4-Week Sample Bodyweight Only Training Program for Your Strength Training Workout Routine – by John Sifferman

posted in: Strength Training, Workouts | 8

Update: If you are willing to work hard to burn fat, build muscle, and improve your fitness, AND you want a bodyweight training program that requires no equipment and can be customized to your individual needs, AND you want to be told exactly what to do every single day, then check out the TACFIT Commando and Primal Stress programs.

These three bodyweight training sessions can be inserted into your program, or used as a stand-alone workout routine for 4 weeks. I recommend doing these on three, nonconsecutive days during each week for a 28-day cycle.

Week one: perform sessions 1, 2, 1
Week two: perform sessions 2, 1, 2
Week three: perform sessions 2, 3, 2
week four: perform sessions 3, 2, 3

Keep your technique rating high, your effort rating moderate to high, and your discomfort rating low throughout each exercise to maximize the benefits you’ll receive.

Session 1

3-4 rounds, 15 seconds rest between exercises, 1-2 minutes of rest at end of each circuit:
Bodyweight squats 30-45 seconds
Pushups 30-45 seconds
Pullups 30-45 seconds (or MAX set minus 1 rep, supplement negative reps or flexed-arm hangs for beginners)

repeat 3 times, 1 minute rest at end of each circuit:
Reverse lunges 30 sec./leg
Front plank 45 sec. – 1 minute
Superman hold 45 sec. – 1 minute

Session 2

after warmup, repeat 3x
10 Squats with hands behind head
15 Jumping Jacks
10 Pushups
10 Band Rows

Repeat 3x
Step-ups onto box – 30 sec./leg
Bird dog exercise – 30 sec.
Weighted crunches – 30 sec.
Rest 30-60 seconds

Repeat 4-5x
Pushups – 30-45 sec.
Bodyweight Horizontal Rows with feet on floor or elevated – 30-45 sec. (or 1 rep short of MAX)
Rest 30 seconds between each exercise
Side Elbow Planks – 15-30 sec./side

Session 3

repeat 3x
Burpees 30 seconds
Jumping Jacks 30 seconds
Jump rope 30 seconds (or mimic with ankle bounces)

Repeat 3x, 30 seconds rest between exercises
Bodyweight squats – 45-60 sec.
Single leg lying hip extension – 30 sec./leg
Front plank – 30 sec.
Side plank – 15 seconds per side
Forward lunges 30 sec./leg
Rest 60 seconds

Repeat 4x
Bench dips (or parallel bar dips) – 30-45 sec.
Pullups or Chinups – 30-45 sec. (or MAX set minus 1 repetition)
Rest 60 seconds

This will be your first month (4 weeks) of bodyweight training. You can progress by doing more repetitions in the same time frame or by slightly increasing your time frame for each exercise. You can also shorten rest periods or increase the sophistication of the exercises.

Like bodyweight training? Then you’ll love these workouts:

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Health-First Fitness Coach

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8 Responses

  1. Thank you for this blog. I wanted to try and find a solid strength training program for beginners that I could do without any equipment since money is an issue right now. I am a stay at home Mom, so I need a program that is both efficient and effective and this appears to be just that!

  2. Hi, this workout plan seems very useful, and efficient for gaining strength, but i was wondering. Is it possible to replace pull-ups with another activity? I’m currently renting, and I’m afraid there really isn’t enough room for any pull-up equipment. If it’s not possible to replace pull-ups with another activity, should i just remove it completely?

    • Hi Carl, thanks for the kind words. Pullups can be replaced with anything that works the upper back muscles – bodyweight rows off of a table or railing, dumbbell rows, etc.

  3. John, not sure how I stumbled upon your site, but it is great. There is a ton of workouts! I like the bodyweight method…I’m a has-been powerlifter and just completed week one of the 4week program. Wow.
    Thanks for your expertise, hope I can hang with the next few weeks!

  4. Hey John!

    Finally came awandering from the BFFM site in the hope that i’d find some newbie bodyweight routines as i’m gonna be shorter on time so i’d like something I can do at home.

    One question with the above routine though, is there something I can sub in for the pullups/chinups? I’d love to do them eventually but a) I have a lot to lose and cant even do one unassisted at this point and b) I dont really have anywhere I can put a permanent bar for this atm, and I’d like to get started asap.

    Fantastic site btw, can’t believe it took so long to get my behind over here considering all the links and stuff I look at of yours on the IC!

    Thanks Lindsey

  5. Thanks John!

    I can actually get that workout bar over here in the UK too so I might just get it ordered this weekend, thanks :D

    I’m comfortable with the movement for rows so i’ll stick with those until the bar gets here. I’ll also check out the IC link too thanks, there’s so much info on there I sometimes get lost in it! I’ll be sure to let you know when I’ve managed my first pullup! :D

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