Welcome to the 8 week beginner home workout program.

Three training sessions a week this workout will push you to your limit and prepare your body to move onto the 12weeks2shred program. Just because this is a beginner workout don’t expect it to be easy!

What you will need for this program

I’ve structured this workout so it can be performed with almost entirely dumbbells as these are easy to obtain and great for beginners. If you’re serious about training at home I strongly recommend you look into picking up a pair of mechanical adjustable dumbbells. If your not ready yet to make the investment any pair of dumbbells is fine for starting out.

For this workout all you need is:
1. A pair of dumbbells
2. A pull up bar / door frame
3. Water bottle
4. Stop watch / timer
5. I also highly recommend a bench but these exercises can be performed on the floor if you don’t have one.

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Time to workout

Here we go! Are you inspired and ready to change your life?
This workout is designed so you train for just over 1 hour only three times a week. In those 3 hours we are going to make sure we hit every part of the body.

Below is a quick overview of the training days. If your returning to view the workout or following on your phone as you workout you can click on one of the days below to jump to that section and view the exercises.


Day 1 – upper body

Today we are going to focus on the entire upper body using a selection of exercise all designed to hit the muscles at different angles.

Each exercise will be performed three times, these will be called sets.
Each exercise you will aim to perform 10 reps, but if you can get more than 10 don’t stop! Make sure you push yourself till you can’t lift anymore. If you’re getting too many reps then either increase the weight or slow down the movement of each rep.

After each set we are going to rest for 45 seconds. You will be amazed how fast this time flies by so make sure you get yourself a stopwatch or use your phone to time each resting period. It’s really important not to rest for too long otherwise our heart rate will drop and you will burn less fat.

Exercise 1

Flat dumbbell chest press 3 sets, 10 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Lie flat on a bench or the floor resting your dumbbells on the top of your thighs. Then use your legs to help raise the dumbbells above your chest at shoulder width. Move you hands so your palms are facing out from your chest and lower the dumbbells down. Breathe out and press the dumbbells above above your chest. Repeat this motion 10 times. Perform this exercise 3 times.


Exercise 2

Flat dumbbell flys 3 sets, 10 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Just like the chest press Lie flat on a bench or the floor resting your dumbbells on the top of your thighs. Then use your legs to help raise the dumbbells above your chest at shoulder width. Make sure you choose a lighter weight for this exercise. Bend your elbows slightly and lower your arms out to your sides stretching out your chest. Pull your arms back up in a arc till they meet in the middle above your chest. Imagine you are hugging a big tree. Repeat this for 10 reps. Perform this exercise 3 times


Exercise 3

Pull ups 3 sets, as many reps as you can.
(It may only be 1 if you’re new but this is ok!)

Pull Ups can be really hard when you’re new, but don’t be discouraged, they are hard because they are extremely good for you, they not only work on your back but they are one of the best biceps builders.

If you cant pull yourself up yet then a good trick is to use a chair. Stand on the chair with your hands on the bar in the pull up position then take your legs away from the chair and very slowly lower yourself. Grab the chair again and repeat this, each one is a rep. This will help your build up the strength for full push-ups over the next 8 weeks.


Exercise 4

Single arms dumbbell rows 3 sets 10 reps each side, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Use a flat bench or chair. Place your knee on top of the end of the bench or your chair. Bend your body forward so your back is straight and your chest is facing the floor. Pick up the dumbbell in one hand while resting the other on the bench to stabilize yourself. Keeping your back straight in this position slowly lower the dumbbell down so it’s almost touching the floor then pull it back up. Focus on squeezing your back muscles as you pull the dumbbell back up. Repeat this 10 times with each arm for a total of 20 reps. Perform this exercise 3 times.


Exercise 5

Dumbbell bicep curls 3 sets 10 reps each side, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Hold your dumbbells in each hand by your waist with the palms of your hands facing up. While keeping the upper arms and shoulders stationary, curl the weights all the way up and breath out as you feel your biceps contract at the top. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position keeping the tension in your arms. Repeat this for 10 reps. Perform this exercise 3 times


Exercise 6

Dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets 10 reps each side. 45 seconds rest between each set.

