A 4-week workout plan is a fast and effective way to kickstart a person’s weight loss and help them develop beneficial fitness habits.
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male” and “female” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth.
The plan’s short duration and manageable goals can help motivate an individual to get started.
However, for lasting weight loss and health benefits, a person needs to maintain their workout plan after the 4-week period.
Learn more below about how to do the 4-week workout plan at home or the gym, and how males and females may want to approach it differently.
According to the National Institute on Aging, a workout program should consist of exercises that target four areas.
- Balance: Particularly important in older adults, balance exercises can help prevent falls.
- Endurance: Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, running, biking, or other activities, get the heart pumping faster
- Strength: Typically involves lifting weights or using an individual’s body weight to gain muscle mass and strength.
- Flexibility: Helps keep the muscles protected and can boost physical performance.
People can start a home-based workout program with or without a lot of equipment. Those who live in temperate climates may be able to do their cardio workout outside and use body weight exercises for strength training.
People who strength train at home may find that weights can be cumbersome to store, meaning they may not be practical for everyone.
Fitness or resistance bands can be suitable substitutes for weights because they take up less space. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how much resistance an individual is using with these.
A person should make sure to work all the major muscles. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend a person strength train at least 2 days per week.
Cardio workouts at home can be tricky because cardio equipment is often bulky and expensive. For some people, the best option involves walking, running, biking, or other outdoor activities.
The AHA recommend a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity cardio activities. People can break this down into five 30-minute sessions of walking, running, or other activities.
People should get 150 minutes of cardio activity per week and allocate 2 days to strength training.
A gym or health facility offers a variety of equipment, free weights, and machines that are not available at most home gyms. For some, the choices can be overwhelming.
The American Council on Exercise, an organization that provides certification for exercise professionals, recommend that people who are new to exercise start with machines. They offer fewer movement options than free weights, but they are a good way to learn movements and are easier and safer to use.
Those who are comfortable with free weights can use them or other equipment, such as pull-up bars.
One main advantage of the gym is its variety of cardio machines, with most fitness centers offering a wide range of safe and effective cardio options. At the gym, a person can perform a different cardio workout every day. This variety of activities can help maintain an individual’s motivation.
A cardio session at the gym may include two types of cardio. The first is low-intensity cardio, which involves activities such as light walking or jogging on the treadmill for 10–60 minutes.
The other is high-intensity cardio, which may involve running or biking at speed at 30-second intervals with 30 seconds of rest, then repeating this cycle for 10–20 minutes.
Some days, a person may want to focus on a specific part of the body as part of their routine, for example, the lower chest.
People should also make sure to include flexibility and balance exercises at the gym. They should stretch before and after workouts. Additionally, many gyms offer group classes, such as yoga and pilates, that focus on flexibility and strength.
Males and females can generally adopt the same workout programs. However, workout programs for females should adapt to factors such as pregnancy.
In general, females and males should get at least 150 minutes of cardio activity per week. They should also strength train at least 2 days per week. What they focus on and how intensely they work out may vary by age and other individual differences.
In 4 weeks, most people can build a solid fitness base.
This means they may start to notice weight loss and gains in endurance and strength. How much change they see can vary based on factors such as:
- workout intensity
- body type and general build
A person may find it easier to continue working out once they maintain their workout plan beyond the first 4 weeks.
A 4-week workout program can help a person develop a good fitness base and start them on a journey towards their fitness goals.
This program should lay the foundations of fitness and focus on strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
Certain conditions, such as pregnancy and age, may affect the intensity of workouts or the ability of a person to work out. A person should always talk to their healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.