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Best beginner gym workouts

Best beginner gym workouts

Most people want to hit the New Year hard with a tough training routine. If you’re a beginner you should ease in gradually. This program will help build confidence, tighten up the whole body and, alongside a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of protein, will build you up solidly over the coming weeks.


  • Split the workout into three separate days with rest days between for muscles to rest and repair.
  • If you can’t make 8 reps, reduce the weight. If 12 reps is easy, increase the weight.
  • Spend 45 minutes on each workout. Complete all the reps and rest for 1 minute between sets.
  • Start each workout with a basic 5 minute warm up such as jumping jacks.

DAY ONE – LOWER BODY. 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise, unless otherwise stated.

Barbell Squats. Perform these with a bar on the back or with a goblet. Try to keep your back flat and squat until your glutes are level with your knees. Push back up through the heels.

Lunges. Do 12 reps on each leg. This is a great exercise you can do anywhere. The main tip is don’t let your right knee travel over your toes. Widen your stance if this happens. 

Leg Press machine. This popular gym machine tones your glutes fast. A home alternative is doing a squat whilst holding a dumbbell at chest height.

Jump Squats with Pulse Squats. Do 3 sets of 20 reps. Jump Squats are a great way to end your workout and help shed fat. First perform 20 squats with a small jump at the end. Then drop low into a squat and pulse up and down for 20 reps.

DAY TWO – BICEPS AND BACK. 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise, unless otherwise stated.

Bent Over Row. Make sure you pick up the bar with hands slightly wider than hips and use an overhand grip (knuckles facing away). Pull the bar up to bellybutton height then lower back with full control. 

Lat Pull Down. This is a great beginner exercise to build arm strength if you can’t do a pull up.  Use a wide grip.

Seated Row. Time to sit down! Pull the handles towards your chest and hold for one second before releasing. 

DAY THREE – TRICEPS, SHOULDERS AND CHEST. 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise, unless otherwise stated.

Shoulder Press. Performing an overhead press can be done using either a gym machine or with free weights.

Chest Press. Similar to the shoulder press but you need to push away from the body rather than up. Ensure you don’t lock your elbows as you push out and back. 

Push Ups. Reliable as ever,  the push up can be performed in a variety of ways, or on the knees for an easier workout.

Triceps Push Down. Grasp a double-handed rope on the cable-machine with an overhand grip, and push down to the thighs. 


the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.