It is the time of year when many people start to make their New Year’s resolutions. Some of these resolutions will be to lose weight, get in shape, and just generally feel healthier. It is not an easy task to accomplish but it can be done with the right mindset and hard work.

Many people go to a gym to help them achieve their goals but this does not always work out as well as they would like.

Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on 1 hour gym workout for beginners, 1 hour workout routine to lose weight at gym, 1 hour gym workout to build muscle, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

1 Hour Gym Workout For Weight Loss

Sticking to short, high-intensity sessions may be tempting when time is tight. But if you have specific goals in mind, carving out an hour to exercise brings with it fitness benefits that micro workouts just can’t replicate.

Even if gyms are closed, or you’d just rather work out at home, an hour gives you plenty of time for a well-rounded routine with a proper warm-up and cool down. You could do a full body workout, target specific areas or work on your cardiovascular endurance. Plus, having 60 minutes lets you build the intensity over the course of your workout session.

Whether you’re prepping for a triathlon or an obstacle race, regular one hour exercise sessions at the gym are an excellent step in the right direction. Longer sessions are perfect for honing specific techniques to get you over the finish line, letting you work on foot strike, breathing patterns, pedal rhythm or pull-ups, for example.

But for maximum return on your time investment, having a solid workout plan in place is key. Pre-planning lets you move around the gym with purpose, without wasting precious time wondering what to do next. 

Our 1 hour workout ideas below make a great starting point. But to get the most out of every minute, download the PureGym app. Totally free of charge even for non-members, the app lets you tailor your plan to both your goals and current level of fitness, from absolute beginners looking to build muscle, to athletes needing more variation.


Whether squeezed into your lunch break or tacked onto your commute, one hour workouts can have huge benefits on your physical and mental wellbeing. Regular sessions that include both aerobic and resistance elements will put you well on your way to achieving (and even exceeding) the minimum amount of activity needed for good health.

Official recommendations from Public Health England state that adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (like brisk walking or cycling) per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity (such as running). In addition, the PHE suggests we do resistance training on two days per week, to develop and maintain strength in all the major muscle groups.

According to the government’s own report, achieving this amount of exercise is associated with better mental health and cardiovascular fitness, can contribute to a healthy weight status and can also have a protective effect on chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Sixty minute sessions also allow time for a short stretching routine, helping you work on the third (and often overlooked) pillar of health after muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness: flexibility. From sprinters to bodybuilders, joint mobility is vital to athletic performance as it reduces the risk of injury and soreness. But it’s also important when it comes to maintaining posture and balance as we age, something that can significantly increase our quality of life.


The number of calories burned in a 1 hour gym workout depends on many factors such as your height, weight, body composition, so this number will vary person to person and the activity and intensity, so it will also vary workout to workout.

For example, if you weigh 11 stone (154 lbs, or just under 70kg), your estimated calorie burn is 224 calories for an hour’s weightlifting, 520 calories on either the stationary bike or rowing machine at a moderate intensity, 670 calories on the elliptical trainer or 744 calories for one hour on the treadmill running at 6mp.

Whilst it may be useful to know how much calories you might be burning to take into consideration your energy balance, tracking calories isn’t for everyone and it isn’t necessary. Completing a workout in order to reach a calorie target or exercising to burn calories would not be recommended and could do more harm than good, so it’s important to consider whether tracking would be beneficial for you.


This depends on your needs, fitness abilities and goals.

If you haven’t exercised for some time or are new to working out, it’s a good idea to start with one to three one-hour gym workouts per week and focus on showing up consistently and then gradually build up from there if you want to.

Ask yourself how many sessions would be feasible for you to realistically stick to. Trying to squeeze in 5 workouts per week when you can only realistically manage 3 workouts per week will not be sustainable and would more likely leave you feeling a failure because you keep missing two workouts and forgetting that you are doing well by keeping active and going to the gym consistently three time per week. 

If you are working our regularly, always make sure to include enough time for rest in-between sessions to allow your enough time to recovery from your gym workouts.


When it comes to building strength, an hour-long session is more than adequate for both beginners and intermediates. It will allow you time for a 5-10 minute warm-up, 40-45 minutes of weight training and 5-10 minutes of cooling down and stretching.  

But is one hour enough to remain healthy? That all depends on what you do for the other 23. Even if you hit the gym every day, you’d still be classed as ‘sedentary’ if you then sat immobile in your work and leisure time, with all the health risks this incurs. 

In a fascinating 2015 study, 28 Premier League footballers wore activity trackers for a week. Researchers found that, apart from matches and training, they were ‘alarmingly’ inactive for 80% of their non-playing time, with the majority of their day spent not moving at all. Researchers believed this still put them at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, regardless of the effort they put in on the pitch. The solution? Go for a few short strolls and engage in some light activities in addition to your scheduled 1 hour exercise sessions. In a controlled trial, just two minutes of walking every 20 minutes was enough to reduce insulin levels and lower blood pressure.


