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Beale Bodyweight Level I

If you are new to resistance training and/or do not have any strength training equipment, this is a great program to start. It contains 12 exercises, to be completed 3 times a week, which cover the whole body with no strength training equipment. You will need a large towel and a chair, bench, couch, or bed. The workout progresses over 4 weeks to help you build strength and endurance.
 

Exercise Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Set Reps Set Reps Set Reps Set Reps
Core
Bridges 3 10 3 12 3 15 3 15
Plank 4 20 sec 4 25 sec 4 30 sec 4 35 sec
Side Plank 2 20 sec 3 20 sec 3 25 sec 3 30 sec
Superman 3 10 3 12 3 15 3 15
Upper
Pushups 2 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Isometric Shoulder w/ Towel 2 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Isometric Biceps w/ Towel 2 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Tricep Dips with Bent Knees 3 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Lower
Squats 3 10 4 10 4 12 4 15
Step Ups 3 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Forward Lungs 3 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Calf Rises on Steps 3 10 3 10 3 12 3 15
Disclaimer: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. This is particularly true if you (or your family) have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you have ever experienced chest pain when exercising or have experienced chest pain in the past month when not engaged in physical activity, smoke, have high cholesterol, are obese, or have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in physical activity. Do not start this fitness program if your physician or health care provider advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while exercising you should stop immediately.

Bridges

Starting Position: Lying on your back with arms at sides, feet on floor, knees bent.

Action: EXHALE: Slowly lift hips off of floor toward ceiling, squeezing the glutes.

INHALE: Return to starting position.

Special Instructions: Squeeze glutes through entire rep. Do not to let butt touch ground when lowering between reps.

Progression: Keep toes off the ground, only perform the exercise with the heels on the ground.

Regression: Allow butt to touch the ground and a slight pause between reps.

Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads

Plank

Starting Position: Begin this exercise by lying on your stomach with your forearms on the floor pointing straight forward, your feet together and your spine in a neutral position. Your feet should be touching or no more than an inch apart.

Action: Lift your body up on your forearms and toes, keeping your body as straight as possible. Maintain this position for as long as possible and challenge yourself to longer periods in the plank position. Hold for time.

Special Instructions: Don't let your hips drop or rise, and be sure not to shift weight to one arm. Remember to breathe.

Progression: Place feet on elevated position (i.e. chair, bed, table, etc).

Regression: Place your forearms on something higher (kitchen counter or even the wall) to reduce the load on the lower back until you are stronger.

Muscles Worked: Abs

Side Plank

Starting Position: Lie on left side, legs together, feet stacked. Right hand on hip, keep head and neck aligned with spine.

Action: Prop upper body on bent left forearm (be sure your elbow is directly below shoulder). Press hips toward ceiling, using abs to stabilize torso. Hold for time.

Special Instructions: Complete sets and reps on both sides. Don't allow hips to drop to the ground. Keep breathing steady.

Progression: Place feet on elevated position (i.e. chair, bed, table, etc).

Regression: Place your forearms on something higher (kitchen counter or even the wall) to reduce the load on the lower back until you are stronger.

Muscles Worked: Oblique’s, Abs

Superman

Starting Position: Lie face down on the floor or bed, legs together and straight, arms straight and extended above your head. Keep your head/neck in a neutral position.

Action: Keeping limbs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body. Lower to the ground to complete one rep.

Special Instructions: Don't hold your breath! Try to keep breathing steady and even.

Progression: Hold each repetition for 3 seconds at the top.

Regression: Limit range of motion, don't raise legs/arms quite as high.

Muscles Worked: Lower back

Pushups

Starting Position: Start with hands shoulder width apart on the floor and up on your toes, so

that your body is supported, keeping your body as straight as possible.

Action: INHALE: Bend your elbows and lower chest to 90 degrees at the elbows.

EXHALE: Push up so that your arms are straight, making sure your elbows aren’t completely locked.

Special Instructions: Don't lock elbows out completely. Look straight ahead and keep spine in a neutral position.

Progression: Place feet on elevated position (i.e. chair, bed, table, etc).

Regression: Place your hands on something higher (kitchen counter or even the wall) to reduce the load on your body until you are stronger. Then find another lower placement for your hands to increase the intensity of the exercise.

Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders

Isometric Shoulder Hold with Towel

Starting Position: Twist a large towel so that it is in a long straight line. Step onto one end of the towel with your right foot, grasping the other end of it in your right hand (palm facing down arm at right side). Keep feet slightly apart, knees slightly bent.

Action: Allow enough tension to feel resistance as you raise your right arm up, approaching a parallel line with the floor. Hold at 45 degrees for 30 seconds. Adjust tension (step further away from hand) and hold arm parallel to floor for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat for one set.

