Health

This 28-Day Challenge Will Get You To Actually Start Working Out

Just four workouts a week — no gym membership or equipment needed.

Philip Friedman / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

This 28-day challenge will turn you into a person who works out 25 minutes a day, four times a week.

January always feels like a great time to get in shape, but if you’ve never really worked out before or you’re trying to get back on the fitness horse, it can be confusing or intimidating to know where to actually begin. That’s why BuzzFeed Life asked certified strength and conditioning specialist Rob Sulaver, founder of Bandana Training, to put together a realistic, not-super-intimidating exercise plan made up of bodyweight and cardio workouts you can do basically anywhere.

Here’s what you’re getting into:

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Doing this challenge will basically make you feel like:

Check out all the workouts below, plus some important info for getting started.

Monday Workout: Quick Lower Body Circuit

Philip Friedman / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Want to swap in a different lower body workout?

Choose a different one that fits with the challenge here.

Wednesday Workout: Quick Abs Circuit

Philip Friedman / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Want to swap in a different abs workout?

Choose a different one that fits with the challenge here.

Friday Workout: Quick Upper Body Circuit

Philip Friedman / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Want to swap in a different upper body workout?

Choose a different one that fits with the challenge here.

Saturday Workout: Cardio (running or elliptical; your choice)

Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed
Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Want to swap in a different cardio workout?

Choose a different one that goes with the challenge here.

But before you start! Here are 10 things to know before you jump in:

1. The plan is designed to be do-able no matter your fitness level or workout experience.

Just be sure to read this whole list for some safety tips, and make modifications to the workouts if you need to.

2. You can jump into the challenge anytime.

If you start after Jan. 4, just add any workouts you missed to the end of the month.

3. Each week you’ll have a combination of cardio days, strength-training days, and rest days.

The exercise days will help you improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength. The rest days will help you recover from the workouts and prepare for the next day of exercise.

4. You can follow the program to the letter, but you can also move things around.

You can swap one bodyweight workout for another, or move a rest day earlier or later in the week depending on how you’re feeling. Make it work for you!

5. Rest is built into the program intentionally.

It’s crucial for recovery and progress. If you’re too tired to complete a workout with good form, take additional rest. Light activity (like a gentle yoga class, a long walk, an easy swim, a leisurely bike ride, etc.) is always encouraged on rest days, but only if you’re up for it.

6. The workouts are meant to be done at a comfortably hard pace.

To figure out what your effort should be, think of a 10-point scale, where 1 is full rest, 10 is going as hard as you can, and 5 is a moderate pace which allows you to carry on conversation. For these workouts you should be going at about a 7 and recovering at about a 3. If you’re brand new to working out, try working at a 6 and recovering at a 2; as always, listen to your body.

7. If you’re brand new to working out, scale back workouts as needed — seriously.

Modify the workouts to make them easier — take more rest or move more slowly. Basically just listen to your body and push yourself to be challenged, not to get injured. Ease into the bodyweight workouts slowly, paying attention to your pace, effort, and the quality of movement.

8. After the challenge is over, you’ll want to keep going! And it’s super easy to do that.

Keep going with some different bodyweight workouts, mix and match your own, or repeat this challenge with the goal of moving faster or better or adding extra sets or circuits.

9. For a demo of each move and instructions, go here.

10. Definitely check with a doctor before starting a new training program.

If you have any health concerns, like high blood pressure or injuries, you should talk to a doctor first about what moves you should avoid or modify.

Photography: Philip Friedman
Hair & Makeup: Mel Paldino using NARS Cosmetics for Ennis Inc
On model: T.H.E. Short for men

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

 
  Your Reaction?
  REACT WITH GIF
 

    Contributions

    Now Buzzing