This will depend on what your training and health goals are.

Short, super-high-intensity workouts can help to improve speed, strength, power and aerobic fitness, particularly if you’re short on time. However, performing high intensity workouts are likely to be more physically demanding which will likely mean you need more time to recovery from training. Ensure you get a good amount of rest in-between sessions.

Longer, less intense cardio sessions of up to an hour can help to improve cardiovascular endurance, lunge capacity and are usually not as physically demanding. This type of workout would likely mean you will need less time than HIIT training would require to recovery, so over the span of a week, you could do more running sessions.

Both workouts are valid. Do what is best for you and what’s aligned with your training goals.


You can, but you do need to be sensible. Lifting weights that target the same body part each day brings with it increased risk of injury and over-training. Without adequate recovery time you could overload your joints and tendons.  

If you wish to weight train every day, consider targeting different parts of your body, such as upper and lower, and training them on alternate days. Or alternate the intensity of your sessions, with active recovery sessions in between more challenging cardio sessions, for example.

Remember, more doesn’t necessarily mean better results. Rest and recovery in-between session is just as important as your training. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to recover from your workouts.


Can’t block out an entire hour to exercise? Don’t sweat it, because doing something is always better than doing nothing. Time constraints are often cited as a barrier to exercise with many under the mistaken belief that if they don’t workout for a full hour, it’s not enough to benefit.

But while it’s true that you’ll see greater improvements the more work you put in, sometimes the biggest battle is just getting through the gym door. Even if you can only find time to work out for 20 minutes, it’s still worth going to remain consistent with your exercise habit.


What it’s good for: Improve your cardiovascular fitness and work all the major muscle groups with a full body workout that you can fit into your lunch break.

What you’ll need: For this routine you’ll need to use a stationary bike, a mat and a bench or step, a weighted barbell that you can comfortably squat with and dumbbells that you can chest press, 

How it works: Warm up for six minutes on the exercise bike at a low resistance level, aiming for a range of 80 to 90 RPM. After your warm up, perform each of the exercises for 30 seconds with a 30 second rest in between. Do the workout three times then include a short stretching routine of static stretches at the end.

The workout: 

  • Dumbbell squats
  • Mountain climbers
  • Dumbbell chest press on bench
  • Back raises
  • Plank

Not sure how to do all the moves? Here’s an explanation of all the moves you’ll need. Or discover some other smart ways to do cardio.


What it’s good for: HIIT can help you build muscle endurance and improve your cardio fitness, and this workout will also work your entire body. But because each interval is meant to be intense, you shouldn’t keep going for minutes on end even if you have a whole hour to fill. Stick to 30 second intervals with 30 seconds’ rest in between so you can really give each set your all. 

What you’ll need: For this routine you’ll need a kettlebell (we suggest 8kg to 10kg for a beginners, 12kg to 14kg for intermediate and advanced) and a mat. Choose a weight you feel comfortable using with good technique.

How it works: Warm up your body. Then perform four sets of 30 seconds on/30 seconds rest with a one minute rest between sets.

The workout: 

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Mountain climbers
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Ab bikes
  • Alternating lunge
  • Sit up touching knees
  • Burpees
  • Leg raises
  • Plank from knees

Not sure how to do all the moves? Here’s an explanation of all the HIIT and abs exercises we’ve included so you can perfect your technique.


What it’s good for: Love the treadmill? Adding a once-a-week interval run to your usual steady state cardio routine can improve your speed, and help you hit a new PB on your next 10k. 

What you’ll need: For this routine you’ll need a treadmill but you can use a ski-erg, assault bike, rower, exercise bike if you prefer.

How it works: During your run you’ll do short bursts at a higher intensity. We’ve used sprints, but you could just as easily adjust the incline on the treadmill to include some hill intervals. During the work periods, you should be exerting yourself hard enough that talking would be difficult, while during the rest period you should fully recover, even if that means walking instead of jogging.

The workout: 

  • Warm up with a light jog or brisk walk for 10 minutes
  • Work: run for one minute, giving it an 8 out of 10 effort 
  • Recover: walk or jog for two minutes
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Cool down with a light jog or brisk walk for 5 minutes
  • Stretch to cool down


What it’s good for: This workout involves using progressive overload so you’re constantly challenging your body, helping it get stronger. You can increase the intensity by upping the number of reps you perform each session, or by increasing the weight you choose. It’s important to get the technique right first, so read our beginner’s guide to training with free weights if you’re new to lifting.

