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12-Week Progression: Beginner Workout for Week 1

Take on these beginner-level moves at the start of your journey, and you’ll be ready for the intermediate-level workout by Week 5.

by goldsgym

Once you’ve committed to a 12-week fitness journey like the Gold’s Gym Challenge, how do you begin your body transformation? Gold’s Gym fitness expert Andy Coggan created this beginner-level workout to kick off the first week.

“These exercises are enough to work your entire body,” Coggan says. “And if you do them on a consistent basis, you’ll see the changes you’re wanting to see.

“The workout doesn’t have to be super intense or complicated, as long as you stick with it.”

Workout progression: beginner

The moves in this workout progression use body weight and will help you practice proper form. They’ll also show you how much stronger you’re getting because the targeted muscles will be ready to take on additional weight in the Week 5 intermediate-level workout.

Coggan recommends doing three sets of these three movements three times a week. Remember to warm up with five minutes of cardio and to cool down with five minutes of stretching.
air squat

1. Air squats

Stand with your legs hip-width apart and toes straight ahead or slightly turned out, based on comfort. Lift your chest and straighten your back as you lower your hips, keeping your knees in line with your feet, as if you’re sitting in a chair. Once you’ve gone as low as you comfortably can (ideally to the point where your hips are level with your knees), return to standing.

The goal: 15 reps to target the glutes, hips, thighs and lower legs.
push up

2. Push-ups

Start in plank position, with your arms fully extended and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and maintain enough space between your feet so that you can comfortably balance your body weight. Lower your entire body evenly until your chest touches the floor (or as low as it can go). Then press into the floor to return to the starting position.

The goal: 15 push-ups to work your shoulders, chest and triceps. Modify as needed by keeping your knees on the ground. After a few workouts, see if you can start in plank.

TRX rows

3. TRX rows

Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and press them against your rib cage. Facing the anchor point where the straps are attached to the wall, grasp the strap handles and walk backward until the lines are fully extended. From here, move your feet a step forward and extend your arms as you angle your body toward the floor. (The more parallel you are to the floor, the more difficult the exercise becomes.) From this starting position, pull your body up to meet the handles, keeping your elbows close to your sides and maintaining a straight body line. Then slowly extend your arms to repeat.

The goal: 15 reps to target the biceps and muscles of the upper back. Modify as needed by doing this move on a cable row machine.


Stay tuned for the intermediate-level workout progression, plus more fitness tips:

Activate Your Glutes In 7 Moves
Join the Gold’s Gym Challenge group on Facebook.



What started out in 1965 as a small gym in Venice Beach, California has since become the most well-known and traditional fitness company in the world – Gold’s Gym. Over the last 55 years, Gold’s Gym has developed into a global brand with over 600 locations spanning 6 continents. Bodybuilding greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu worked out at the original Gold’s Gym, which went on to become the most legendary gym in the world. In the fitness industry, the brand enjoys cult status and universal appeal with 96% aided brand awareness. In 2020, the RSG Group acquired Gold’s Gym and integrated the brand into its portfolio, making it the global leader in the fitness sector.

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