Sit on a upright bench or a strong chair with your dumbbells rested on your knees with your palms facing each other. Kick the dumbbells up with your knees and raise them above your head with your palms facing forward. Slowly lower the dumbbells down to your shoulders then raise them back up above your head. Repeat this for 10 reps. Perform this exercise 3 times


Exercise 7

Tricep kickbacks 2 sets, 10 reps each side.

Use a flat bench or chair. Place your knee on top of the end of the bench or your chair. Bend your body forward so your back is straight and your chest is facing the floor. Pick up the dumbbell in one hand while resting the other on the bench to stabilize yourself. Keep your elbow locked and kick the dumbbell back using your tricep till your arm is straight. Release and slowly let the dumbbell down to the starting position. Repeat this for 10 reps on each arm. Perform this exercise 2 times

Well done…. Upper body complete!

Day 2 – rest

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Time to rest from that heavy workout session yesterday. Kick back and watch your favourite TV show… hell you’ve earned it!


Day 3 – Lower body

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We hit the upper body hard on day 1! You might still be sore and in pain up there but don’t worry that’s a good thing! It means you are going to definitely be putting on some muscle. Today we are going to be doing 4 sets instead of 3 so don’t forget! But don’t worry we are going to be doing less exercises.

Oh and I’ve sneaked in some abs too!

Exercise 1

Dumbbell squats 4 sets, 10 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing into your legs. Slowly lower your body down bending your knees to a squatting position. Look forward as you go down to help keep your back straight and push your bum out as you reach the bottom. Slowly raise yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat this for 10 reps. Perform this exercise 4 times.


Exercise 2

Dumbbell lunges 4 sets, 10 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Stand with your dumbbells in each hand facing into your legs. Step forward using one leg leaving your other leg stationary behind. Lower your body down while maintaining balance. Slowly raise back up and pull your leg back into the starting position. Perform 10 reps on each leg. Repeat this exercise 3 times.


Exercise 3

Step-ups 4 sets, 20 reps (10 each leg)

Hold a dumbbell in each hand standing behind a bench, chair or anything you have which is strong and stable. Place your right foot onto the bench lifting up your knee nice and high then pull up your left foot up and stand up straight with both legs together on the bench. Step down one leg at a time carefully.


Exercise 4

Calf raises 4 sets, 15-20 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.

Stand in the starting position with a dumbbell in each hand facing into your legs. Place the ball of your foot on a slightly raised surface. For this you can use a simple wooden board or even a weights disc. Raise your heels off the floor and hold the position for 2 seconds breathing out as you feel your calf muscles contract. Follow this motion for 15 to 20 reps. Repeat this exercise 4 times with 45 seconds rest.


Exercise 5

Laying knee pulls 4 sets, 15-20 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.

This is a great exercise for hitting the lower abs but it’s also a great way to finish off your leg workout as it great for stretching out the legs. You will work your hamstrings here also!

Lay on the floor on your back with your legs raised straight, you will feel tension on your core. Pull your knees up to your chest without letting your feet touch the floor.


DAY 4 – Rest

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It’s that time again! You’re probably limping today… but don’t worry this is normal. It will get better over time as your legs get used to weight training but the first few weeks might be very painful. It’s all worth it though, no pain no gain right?

Well done…. Lower body complete!

DAY 5 – Upper body

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Here we are again with the final workout of the week, let’s finish up strong just like how we started the week! Today you’re going to be repeating the exact same workout we did on day 1. You know exactly what to do and what to expect. Get ready to give it your all!

(Click here to scroll up and view the upper body workout)


DAY 6 – rest

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Enjoy yourself, you’ve earned it!


DAY 7 – rest

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Well done for completing your first week! Now it’s time to repeat and do it all again. This program is 8 weeks so all you need to do now is repeat this for 7 more weeks. Are you up to the challenge?

Looking for more of a challenge?

12weeks2shred Full intermediate program