Special Instructions: Adjust resistance by stepping closer (more difficult) or away (easier) from you’re the end of the towel in your hand. You should feel enough resistance during each part of the exercise (may need to adjust it by stepping further away from hand at each different angle
mentioned). Be sure not to hold breath.

Progression: Increase hold time to 45 seconds per repetition.

Regression: Decrease hold time to 15 seconds per repetition.

Muscles Worked: Shoulders

Isometric Biceps Hold with Towel

Starting Position: Twist a large towel so that it is in a long straight line. Step onto one end of the towel with your right foot, grasping the other end of it in your right hand (palm in front of hip facing outward). Keep feet slightly apart, knees slightly bent.

Action: Allow enough tension to feel resistance as you curl your right hand in towards your chest. Hold (with tension) at 90 degrees for 30 seconds. Step further away and hold at 45 degrees for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat for one set.

Special Instructions: Adjust resistance by stepping closer (more difficult) or away (easier) from the end of the towel in your hand. You should feel enough resistance during each part of the exercise (may need to adjust it by stepping further away from hand at each different angle mentioned). Be sure not to hold breath.

Progression: Increase hold time to 45 seconds per repetition.

Regression: Decrease hold time to 15 seconds per repetition.

Muscles Worked: Biceps

Triceps Dips with Bent Knees

Starting Position: Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair or step and wrap your fingertips over the front edge. Place feet on the floor in front of you with knees bent. Lift hips and butt up and slightly forward.

Action: Bend elbows about 90 degrees and lower hips toward the floor. (If you feel pain in the shoulders, your elbows are bent too much.) Press up until elbows are straight, but not locked.

Progression: Straighten legs to increase the bodyweight on the triceps.

Regression: Limit the range of motion by not bending to 90 degrees. Use the legs to help you press back up to starting position.

Muscles Worked: Triceps

Squats

Starting Position: Begin this exercise by standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointed forward.

Action: INHALE: Slowly lower your body and remember to bend slightly at your hips. Keep your weight back on your heels and your back as upright as possible. Make sure your knees don’t cross the plane of your toes.

EXHALE: Straighten legs and come up to the starting position to complete one rep.

Special Instructions: Do not go past 90 degrees at the bend in your knees because this causes additional stress on your joints.

Progression: Hold any type of weight close to your chest to increase the load on the leg muscles.

Regression: If you feel pain in your knees, just go down to where you don't feel pain and come back up. If you have difficulty performing this exercise you can also use a chair or wall to help with balance and the movement until you build sufficient strength.

Muscles Worked: Quads, Glutes

Step-Ups

Starting Position: Stand in front of a step, bench or stair with back, legs and arms straight, feet hip-distance apart, and weights in each hand (palms facing the body).

Action: EXHALE: With right leg, step onto the center of the bench and straighten your right leg at the top. Opposite leg should remain behind you for counter balance.

INHALE: Slowly bend right knee and step back down with left and then right foot to complete one rep.

Complete all reps on one leg before switching sides.

Progression: Hold any type of weight close to your chest to increase the load on the leg muscles or use a higher step.

Regression: Use a very low step, this can be as short as a thick book.

Muscles Worked: Quads, Glutes, Calves

Forward Lunges

Starting Position: Stand with your feet about 6 inches apart from each other toes pointed forward.

Action: INHALE: Step forward with one leg and lower your body to 90 degrees at both knees. Don’t step out too far. There should be 2 to 2.5 feet between your feet at this point. Keep your weight on your heels and don’t allow your knees to cross the plane of your toes.

EXHALE: Push up and back to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat all reps on one leg, then switch to complete one set.

Special Instructions: Keep your back upright. The further you step, the more you work the glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings. The closer you step, the more you work the quadriceps muscles on the top of your thighs.

Progression: Hold any type of weight close to your chest to increase the load on the leg muscles.

Regression: If you feel pain in your knees, just go down to where you don't feel pain and come back up. If you have difficulty performing this exercise you can also use a chair or wall to help with balance and the movement until you build sufficient strength.

Muscles Worked: Quads, Glutes

Calf Raises on Step

Starting Position: Begin by standing in front of a step or riser with feet shoulder width apart, facing forward. Step up onto the step with both feet, holding on a rail or chair, and letting heels hang off the edge.

Action: EXHALE: Rising up onto your toes as high as possible in one smooth motion. Hold for a couple seconds.

INHALE: Slowly lower heels as far as possible, below the level of the step to complete one rep.

Progression: One-Leg Calf Raises following the same instructions. Alternate feet after completing one set on each side.

Regression: You can rest your fingertips on a wall or chair to help with balance.

Muscles Worked: Calves

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