Body Weight Resistance Routine

Body weight resistance workouts are perfect for beginners and intermediates, especially if you’re working out at home. As you reach a more advanced level, you’ll want to consider taking that next step with weights. Here’s a basic body weight resistance workout that you should perform three times a week.

Machine Resistance Routine

Machine workouts are great for beginners and intermediates (those who are at advanced levels should perform more free-weight workouts). Perform the following basic circuit workout three times each week. Although only basic machines are included below, a proper circuit at any good gym will have more pieces of equipment as part of the circuit. Perform only a single set of repetitions at each station. If you decide to skip any one station, don’t miss the essential ones I list here. Also be sure to read the instruction card on each machine carefully so that the machine is adjusted properly for you and your level of expertise. If you are not sure, ask a trainer (that’s his/her job!). Experiment until you find the proper weight to use by starting with a lighter weight and adjust the weight upward from there. Keep track of both the seat adjustments and the weights you use and as you get stronger, increase the amount of weight. Make sure that the weight is heavy enough so the last couple of repetitions in each set will be challenging.

Free Weight Resistance Routine

People of all levels of experience and fitness can work out with free weight and get great results. When you’re starting out, have a trainer show you the ropes until you get the hang of it. Then go on. Dive in and try it! Just don’t go at it too hard and make sure you train using strict form to avoid injury. Listen to your body and most important, be brave. Don’t let all that iron scare you off. You’re tougher than that!

If you are at an advanced level, you should follow an advanced combination routine (mentioned later but not included in this section). The following free weight resistance routine is a sample of a strict free weight workout for beginner and intermediate levels. Note: you should take about one minute of rest between each set.


From simple at-home training to professional training at a hard-core gym, the most effective routines almost always include a combination of free-weight exercises, supplemented with machines, and of course, cardio-exercise and stretching.

Home Routines for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced

The easiest place to start your body transformation is right in the comfort of your own home. In fact, there is a lot you can do in your home with minimal equipment and without going to the gym. It’s easy, quick and you’ll see results before you know it. The following routines take you from beginner to intermediate and on to advanced home training. None of these routines should take more than one hour to complete and each requires only a three-day-per-week commitment (that’s not asking too much). Remember, this is your time and nobody else’s! Try to schedule your routine for a time when you won’t be interrupted and find a space that’s comfortable and away from any distractions. It can be tough to do if you have young kids and lots of obligations, but you have to MAKE the time for yourself—nobody else will.

Fitness Center Routines for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced

Beginner Fitness Center Routine—The following beginner fitness center routine uses a “push-pull” approach. This basic and efficient way of training is perfect if you want a challenging combination workout that is easy to follow. The training of the different muscle groups is divided into 2 areas: 1) those muscles that primarily push and 2) those that primarily pull. Also included is a separate full session of exercises for cardio and abs. You should try to work out over 3 consecutive days or take a day or two between workouts. Taking the time to rest is as important as the workout itself! In fact, it is during the rest cycle following strength training that your body actually builds muscle. You don’t want to ask more of these muscles without an adequate period of rest and recovery. This is very important to the success of all weight-training routine.

Intermediate Fitness Center Routine — The following combination routine is more challenging than the beginner push/pull workout. Some muscle groups are larger than others (i.e., legs and back) and require more focused training than do the smaller muscle groups (i.e., chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps). As a result, the 3 days on/1 day off concept works the larger muscles along with the smaller muscles and puts the greatest emphasis on toning and shaping the muscles that make up the most of your body’s shape. This is an advanced concept used in expert routines and you get a taste of it in the 3 days on/1 day off intermediate routine. Make sure to take at least one day off after completing each cycle for rest and recovery. It allows your routine to vary in subsequent weeks. If you take only one day off and continue to repeat the cycle diligently, you are doing very well. But you will need two days rest eventually, so pay attention to your body’s needs for down time. Don’t be afraid to take a couple of days off on this routine, especially if you’ve been hard at work. If you don’t rest, you’ll undo all your hard work. On your day off, fill your workout time with another fun physical activity. Just think of the possibilities!

Advanced Fitness Center Routine — The following routine is called a “split routine” because it allows you to split up the training of the different areas of your body onto different days. This is the most advanced method of sculpting and shaping the body because, by splitting, you focus the intensity of your training on improving only the specific areas on which you are concentrating that day. You don’t have to worry about other areas as well. The split routine is a workable alternative to the routines that require you to complete the training of your entire body in one day. You still need to be in top condition to do the split routine for it to be effective. Because the daily routines are short in duration, simple in design and allow for a great deal of rest between identical workouts (one week, to be exact) you need to work with extreme intensity and push your body to its upper limits or the routine won’t work for you. Simply put, you can’t have a laid-back attitude while doing a split routine and expect to see any results from it.

The following routine is a mix of cardio and free weights with a few machines mixed in. Start with a ten-minute cardio warm-up of your choice and take a rest interval of one minute between sets; do this routine four days per week. Keep the routine challenging by making sure to advance the weight as your strength improves.