4-Week Jumpstart Workout Program

Getting Started With a Flexible Core and Cardio Routine

Reasons to Stay Fit
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You know that if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise. Diet can help, but it's not enough. The problem, of course, is that finding an exercise program you can stick with is not always easy. Oftentimes, you will be all gung-ho about a new fitness plan only to burn out six months later because the pace simply wasn't sustainable.

At the same time, there is no point in cruising through a routine that doesn't challenge you physically.

Doing so robs you of any gains you may have achieved and will up not only end up disappointing you but boring you. What kind of motivation is that?

Starting a New Plan

So, now is the time to forget what you've done in the past and focus on the three most important facets of effective exercise, which are:

  1. Showing up
  2. Finding a program that meets your fitness goals
  3. Actually enjoying the workout

It's not as difficult as it sounds. Start by forgetting about the scale, at least for the time being. Instead, commit to an exercise plan that feels good for both your body and your mind.

This simple, four-week jumpstart program offers you just that. This flexible system allows you to tailor a routine to your lifestyle and set specific goals within the four-week time frame. By achieving these two things, you'll be well on your way to integrating exercise into your life in a productive and sustainable way.

The Program

The four-week program incorporates cardio and core exercises that get progressively more challenging each week.

The principles of the plan are simple:

  • You focus on the workouts, not weight loss. The bottom line is that you can't always predict how much weight you will lose even if you follow all of the rules. What you can control is how much time you put into exercise which will reap benefits over time.
  • You set your own schedule. In this program, you are provided suggested workouts from which you set your times and routines.
  • There is no strength training. For the jumpstart phase, you will only focus on cardio and core, nothing else. The aim is to start forming a workout habit with a program that won't leave you hammered. If you're able to handle the jumpstart—and you will be—stepping into a strength training program will be a snap.

Getting Started

For Days 1, 3, and 5, you can choose from a list of two to three recommended workouts (or select something else you like such as running, swimming, or cycling). Days 2 and 6 will be focused on core work, while Days 4 and 7 will be your rest days.

The intensity of the workout should be moderate. This is around level five of the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. You should be just out of your comfort zone but still able to talk. You can also use a heart rate monitor to ensure you are within your target heart rate zone.

If something in the program doesn't meet your needs, figure out what is not working and change it the next week. The point of the program is to discover what is right for you and to start building a long-term, productive relationship with exercise.

Your Four-Week Jumpstart Plan

 Day
1
Day
2
Day
3
Day
4
Day
5
Day
6
Week 113 minutes walking
20 minutes cardio
Quick &
easy core

(two sets of
10 reps)
13 minutes walking
10 minutes medicine ball circuit
Rest

10 minutes medicine ball circuit
13 minutes walking
20 minutes cardio

Quick &
easy core

(two sets of
10 reps)
Week 220 minutes cardio
20 minutes bike
20 minutes elliptical
Quick &
easy core

(two sets of
12 reps)
Two 10-minute circuits
20 minutes bike
10 minutes medicine ball circuit
Rest20 minutes cardio
20 minutes bike
20 minutes elliptical
Quick &
easy core

(two sets of
12 reps)
Week 325-minute intervals
25 minutes cardio
Beginner
abs and back

Low-impact blast
13 minutes walking
Two 13-minute circuits

Rest25-minute intervals
25 minutes cardio
Beginner
abs and back
Week 425-minute intervals
25 minutes cardio
Best abs
workout
Two 15-minute circuits
20 minutes walking
Low-impact blast
Rest25-minute intervals
25 minutes cardio
Best abs
workout