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Level-Up with This One-Month Workout Routine for Beginners from Sweat x Shape

Up the ante each week with a new progression for every workout. The idea is to push your limits safely, and effectively so you continue to improve — and always have fun!

Whether your go-to workouts are starting to feel stale or you can't seem to find your way out of a fitness slump, everyone feels like a beginner from time to time. Not only is that natural, as no fitness or wellness journey is linear, but taking on a beginner mentality allows you to become a student of exercise again — learning new techniques, perfecting form, and testing boundaries.

When you take on this kind of growth mindset, you develop a belief that you always have the capacity to grow and improve — and who doesn't want that?! (Read more about the concept: How to Develop a Growth Mindset to Pretty Much Conquer Life)

If you're ready to improve your mental and physical strength, increase your muscular and cardiovascular endurance, and feel and see the results from all of that hard work, join this four-week progressive workout routine for beginners.

Designed by a few of your favorite Sweat trainers — co-founder and head trainer Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells, Britany Williams, and Phyllicia Bonanno — this month-long program is designed to start from a place that works for all fitness levels and continues to advance week after week. The concept is backed by the science of progressive overload, which essentially means you induce physiological changes by increasing the difficulty of your workouts, typically through volume, intensity, or resistance. Translation: You'll prove just how strong and capable you are with every new progression within this workout routine for beginners.

Thanks to the combination of strength, stability, cardio, and recovery sessions, you can expect your body to feel stronger, more balanced, and flexible while giving you the energy you need to tackle any of life's obstacles. (It's true. Read: How Working Out Can Make You More Resilient to Stress) Plus, by combining different training styles, you can keep your workouts interesting and stay both physically and mentally challenged. Exercise variety can also help prevent overuse injuries and help avoid fitness plateaus.

By the end of the month, if you find yourself addicted to the energy of your instructors, you can get more from them and the many other expert trainers via the Sweat app. Bonus: If you're new to the platform, you can get your first three months free when you sign-up with this exclusive link for Shape readers only.*

Ready to work? Save the calendar below, bookmark this page (or put it on your phone's home screen for easy access), grab the necessary gear — and above all, have fun!

workout-routine-for-beginners-calendar
Credit: Kailey Whitman
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Week 1

The first week of your workout routine for beginners lays the groundwork for everything you'll do for the rest of the month. You'll have a new workout every day — with time for active recovery and complete rest (yes, there's a difference!) for a well-balanced week of workouts.

You'll kick things off with an upper-body-focused routine from Wells, then boost your heart rate with HIIT from Itsines. Next, you'll slow things down a bit with a stretching session with Bonanno to loosen tight or sore muscles from days one and two. You'll be ready to rock the next day for a core and booty-targeted barre workout from Williams followed by a cardio day of your choice. For the weekend, you're tasked with a yoga strength training routine from Bonanno that tests your mental and physical toughness. Finally, you'll close out the week with a well-deserved rest day.

Get the full schedule for Week 1 below, then scroll down to see how the Sweat trainers are planning to keep you on your toes (and your muscles guessing) throughout Weeks 2, 3, and 4.

MONDAY: Back and Shoulders Workout with Kelsey Wells

Your Body Needs This Back and Shoulders Workout
Credit: SWEAT

Start the week with a dose of upper-body strength training. The 20-minute workout can be done with nothing more than a resistance band.

TUESDAY: Full-Body HIIT Cardio with Kayla Itsines

Sweat It All Out with This 30-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout
Credit: Sweat

The queen of HIIT brings the heat for today's workout. With four rounds of 9 exercises, you'll love the simplicity of this sweaty workout.

WEDNESDAY: Active Recovery with Phyllicia Bonanno

This Active Recovery Workout Will Help You Bring Your A-Game to Every Routine
Credit: SWEAT

Show your muscles some love while still staying active with all the feel-good stretches in this recovery routine. (You'll need to come back strong for tomorrow's workout...)

THURSDAY: Core and Glutes Barre Workout with Britany Williams

Core & Glutes Barre Strength Session with Sweat Trainer Britany Williams
Credit: SWEAT

Test your muscular (and mental) endurance with this beginner barre workout. You'll love these exercises that burn your butt and abs to a crisp.

FRIDAY: 30 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Cardio

Close up of woman riding exercise bike in home gym
Credit: Getty Images

Today's cardio workout is up to you! Whether you love to run, hike, bike, row, or walk, aim to boost your heart rate for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio. The goal is to finish feeling energized not totally drained.

SATURDAY: Yoga Strength Training with Phyllicia Bonanno

This Yoga Strength Training Workout Will Make You Feel So Powerful
Credit: SWEAT

Improve balance and focus with this beginner-friendly routine that can (and, spoiler, will) be leveled up. Novices and advanced yogis will both achieve peace and power with this flow.