What you’ll need: For this routine you’ll need to use a barbell and dumbbells at weights that challenge you, but allow you to complete your reps. You’ll also need to have rest days in between sessions to rebuild muscle fibres and to avoid risk of injury.

How it works: Warm up your body. Then perform 8-10 reps of each of the exercises for 4 sets, concentrating on your form. Rest one minute in-between sets. You’ll also have time for a stretching routine at the end.

The workout: 

  • Squats
  • Press ups
  • Lunges on each leg
  • Bent over row
  • Hip thrusts


What it’s good for: Looking for a one-hour exercise routine that ticks all your boxes? Kettlebell workouts give you a resistance and cardio workout in one. 

What you’ll need: For this routine you’ll ideally need two kettlebells, a lighter one for the upper body exercises, a heavier one for the leg work. If you’re a beginner, try a 6kg to 8kg kettlebell for the upper body, switching to a 10kg to 12kg for your legs. Not challenging enough? Start with a 10kg to 12kg kettlebell for your upper body, then try a 14kg to 16kg for your legs. 

How it works: Warm up your body. Make sure your warm-up also includes slow, controlled wrist and neck circles, shoulder circles and glute activation exercises. Then perform one set of each kettlebell moves back-to-back to keep your heart rate up. Do the entire kettlebell workout three times then a short stretching routine at the end.

The workout: 

  • 10 kettlebell sumo squats
  • 10 kettlebell single arm swings (each side)
  • 10 kettlebell side lunges (each side)
  • 10 kettlebell press and overhead tricep extensions
  • Kettlebell plank drag-throughs, 40 seconds each
  • 10 kettlebell V-sit Russian twists

Not sure how to do all the moves? Watch them demonstrated by our PureGym kettlebell workout instructor to perfect your technique before you start

These one-hour workouts make a great starting point, but if you’ve got a specific goal in mind, our Personal Trainers can help get you there. Book in a session and they’ll put together a personalised plan based on your aims and fitness level. Tight on time? Try one of our classes. With cardio, strength building, circuits, HIIT and more, they let you workout for 20 to 60 minutes, so you don’t waste a single second.

1 Hour Gym Workout For Beginners

Going to the gym for the first time doesn’t need to be daunting. Adam Hameed, personal trainer at Nuffield Health, offers some beginner workouts to help you feel confident and get the most out of your gym time.

Everyone has different reasons for joining a gym. And lots of people are worried about using the equipment if they’ve never worked out in a gym before. These beginner gym workouts are ideal for various goals, whether you want to lose some weight or burn fat, build muscle and strength or improve your fitness.

And don’t forget, your gym membership will include an induction with an expert personal trainer, so make the most of this time with them. Gym staff are really helpful and friendly so they can show you how to do the exercises and answer any questions.

As a beginner, how long should I do the workout for?

Set a goal to continue with the workout programme for 3 months. Creating a long-term exercise routine is all about forming positive habits, which means giving your mind and body the time to adjust to doing something new.

Each workout should take 45 minutes to 1 hour and you should always leave 48 hours between workouts to rest and recover properly. So a Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine works well for most people.

How much weight should I lift?

As a beginner, the best thing you can do is start at the lower end of the weight spectrum and work your way up until you reach about 60/70% of your max limit (the most amount of weight you can lift for 1 repetition with good form ). That will give you a rough idea of what to start on and you can slowly increase the weight little by little every week.

What are reps and sets?

A rep is how many times you repeat a specific exercise, whereas a set is how many rounds of reps you do. So if you lift 10 times on a bench press, that would be ‘one set of 10 reps’. If you took a short break and then did the same again, you’ll have completed ‘two sets of 10 reps’.

How many reps and sets you go for depends on what you’re trying to achieve. More reps at a lower weight would improve your endurance, while fewer reps at a higher weight would build your muscle mass.

When it comes to sets, people usually aim for between three to five, depending on how many you can complete without compromising your form.

Tips for each workout

  • Go slow – focus on your technique
  • Rest 60-90 seconds between each set
  • Keep moving when you’re resting – a gentle walk around the gym floor will keep your muscles warm and your heart rate up
  • Ideally perform the workout in the order listed, but if equipment is busy then switch the order for convenience.

Beginner gym workout for females

This workout for females is designed to tone the whole body, with a slight emphasis on the legs and glutes (bottom). It’s a myth that women will become bulky if they lift weights. Weight training in fact helps women become stronger, leaner and more toned.

  • Seated leg press (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Seated shoulder press (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Close grip lat pulldown (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Bodyweight lunges (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Full/kneeling press ups (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Plank (30 secs x 3)
  • Leg raises (10 reps x 3 sets)

Beginner gym workout for males

This workout is designed to help men gain strength and lean mass. This is a full body beginner workout with an extra focus on the arms and core. You’ll find by the end of this plan that all your numbers (reps or amount of weight lifted) on the exercises should increase nearly every week and you will have noticed changes in your body shape.

