When you are a beginner, finding the right fat burning workouts is incredibly important. Far too many times you see beginners doing the wrong workouts and exercises for months, then end up quitting all together because they are not seeing the results they desire.

What Fat Burning Workouts Can Beginners Do?

As a beginner, there is no reason for you to try and engage in all the crazy exercises and workouts you see at the gym. Most times, these individuals have no clue what they are doing. There is no reason to be spending 3 hours at the gym doing cardio or doing hundreds of sit ups and crunches for a leaner midsection.

Keep things simple!

Keep the exercises you do and workouts you perform as simple as possible. There is no need to overcomplicate your workouts when first starting out, this will only lead to injury and frustration.

How To Structure a Beginner Fat Burning Workout?

There are a few different ways that you should structure your workouts in order to see your desired results. Having a plan is very important, so be sure you never get to the gym without knowing exactly what you will be doing. Your plan should include:

  • Exercises you will be doing
  • Number of sets and reps
  • How long your rest periods will be
  • How long your workout will take
  • What style of workout you will perform

Knowing these five aspects of your workout is the perfect starting point. Let’s now take a look at that last bullet point: what style of workout you will perform.

There are three different style workouts all beginners should focus on when first starting:

  1. High Intensity Interval
  2. Circuits
  3. High Intensity Cardio

Below we will be covering all three…

Intervals For Beginners

Interval workouts involve doing an exercise for a short period of time, resting and repeating. For example, you would perform an exercise for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds and repeat for 15 minutes in that fashion. As a beginner, some good starting interval times would be:

  • 10 seconds of work, 20 second rest
  • 15 seconds of work, 30 second rest
  • 20 seconds of work, 40 second rest
  • 30 seconds of work, 60 second rest
  • 45 seconds of work, 60-90 seconds rest

Depending on what type of exercises you are performing will determine which interval format will be right for you. A workout that involves weights or high intensity bodyweight exercises, you should choose intervals lasting 10-30 seconds whereas a workout done on a bike or treadmill, you can perform intervals of 30-45 seconds.

Circuit Training For Beginners

Circuit training involves moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest, and completing all exercises prescribed before taking a rest period. For example, you would perform 10 push-ups, 10 bodyweight squats, 10 lunges, and 10 overhead presses with no rest in between. Once you finished those four exercises, you would rest and repeat.

Circuit training is designed to be very high intensity causing your body to burn tons of calories and fat. It also helps with muscular endurance and strength.

Beginners can choose anywhere from 2-6 exercises when performing a circuit workout. Depending on what you are working on that day, circuits can be upper body, lower body, or full body.

If you choose a full body circuit, it is best to go from a lower body exercise to an upper body exercise and repeat. On lower and upper body days, you should choose exercises that use antagonist muscles. This means choosing an exercise opposite of what you just worked. For example, after doing a chest exercise you should complete a back exercise as your next step in the circuit.

High Intensity Cardio For Beginners

The two workouts styles we just covered, intervals and circuit training, are considered a form of cardio. However, beginners often wonder what other “cardio” they should do when working out. As you already know, the long slow 45 minute jogs on the treadmill are not going to do the trick when trying to burn fat.

Therefore, if you want to do extra cardio, it needs to be high intensity. The best form of cardio is sprinting. The only problem is sprinting can be very difficult especially when first starting out. That is why it is recommended that you start doing your sprints on a bike or rowing machine first.

High intensity cardio is best done in interval fashion, as we went over above. For example, you could do 10 full speed sprints on the bike or rowing machine that last 10-30 seconds. You would then row or peddle slowly for 60-90 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Fat Burning Exercises For Beginners

As was mentioned earlier, you don’t need to do all these complicated workouts and exercises you see people doing at the gym. Always keep things simple. That said, below are 10 movements you should focus on when first starting out on your fitness journey:

  1. Push-Ups, Knee Push-Ups, Bench Push-Ups
  2. Dumbbell Overhead Press
  3. Banded Rows
  4. Banded Deadlifts
  5. Squats: Bodyweight Squats, Goblet Squats, Band Squats, Sumo Squats
  6. Split Lunges
  7. Step Ups: Bodyweight Step-Ups, Dumbbell Step-Ups
  8. Mountain Climbers, Cross Body Mountain Climbers
  9. Burpees (Modified)
  10. Kettlebell Swings (make sure someone teaches you the form!)

Fat Burning Workouts For Beginners

Interval Workout Examples:

Full-Body Workout: Interval 15 seconds on, 30 seconds rest for 4 rounds

Exercises: Push-Ups, Bodyweight Squats, Overhead Press, Step-Ups, Modified Burpees (or starjumps)

Knee Push-Ups: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Bodyweight Squats: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Overhead Press: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Step-Ups: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Burpees or starjumps: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Complete 4 rounds!


Upper Body Workout: Interval 15 seconds on, 30 seconds rest for 5 rounds

Exercises: Push-Ups, Band Rows, Overhead Press

Knee Push-Ups: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Band Row: 15 seconds each arm
Rest 30 seconds
Overhead Press: 15 seconds
Rest 30 seconds
Repeat 5 times!


Lower Body Workout: Interval 30 on, 60 seconds rest for 3 rounds

Exercises: Goblet Squats, Alternating Step-Ups, Sumo Squats, Split Lunges

Goblet Squat: 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds
Alternating Step-Ups: 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds
Sumo Squat: 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds
Split Lunges: 30 seconds each leg
Rest 60 seconds
Repeat 3 times!

Circuit Training Workout Examples:

Full Body Circuit: Move from one exercise to the next with no rest. After all four exercises, rest 30-60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times!

Bodyweight Squats: 10 reps
Knee Push-Ups: 10 reps
Split Squat: 10 reps each leg
Mountain Climbers: 10 reps
Rest 30-60 seconds and repeat 3-5 times


Full Body Circuit: Move from one exercise to the next with no rest. Rest only where it says to rest.

Exercises: Goblet Squats, Bench Push-Ups, Kettlebell Swings, Overhead Press, Mountain Climbers

Goblet Squat: 12 reps
Bench Push-Ups: 12 reps
Kettlebell Swings: 15 reps
Overhead Press: 10 reps
Mountain Climbers: 30 reps (15 each leg)
Rest 60 seconds and repeat 3 times!


Upper Body Circuit: Move from one exercise to the next with no rest. Rest only where it says to rest.

Exercises: Push-Ups, Dumbbell Row, Push-Ups, Modified Burpees

Push-Ups: 12 reps
Dumbbell Row: 12 reps each arm
Push-Ups: 12 reps
Modified Burpees: 10 reps
Rest 60 seconds and repeat 4 times!


Lower Body Circuit: Move from one exercise to the next with no rest. Rest only where it says to rest.

Exercises: Dumbbell Step-Ups, Kettlebell Swings, Bodyweight Squats

Dumbbell Step-Ups: 12 reps each leg
Kettlebell Swings: 15 reps
Bodyweight Squats: 12 reps
Rest 60 seconds and repeat 5 times!


High Intensity Cardio Workout Example:

Exercise: Rowing Machine

Perform a 20 second sprint, row lightly for 60-90 seconds and repeat 5-10 times.

Row Sprint: 20 seconds
Row Lightly: 60-90 seconds
Repeat 5-10 times!

If you have any questions, just send me a message.

If you are interested in a program to increase your fitness, lose weight, increase muscle or improve any aspect of wellbeing such as mobility and flexibility, I can design a program specific to your needs via my Online Personal Coaching Program

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