A simple, fun and effective beginner’s whole body gym workout


Joining a gym can be daunting, especially if you are a complete newbie.  Below I have comprised a basic whole body workout programme designed for the complete beginner. This was more or less the routine I followed as a foundation when I first starting weight training.  Just like my personal finance articles that I have written, I like to keep things nice and simple, and this is no exception.  For each bodypart, pick one exercise for your workout and do a light warm up set, followed by 3 sets of 10-12 reps with a minute rest in between.  Notice that the exercises I have picked are all compound movements-these exercises give you the most bang for your buck in terms of muscle gain.  You should be able to complete this regime within an hour so make sure you invest in a timer to keep to the rest periods!  Also, you should try to either a) increase the repetitions, b) increase the weight or c) both every time.  In this regard, it’s important to keep track of your progress with a workout dairy.  So let’s move on to the actual workout:

  • Legs-quads: Squats/leg press (pick one)
  • Legs-hamstrings: stiff leg deadlift/lying leg curl (pick one)
  • Chest: barbell chest press/dumbbell chest press (pick one). Mix it up with incline one day and flat the next.
  • Back: barbell rows/dumbbell rows/chin ups (pick one)
  • Shoulders: Barbell shoulder press/dumbbell shoulder press
  • Arms-biceps: barbell curl/dumbbell curl
  • Arms-triceps: cable pushdowns/barbell french press
  • Abs-barbell roll outs/planks

Some additional pointers:

  • Always seek medical advice before you conduct any new training regime.
  • Do this workout 3 times a week BUT don’t make any 2 workouts the same. Be sure to increase the repetitions or weight each time.
  • If you’re not sure how to do an exercise, ask the gym instructor for help or alternatively, you can reach out to me at andy@theoptimistlifestyle.com and I will gladly assist you.

Like this post?  You may also like my article on sticking to your health and fitness goals, as well as this simple and fun home workout post.