30 days of fitness full body workout challenge


Last updated on May 11th, 2022 at 04:11 pm

Get into the habit of a daily workout with this 30 days of fitness challenge. There are 4 different workouts – upper body, legs, core and running. You do a different one each day for 4 days and then rest on the fifth day. The workout instructions and challenge schedule are here in the post and you can also get a printable PDF of the schedule by entering your e-mail address at the end of the post.

30 days of fitness challenge PDF

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30 days of fitness challenge – what you need

Legs and abs workout: ideally you should do this workout on a mat. If you don’t have one, you can use anything that will provide some cushioning for your knees and spine – a blanket or quilt for example. Also, for the leg workout you should either be barefoot or be wearing something non-slip if you’re working on a hard floor.

Get a mat for this workout

Upper body: for best results you need a set of hand weights for the upper body routine (2-4lbs). If you don’t have any, try using small bottles of water.

Get hand weights for this workout

Running: you should wear running shoes to absorb some of the impact.

Get running shoes for this workout

General exercise info.

Please read these general exercise guidelines before you start the workout.

You should do a brief warm up on the arm and leg days to prepare your joints and muscles. For suitable warm up exercises see here. You don’t need to do the full warm up routine – for the arm workout, do the arm circles and side bends and for the leg workout the knee lift and lunge behind.

The exercises

Do 3 sets each of the routines – that is, do all the reps for each exercise then start again and do the routine twice more.

The upper body routine – shoulder press, forward raise and side raise – 15 reps of everything

30 days of fitness for beginners - shoulder press

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  • Start with your elbows bent and hands either side of your shoulders, palms facing forwards.
  • Extend your elbows, lifting the weights above your head.
  • When your arms are straight, reverse the movement and bring your hands to the starting position.

Forward raise

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  • Start with your arms straight by your side, palms facing inwards.
  • Keeping your arms straight, lift the weights in front of your body up to shoulder height.
  • When your arms are horizontal, stop and lower back down to the starting position.

Side raise

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  • Start with your arms straight by your side, palms facing inwards.
  • Keeping your arms straight, lift the weights out to the side.
  • When your arms are horizontal, stop and lower back down to the starting position.

The leg routine – squat 20 reps, lunge 20 reps and wall sit 30 seconds

30 days of fitness workout challenge SQUAT

  • Have your feet a little more than hip distance apart, parallel or slightly turned out.
  • Bend at your knees and hips as you lower into squat position. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor and then come up again.
  • Straighten up gently, don’t jerk your knees backwards.
  • Avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders.
  • Keep your neck in line with your spine.

Lunge

  • Stand with your feet about hip distance apart
  • Make sure you keep your abdominal muscles, your shoulders relaxed down and your back straight throughout
  • Take one leg out behind you and touch your toes to the floor. Make sure you keep your feet hip width apart.
  • Now bend at both knees, so that you lower your body towards the floor. At the end of the movement, your thighs should be parallel with the floor, your front knee should be bent to 90 degrees and in line with your ankle, your back knee should be just above the floor.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on your other leg.

Wall sit

  • Stand with your back to the wall, about 18-24 inches away from it, legs hip distance apart
  • Using your hands to help support you, bend your knees as you lean your back against the wall
  • When your back is fully in contact with the wall, start to slide down, until your thighs are parallel with the floor
  • Check that your knees are lined up above your ankles – adjust your foot position if not
  • The position shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If there is any discomfort in your back or knees, then check your position carefully.

The abs routine – curl 20 reps, reverse curl 20 reps, plank 30 seconds

30 days workout plan for beginners CURL UP

  • Lie on the floor, knees bent, feet about hip distance apart.
  • Put your hands behind your head to support it.  Keep your elbows relaxed out to the side.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles and curl your spine smoothly away from the floor.  It shouldn’t be a jerky movement.
  • Stop when your shoulder blades have left the floor and start to reverse the movement.  Again, it should be a smooth, curling movement on the way down.

Reverse curl

  • Lie on your back and extend your legs so that they are vertical.
  • Engage your lower abs as you curl your lower spine off the mat.  It should be a smooth curling movement.
  • When your lower back has left the floor, start to reverse the movement – curl your spine back down under control.

Plank

  • Kneel on the floor
  • Lean forwards and put your hands on the floor, making sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows
  • Straighten one leg out behind you, with the toes on the floor
  • Engage your core strongly and extend the other leg behind
  • Your body should be making a straight line – if possible check in a mirror or ask someone else to check
  • Now hold this position
  • Then lower the knees to the floor and rest

The run

30 days workout plan for beginners - run schedule

Running stamina takes time to build up. This schedule assumes you’re not a regular runner, so has a 3 minute fast walk recovery in the middle. Warming up and cooling down are especially important for running, because it’s a high impact exercise and raises the heart rate significantly. So make sure you don’t skip the warm up and cool down walks (normal walking pace).

Get the 30 days of fitness challenge printable

Enter your e-mail address below to have a link to the PDF download e-mailed to you:

After you sign up, you’ll get 3 e-mails:
The first will ask you for a one-click confirmation of your subscription
Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll get a second e-mail with a link to your download and a separate welcome e-mail

30 days of fitness PDF printable

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Challenge FAQs

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:58 pm

All exercise is beneficial. Doing exercise most days for 30 days will result in improvements to your fitness and muscle tone, but ideally you should keep exercising once the challenge is finished.

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:57 pm

The first day of the challenge should feel like it needs a bit of effort, but not too much. If you really struggle with day 1, then you probably won’t get through the challenge. The idea with the challenges on this site is that the first few days get you used to the exercises and the daily habit. Usually about halfway through the challenge the effort levels start to increase more quickly.

Avoid challenges that increase effort levels very quickly – they’re simply not realistic. It’s unlikely that, for example, you would be able to increase how many squats you are able to do by 10 a day for 30 days, or increase your plank hold time by 10 seconds a day for 30 days.

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:57 pm

In general, allowing muscles 48 hours between workouts is good because it gives our bodies time to recover and adapt. Challenges are generally short workouts and for a limited period of time (usually 30 days), so not having many rest days won’t be a problem. With challenges that alternate exercises each day, it’s not an issue, because you’re using different muscles.

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 at 05:57 pm

Fitness improvements don’t always happen in a predictable way. Sometimes we’re just not as strong or energetic for no apparent reason, or we hit a plateau. If you get to a point where you’re struggling to complete the day’s challenge, you can try one of the following:

  • Take a couple of days off and start again where you left off
  • Do the challenge on alternate days rather than every day
  • Instead of increasing the effort every day, stay at the same level for 2 or 3 days and then go onto the next day of the challenge

Obviously these solutions mean the challenge will last longer, but you’ll still benefit from doing it.


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