SUNDAY: Rest Day

SUNDAY-Rest-Day-GettyImages-992112664
Credit: Getty Images

End the week with a well-earned rest day. Today is all about recharging your batteries both mentally and physically, so make the most of this essential part of your weekly workout routine.

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Week 2

Now that you have a nice grasp of how your workout schedule will flow from day to day and have hopefully become familiar with the exercises in every workout, it's time to take it up a notch. Week 2 follows the same format as Week 1, but this time you'll add a progression — maybe it's less rest, maybe it's more reps — to each workout to ensure you're improving week after week.

Get the directions for how to level up your workouts during Week 2 below.

Monday: Back and Shoulders Strength Training — Level 2

Progression: Add 3 to 4 reps to every exercise in the activation and superset.

Tuesday: Full-Body HIIT Cardio — Level 2

Progression: Reduce the rest between rounds from 60 to 30 seconds.

Wednesday: Active Recovery Workout

Repeat the same active recovery workout and stretching routine.

Thursday: Core and Glutes Barre Workout — Level 2

Progression: Reduce the rest between rounds from 60 to 30 seconds.

Friday: 30 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Cardio

The choice is still yours! Every Friday during this workout routine for beginners, you'll complete 30-minutes of moderate-intensity cardio of any kind. Check out these cardio workouts for inspiration:

Saturday: Yoga Strength Training Workout — Level 2

Progression: Add two breaths (inhale, exhale slowly) to each yoga pose.

Sunday: Rest Day

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Week 3

You're officially halfway through this month-long progressive workout plan, and fingers crossed that you're starting to feel invincible. This week, you'll have more progressions, but take note: You aren't swapping the progressions from Week 2, you're adding to them. That means if Week 2 challenged you to take less rest between sets, and Week 3 asks you to add more reps, you'll do both. Why? Because at this stage, your body and mind are changing and you're even more capable than you realize. Cheers to gains and growth ahead!

Get the directions for how to level up your workouts during Week 3 below.

Monday: Back and Shoulders Strength Training — Level 3

Progression: Increase the length of each time-based rep in the circuit by 15 seconds.  

Tuesday: Full-Body HIIT Cardio — Level 3

Progression: Increase the length of each time-based rep by 15 seconds.  

Wednesday: Active Recovery Workout

Repeat the same active recovery workout and stretching routine.

Thursday: Core and Glutes Barre Workout — Level 3

Progression: Increase the length of each time-based rep by 15 seconds.

Friday: 30 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Cardio

Complete 30-minutes of moderate-intensity cardio of any kind. Try exploring new cardio equipment for a fun change:

Saturday: Yoga Strength Training Workout — Level 3

Progression: Increase the reps in this flow (where applicable) from 2 to 3.

Sunday: Rest Day

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Week 4

You've made it to the final week in your progressive workout routine! Now's the time to give each and every workout everything you've got — grit, sweat, and resilience required. You'll maintain the progressions of Week 2 and 3, and push yourself even further with the final progressions for Week 4.

Your strength and endurance will be tested, but when you come out on top, not only will you be surprised by just how far you've come, but you'll also want to keep testing those limits again and again. Consider yourself hooked on those feel-good endorphins and feelings of accomplishment. You crushed it!

Get the directions for how to level up your workouts during Week 4 below.

Monday: Back and Shoulders Strength Training — Level 4

Progression: Increase the total number of rounds from 3 to 4 for the superset and circuit.

Tuesday: Full-Body HIIT Cardio — Level 4

Progression: Increase the total number of rounds from 4 to 5.

Wednesday: Active Recovery Workout

Repeat the same active recovery workout and stretching routine.

Thursday: Core and Glutes Barre Workout — Level 4

Progression: Increase the total number of rounds from 2 to 3.

Friday: 30 Minutes of Moderate-Intensity Cardio

Choose your favorite cardio workout or equipment, and get to work with 30-minutes of moderate-intensity movement. Close out your week with your go-to cardio workout for a familiar, yet challenging workout you can crush with confidence.

Saturday: Yoga Strength Training Workout — Level 4

Progression: Do the entire yoga flow twice through.

Sunday: Rest Day

*Shape readers will receive a 3-month free trial period to Sweat. Following the trial period, the membership will automatically renew to an ongoing monthly membership at $19.99. Subscriptions are billed as the total annual subscription in full from the end of the free trial date and each subsequent renewal. Excludes current Sweat members. No lock-in contracts. Cancel at any time. (Offer valid for redemption from January 3, 2022 through February 3, 2022.)