The Hers 2016 Starter’s Guide Workout Program

Start working toward the body you’ve always wanted with this comprehensive six-week program.
The Hers 2016 Starter's Guide Workout Program

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  • Goal

    Burn Fat, Build Muscle

  • Skill level

    Beginner

  • Duration

    6 Weeks

  • Days per week

    4-6

  • Type

    Muscle Endurance

  • Goal

    Burn Fat, Build Muscle

  • Skill level

    Beginner

  • Duration

    6 Weeks

  • Days per week

    4-6

  • Type

    Muscle Endurance

Training Overview

The Hers Starter’s Guide is built around basic, foundational exercises because, well, that’s what works. Multijoint (compound) movements performed with free weights are what the best competitors in the world rely upon in their training, and these are the staples that any beginner should learn as well. Fundamental movements are best taught with body weight, barbells, and dumbbells, and results will come quicker with these tools.

As you progress, you can introduce machines to further isolate the muscles and even to work around any nagging injuries you may have. But for now, stick with what’s written here. “When starting a new workout program, focusing on the fundamentals is key,” says Justin Grinnell, CSCS, owner and head trainer at State of Fitness in East Lansing, Michigan, who designed the six-week program.

Grinnell implements a four-days-a-week lifting schedule that utilizes an upper body/lower body split. For example, performing upper body lifting sessions on Monday (Workout A) and Thursday (Workout C) and lower body and abs on Tuesday (Workout B) and Friday (Workout D). This design, he says, provides the perfect dose of training stress to promote muscle growth and strength without hindering recovery. Training volume (total number of sets) is somewhat modest on this program to keep the beginner from overdoing it.

To promote cardiovascular conditioning and fat burning, cardio workouts are prescribed three days a week. These can be done on non-lifting days or after lifting sessions. Get the cardio workouts here.

As mentioned, the exercise selection is supremely straightforward on purpose. Likewise, the set and rep schemes Grinnell prescribes are equally tried and true. You’ll get a heavy dose of strength training, balanced out with sets in the hypertrophy sweet spot of eight to 12 reps (and up to 20-plus reps on certain movements). This approach will have you experiencing noticeable changes in fat loss, while making strength gains and sculpting lean muscle, provided proper nutrition is adhered to.

Dynamic Warm-Up

Perform these exercises in circuit fashion for a total of two rounds:

  • Spiderman with Rotation, 5 reps per side
  • Bodyweight Squat, 10 reps
  • Pushups, 10 reps
  • Lateral Lunge, 5 reps per leg
  • Jump Rope, 1 minute

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    The Plan

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    • Goal

      Burn Fat, Build Muscle

    • Skill level

      Beginner

    • Duration

      6 Weeks

    • Days per week

      4-6

    • Type

      Muscle Endurance

    Week 1
    • Day 1

      Workout A

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout A

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 2

      Workout B

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout B

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 3

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 4

      Workout C

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout C

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 5

      Workout D

      60 min

      5

      Yes

      Workout D

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 6

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 7

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    Week 2
    • Day 1

      Workout A

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout A

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 2

      Workout B

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout B

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 3

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 4

      Workout C

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout C

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 5

      Workout D

      60 min

      5

      Yes

      Workout D

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 6

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 7

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    Week 3
    • Day 1

      Workout A

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout A

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 2

      Workout B

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout B

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 3

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 4

      Workout C

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout C

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 5

      Workout D

      60 min

      5

      Yes

      Workout D

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 6

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 7

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    Week 4
    • Day 1

      Workout A

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout A

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 2

      Workout B

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout B

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 3

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 4

      Workout C

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout C

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 5

      Workout D

      60 min

      5

      Yes

      Workout D

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 6

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 7

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    Week 5
    • Day 1

      Workout A

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout A

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 2

      Workout B

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout B

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 3

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 4

      Workout C

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout C

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 5

      Workout D

      60 min

      5

      Yes

      Workout D

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 6

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 7

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    Week 6
    • Day 1

      Workout A

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout A

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 2

      Workout B

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout B

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 3

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 4

      Workout C

      60 min

      6

      Yes

      Workout C

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>On the last set of each exercise, perform two rest pauses. For example, on barbell overhead presses, rack the weight after your fourth set and rest 15 to 20 seconds, then perform as many reps as possible with that same weight. Repeat this one more time for a total of two rest-pause sets.</p><p> Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 5

      Workout D

      60 min

      5

      Yes

      Workout D

      <p>For each A and B exercise pairing, go back and forth between the two moves one set at a time—similar to a superset, only with full rest between exercises.</p><p>Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 6

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>

    • Day 7

      Rest or Cardio

      --

      --

      No

      Rest or Cardio

      Optional: Complete one of the three weekly cardio workouts; Click <a href="/muscle-fitness-hers/hers-workouts/videos/hers-2016-starters-guide-cardio" target="_blank">here</a> for details.</p>