The No-Gym-Required New Year’s Workout Challenge: Week 1 

Steer clear of the jam-packed gym with this no-equipment workout challenge.

What better way to begin a new year than with a workout challenge? This No-Gym-Required New Year’s Workout Challenge is set up to guide you through your week — for four weeks straight — with a different workout each day of the workweek. Throughout the week, your days will consist of cardio, dynamic strength workouts (no equipment required, by the way), intervals, and the option of trying something different like yoga, Pilates, or a new class at a Philly fitness studio that you’ve had on your bucket list.

And the best part: You don’t need a gym membership to join in; aside from the one fitness class per week, everything in this challenge can be done in your living room or outside, without any equipment. So follow along throughout the Challenge, sweat with your friends, and get 2017 off to a healthy start!

Monday: The Challenge

This first workout is called the Challenge. Over the next month you will revisit this workout a few times to see how all of your hard work is paying off. So, make sure you record how long it took you to run your mile and complete the workout.

Here’s what you are going to do: Always start by warming up for a few minutes (you can do this on the elliptical or the treadmill if you do happen to be at the gym, or jogging outside, or on a bike, etc.). Then, once you are warm, run (or walk, or walk/run — whatever it takes to finish) one mile, and record how long it takes you to finish. You’re going to follow that mile up with 10 reps of each exercise in the circuit below, along with a 30-second sprint (when we say sprint, this includes everything from doing toe taps on a step to high knees in place to running up and down the steps, along with the cardio you’d do on typical gym equipment). After the first round of the circuit, you are going to repeat the circuit, this time doing nine reps of each exercise, then your sprint, then eight reps, and so on until you’re down to one rep of each exercise and one final sprint.

The Challenge workout is an assessment of your current level of fitness. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t exactly where you thought you would be. Think of it as the beginning of a journey to a more fit and healthy you. Good luck!

The Challenge Workout Circuit
• Run 1 mile
• Complete the circuit doing the reps as follows: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Lunge jumps (do the number of reps indicated on each side)
Arm haulers
Skiers (do the number of reps indicated on each side)
Tricep dips (do on the side of a bench, coffee table or couch)
30-second sprint

Tuesday: Cardio for 30 to 60 minutes

Choose any form of cardio you’d like and get going! This can be running, dancing to Beyoncé in front of your mirror, biking — whatever makes you happy. Just make sure to keep going for at least 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Yoga or Pilates

Because Wednesdays call for some zen, are we right? You can either go to a yoga or Pilates class or, if you don’t see yourself making it out of the house, you can opt for an online on-demand yoga class. Pssst: Verge Yoga has tons of online options here.

Thursday: Interval Workout

Let’s spice up cardio day with some intervals, shall we?! Start by warming up for five to 10 minutes at a light pace, then get ready to start your intervals. During this workout, you want to work hard during the sprints, and then take advantage of your recovery before starting to sprint again. Each sprint should be high intensity, so whatever that means for you, go for it! If you’re just starting out and your recovery is a slow walk and your sprint is a power walk, awesome. Just try to keep moving during your recovery.

10-second sprint :: 20-second recovery x 10
20-second sprint :: 30-second recovery x 8
30-second sprint :: 40-second recovery x 6
40-second sprint :: 50-second recovery x 4
50-second sprint :: 60-second recovery x 2

Friday: The 60-45-30 Workout

For today’s workout, you’re going to complete the following circuit three times. For Round 1, you’ll do each exercise for a full minute. In Round 2, you’ll do each exercise for 45 seconds and for Round 3, you’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds. Not too bad, right?

Alternating lunges
Toe-touch crunches
Superman with arms in T
Lateral lunges (do the number of reps indicated on each side)
Tricep dips (do on the side of a bench, coffee table or couch)


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every Monday right here on Be Well Philly.

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