Simple Bodyweight Exercise Training Program for Beginners
Bodyweight exercises, also called calisthenics, are an excellent workout alternative for people who do not have time to get to a gym, have no money to join a gym, or are reluctant to jump right into heavy weight training. There are a variety of exercises available to try, such as push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups (chin-ups), squats, and dips, that can hit a variety of muscle groups and promote muscle strength and stamina.
The Simplefit workout plan is a way of combining bodyweight exercises with weekly fitness challenges in order to increase overall fitness level. The information below illustrates how to set up your own Simplefit program, how to perform the bodyweight exercises involved in the plan, and how to track your progress.
Quick Poll: Your Workout Preference
Do you prefer working out with or without weights?
Simplefit Exercise 1: Push-Ups
The beauty of Simplefit is that all of the exercises can be done at home without any weight training equipment. In the absence of weights, the individual will be focusing on using bodyweight resistance in a variety of exercise motions.
The first motion in the program is the push-up. The push-up benefits quite a few different areas of the body when done properly. It has been known to exercise the chest, arms, shoulders, and even the abdominal muscles. There are quite a few variations of the push-up that place extra focus on different areas of the upper body. For proper push-up technique, please refer to the video on the right.
People having trouble completing push-ups have been known to try wall push-ups or push-ups with their knees on the ground as alternatives.
Simplefit Exercise 2: Squats
Squats are the second group of Simplefit exercises. Traditionally done with weights on the shoulders, squats can also be done with bodyweight only. When done improperly, weighted squats can be dangerous as they can exert a great deal of pressure on the knees and spine. Bodyweight squats alleviate many of the risks and allow the individual to complete a higher amount of reps of the exercise.
If you are unable to complete your squats in the form shown in the video to the right, consider trying step-ups or lunges as possible alternatives.
Simplefit Exercise 3: Pull-Ups
The final exercise, the pull-up, is also the most challenging exercise in the Simplefit program. For many people, just completing one or two pull-ups will be a major achievement. After practicing the motion and becoming more coordinated, it will be possible to increase the number of reps.
Pull-ups work the arms, shoulders, chest, and abdominal muscles when done correctly. One of the biggest mistakes made is adding a swinging motion while lifting the torso up and down on the pull-up bar. Review the video to the right for the correct form in completing a pull-up.
How Does Simplefit Work?
The plan itself is very easy to follow, and allows for some modification if needed. The first step is to select 3 non-consecutive days (ex. Monday/Wednesday/Friday) to perform the exercises. Each day is built around the same core exercises, but with a slightly different purpose on each day.
Simplefit only calls for you to perform push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, but if you are having trouble with any of the exercises you can always substitute for it. If the workouts are taking longer than a half an hour to complete, you may want to go back down a level until you are ready to move up again. Workouts under 5 minutes may be a sign that you are ready to move up to the next level for more of a challenge.
What Do You Do Each Day?
The first training day of each week is devoted to promoting Endurance. During Endurance days, do as many rounds of the assigned exercises as possible within 20 minutes.
The second training day is devoted to focusing on Strength. On Strength days, you should complete five rounds of each exercise, and time how long it takes to complete all five rounds. Be sure to rest for 3 minutes between each round, and do not count rest time in your final time stats.
The final training day of the week is Judgment Day. This day determines whether or not you are physically ready to move on to the next level of exercises. During Judgment Day, finish your full set of exercises as quickly as possible, and count any rest times in your final time stats.
Full 8 Week Simplefit Workout Program
Day 1 - Endurance
Day 2 - Strength
Day 3 - Judgment
1 pull-up; 2 push-ups; 3 squats
2 pull-ups; 6 push-ups; 10 squats
10 pull-ups; 21 push-ups; 21 squats
1 pull-up; 3 push-ups; 4 squats
3 pull-ups; 8 push-ups; 13 squats
13 pull-ups; 26 push-ups; 26 squats
2 pull-ups; 3 push-ups; 5 squats
3 pull-ups; 10 push-ups; 16 squats
16 pull-ups; 33 push-ups; 33 squats
2 pull-ups; 4 push-ups; 6 squats
4 pull-ups; 12 push-ups; 20 squats
20 pull-ups; 41 push-ups; 41 squats
3 pull-ups; 5 push-ups; 8 squats
5 pull-ups; 15 push-ups; 26 squats
26 pull-ups; 51 push-ups; 51 squats
3 pull-ups; 6 push-ups; 10 squats
6 pull-ups; 19 push-ups; 32 squats
32 pull-ups; 64 push-ups; 64 squats
4 pull-ups; 8 push-ups; 12 squats
8 pull-ups; 24 push-ups; 40 squats
40 pull-ups; 80 push-ups; 80 squats
5 pull-ups; 10 push-ups; 15 squats
10 pull-ups; 30 push-ups; 50 squats
50 pull-ups; 100 push-ups; 100 squats
Ultimately, the Simplefit program is designed to be a basic calisthenic workout for people looking to slowly get into better shape. By no means is this an advanced program for people who have already been involved in long-term weight-training. Simplefit can also be effective if you are traveling or away from the gym for an extended period of time. People seeking a more extensive and advanced workout should probably bypass Simplefit and opt instead for Crossfit or a P90x type of workout program.