  • Seated chest press (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Seated rows (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Wide grip lat pulldown (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Seated leg press (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Dumbbell seated shoulder press (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Dumbbell bicep curls (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Close grip tricep press ups (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Cable rotations/twists (10 reps x 4 sets)
  • Reverse crunches (10 reps x 4 sets) 

Beginner gym workout for strength

The rep range for strength training is 4 – 6 reps and the idea behind this plan is to exert more energy for less reps (which will mean lifting heavier). If it’s your first time lifting for strength, don’t go too heavy – use a manageable weight for the first few weeks and then increase the load as the weeks go on. Once you think you could lift for 8-10 reps on the same weight, it’s time to increase the weight.

  • Barbell push press (6 reps x 4 sets)
  • Goblet squat (6 reps x 4 sets)
  • Dumbbell single arm row (6 reps x 4 sets)
  • Shoulder lateral raise (6 reps x 4 sets)
  • Bench press (6 reps x 4 sets)
  • Pull ups/assisted pull ups (6 reps x 4 sets)
  • Barbell bicep curls (8 reps x 4 sets)
  • Cable overhead tricep extensions (8 reps x 4 sets)
  • Rotating plank (30 secs x 4)

Beginner gym workout for fat loss

This workout is designed to raise your heart rate and get you sweating. The purpose behind this is to push your cardiovascular fitness – when your heart rate is higher you burn more calories. It also has the added benefit of burning extra calories after you’ve finished the workout, as your body is still working hard to recover back to its normal state of function. So you’re essentially burning more while resting just for training your heart a bit harder during your workout.

  • Plate thrusters (15 reps x 3 sets)
  • Mountain climbers (20 reps x 3 sets)
  • Box jumps (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Walk outs (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Renegade rows (full plank/kneeling) (10 each side x 3 sets)
  • Press ups (full plank/kneeling) (15 reps x 3 sets)
  • Treadmill 10 min run/steep incline brisk walk (no hands)
  • Supermans (full plank/kneeling) (10 reps x 3 sets)
  • Crunches (10 reps x 3 sets)

Beginner gym workout for cardio equipment

This mix of steady and interval cardio session with different pieces of equipment will help mix up your workout and stop you getting bored. Applying intervals to your training can really push that cardiovascular fitness and make your heart stronger and efficient. It’s a good way to prep yourself for a HIIT class from a breathing point of view.

  • 5 min treadmill brisk walk (optional incline)
  • 5 min rower (steady)
  • 1 min run/1 min walk treadmill x 10(easy)/15(medium)/20(hard)
  • 10 min stair master (steady)
  • Cross trainer (maintain one pace) – 1 min low effort level/1 min high effort level x 10(easy)/15(medium)/20(hard)

Beginner gym circuit programme

Circuit training is a great way to expend more calories and target multiple areas at once especially those with a time limit on their sessions. You’ll find yourself incorporating weights, high cardiovascular fitness, time efficient, muscular strength, muscular endurance, faster recovery and beats boredom.

  • 2 min rower
  • Alternating side plank (45 secs)
  • Bicep curl to shoulder press (45 secs)
  • Benched tricep dips (45 secs)
  • Squat jumps (45 secs)
  • Press up into superman (full/knees) (45 secs)

Exercise principles to help reach your goals

There are many ways of training and they can all be beneficial depending on your goals.

How ever you choose to train, there are some basic things you can do to help get the most out of your workouts.

  1. Pay attention to what you eat – if your goal is fat loss just remember the basic principle is move more than consume, this is the simple formula which a lot of people complicate when it comes to weight loss. If you’re training for muscle gain, the types of food you eat are also very important, for example, foods high in protein. And what you eat before and after your workout can also help with performance and recovery.
  2. Think about your job – lots of people spend most of their day sat down. So when it comes to exercise, standing rather than sitting will have multiple benefits and really help free up any areas that perhaps aren’t getting the movement through the restrictions of your work.
  3. Warm up properly – when it comes to warming your body up at the start of training, movement-based (also known as dynamic) stretches are best. This means anything that involves not standing still or bringing your heart rate down, for example, lunges, walk outs, simple yoga movements or cardiovascular work such as walking, cross trainer or stair master.
  4. Don’t forget to cool down – static/slower movement stretches are much better for this part of the workout, it’s a great opportunity to try and unwind and release some of those stiffer areas that you just struggle to get to loosen up.

Key takeaway

Starting out at the gym, like doing anything new, can be nerve wracking. By following a workout routine from day 1 and getting a bit of support from the fitness experts at your induction, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

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