monday, or try this 24-minute full-body workout!

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Friday: HIIT/Cardio

High intensity interval training (HIT) 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

There are great apps and programs that offer examples of HIIT exercises.

If you are looking to do something on your own, this circuit below will torch fat and build muscle all at the same time.

Warm-Up (4 minutes)

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
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Jump Squats

Rest for one minute then start the main set.

Main Workout

For the main workout you will perform each move for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

As your fitness levels improve, you can increase the interval to 45 seconds with a 15 second rest.

Set 1


  • 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.

Repeat this set two more times, rest one minute, then move to set 2.

Set 2

Mountain Climbers

  • 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

  • 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.

Repeat this set two more times, rest one minute, then move to set 3.

Set 3

Tuck Jumps

  • 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.

Repeat two more times then cool down.

Cool Down

Do some light walking or jogging in place followed by some static stretching after this workout.

This is a great beginner HIIT workout to burn calories and work multiple muscle groups.

This bodyweight HIIT workout can be done in 6 minutes without ANY equipment!

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 will let your muscles recover and rebuild.

It will decrease your risk for injury, and help prevent burnout so you are motivated to start again the next week!

The midweek 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.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

The Beginner's Guide From The Fit Father Project

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 weekly fitness routine organized ahead of time, there are a number of structured programs available, as well.

Plus there are longer goal-oriented programs that will give you structured workouts, great dietary advice, and will keep you accountable to your fitness goals.

These resistance training and cardio workouts will help you lose weight, get a great looking physique, and improve your overall health.

With this beginner's workout program for men, you will be well on your way to your fitness goals!

Holly Smith, M.D. B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on a beginner's workout program for men.


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Written by: Holly Smith, M.D.,

B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project


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