penny barnshaw garage fitness girl



Many of us thrive by having some structure around our weekly workouts, since planning them out in advance means there’s less hassle and we can just get on with it! But not everyone knows how to create their own weekly workout. If you want to reduce the chance of injury and optimise your results, planning your weekly workouts will depend on your current fitness level. Here’s what you need to know!


For beginners, you can still exercise 5 days per week if you want to (all fitness levels can!), but it’s best to limit your strength training to 1-2 workouts per week. These could be full body sessions, or you could divide them up into one upper body workout and one lower body workout. You could also mix it up by using dumbbells for one workout, and working with bodyweight only for your second strength workout. In between your strength workouts, focus on a form of cardio that you enjoy and aim for 2-3 cardio sessions.

It’s really important that beginners don’t overdo things. Your muscles grow and repair when you’re at rest, and since your body is unfamiliar with strength training, it really needs the time to regenerate! Doing too much too soon will lead to injuries, which will ultimately set you back.


So you’re already exercising regularly, but you feel as though you’re not optimising your workouts? Try adding in 3-4 strength training workouts each week, spacing each strength workout at least one day apart. To really maximise your time, try to split it up between upper body, lower body and full body workouts each week, so that you’re really fatiguing the muscles!


If you’re a regular exerciser and you’ve already acheived a high level of fitness, you can add 4 strength training workouts in per week to otimise your results. Make sure you increase the weight used when you feel it’s not challenging for you, as it’s important to keep levelling up. You might even add a cardio component (also known as a ‘finisher’) to the end of each workout for an extra calorie burn. Make sure you take at least 1 rest day each week, as your body still needs adquate time to recover.

Here’s an example of a well-balanced intermediate workout plan:

Monday: Upper Body Strength TrainingĀ 

There are plenty of upper body strength workouts on my channel, but this is a great one to keep coming back to! We complete each exercise 2 x through before moving onto the next, meaning your muscles get nice and fatigued. Each exercise is 45 seconds work with 15 seconds rest. To do this 30 minute upper body strength workout, you’ll just need a set of dumbbells. Let’s sculpt a strong back and toned arms!

Tuesday: Full Body HIIT

Torch calories and get a full body workout with this 30 minute fat-burning HIIT. There is one circuit that makes up this fat burning workout. Complete the circuit of movements with 50 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. You’ll need a variety of weighted dumbbells and a positive attitude!

Wednesday: Lower Body Strength Workout

Ready for an intense hump day workout that will leave you with jelly legs? This no repeat leg and booty workout is definitely a killer! Build strong legs and booty with this 40 minute leg workout you can do with just a set of dumbbells.

Thursday: Low ImpactĀ Cardio

Don’t skip the cardio! This low impact no repeat cardio workout will see you move through a series of my favourite low impact exercises in a quiet workout that will keep your neighbours smiling and you sweating šŸ˜‚. You don’t need any equipment at all, so just roll out your mat and grab your water bottle and let’s get ready to sweat.

Friday: Full Body Strength Training

Time for a full body strength workout to finish up the week! Just grab your dumbbells and follow along. We’ll be completing the circuits 3 x through, decreasing in time each set. Set 1: 50 seconds work/20 seconds rest, Set 2: 40 seconds work/15 Seconds rest, Set 3: 30 secs work/10 Secs rest. We got this!

Keep an eye on my YouTube channel so you can check out the new workouts I upload each week to help you build your own weekly routine. You can alsoĀ sign upĀ to my newsletter to receive my free monthly workout calendars – they help you take the guess work out of creating your routines.

Enjoy your training!

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