Fitness Programs | ACE’s Kick Start Workout : A Week-by-Week, 3-Month Exercise Program

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ACE’s Kick Start Workout : A Week-by-Week, 3-Month Exercise Program

Join ACE's Jessica Matthews and Fabio Comana as they walk you through the 5 exercises featured in the first month of the program.

Your Roadmap to a Healthier, Happier You

Kick start your new year with this 12-week fitness program designed by ACE, to build total body strength, enhance cardiovascular endurance, gain muscular definition, lose weight, improve health and increase energy. It’s a great beginner-level program for those new to exercise, or it can be used as a valuable dynamic warm-up for the more advanced. Here we’re giving you Phase I of the program, the first 30 days, so you have a week-by-week plan that’s easy to follow and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Simply use it as a roadmap to a healthier, happier you!

Phase I (1st Month): Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4
Phase II (2nd Month): Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8
Phase III (3rd Month): Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12

To get Phase II and III of the program, be sure to sign up for our ACE’s Health eTips enewsletter. You’ll receive weeks 5-8 in February, and weeks 9-12 in March to keep you on track for 2010.

Weeks 1-4
Stability & Mobility Exercise Program with Aerobic Base Conditioning (Phase I)

The purpose of Phase 1, the first 4 weeks of the program is to develop a stable core region along with strength and mobility in the hips.  You will do so by completing a series of exercises and a cardio session as described. This program begins with cardio sessions of walking, but the goal is to gradually increase the intensity and work rate to successfully complete a 30-minute jog by the end of the 3-month period.  The progression of the core training exercises match the progression of the cardiovascular exercise to help make the jogging comfortable and manageable for the listed timed durations.

Your Exercises for Weeks 1-4 Will Include:
Bird Dog Side Plank Front Plank Glute Bridge Crunches
Bird Dog Side Plank Front Plank Glute Bridge Crunches

How to Use this Program

For someone new to exercise, you can do this program at home without any equipment. Simply follow the recommended workout and you’ll begin to see results and feel better in only a few weeks.  For you, this program will help to flatten the tummy while concurrently developing strength and definition in the hips and thighs.

For people who are already exercising on a regular basis, this program can be used as a supplement when you don’t have time to make it to the gym and need a quick routine you can do from home or on the road while traveling.  Another option is to use this program as a dynamic warm-up to prepare the core for the challenges of your regular exercise routine.   

TIP: To measure exercise intensity during your cardio session use a simple and effective technique called the “Talk Test”.  The Talk Test has been validated through research to demonstrate that if someone can talk comfortably while exercising, then this means they are efficiently utilizing fat as a primary source of fuel. Once it becomes difficult to talk, this signifies that carbohydrates become the primary source of fuel for the activity.   Pick a phrase that takes approximately 20-30 seconds to say to perform this test, such as the Pledge of Allegiance.

Print This Workout

Week 1

Exercises

During the first week of the program, perform only one set of each exercise as described resting for at least 30 seconds before doing the next exercise. For optimal results, try to do the exercises at least two times during the week and once on the weekend for a minimum total of three days per week.

Exercise #1: Bird Dog

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Side Plank (for Beginner Level) or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set (hold this exercise for 10 seconds on each side). Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #3: Front Plank

  • Perform one set (hold this exercise for 10 seconds). Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #4: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #5: Crunches

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest thirty seconds.

Cardio Session

Walk for 15 minutes continuously, a minimum of three different times during the week.  Use a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 15

Week 2

Exercises

In the second week of the program, progress to doing two sets of each exercise resting for 30 seconds between each set. Complete both sets before progressing to the next exercise. For optimal results, try to do the exercises at least two times during the week and once on the weekend for a minimum total of three days per week.

Exercise #1: Bird Dog

  • Perform two sets of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Side Plank (for Beginner Level) or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform two sets (for each set hold this exercise for 10 seconds on each side). Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next set, and rest again for 30 seconds before the next exercise.

Exercise #3: Front Plank

  • Perform two sets (for each set hold this exercise for 10 seconds). Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next set, and rest again for 30 seconds before the next exercise.

Exercise #4: Glute Bridge

  • Perform two sets of 15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next set, and rest again for 30 seconds before the next exercise.

Exercise #5: Crunches

  • Perform two sets of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next set.

Cardio Session

Walk for 15 minutes continuously, a minimum of four different times during the week.  Use a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 15

Week 3

Exercises

In the third week of the program, begin to do the exercises as a circuit: complete a single set of each exercise, resting in between each one for 15 seconds, then repeat this entire circuit again so you’ve performed a total of two sets for each exercise. For optimal results, try to do the exercises at least two times during the week and once on the weekend for a minimum total of three days per week.

Exercise #1: Bird Dog

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 15 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Side Plank (for Beginner Level) or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15 seconds on each side. Rest 30 seconds and switch to do the other side, then rest another 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If you started with the Modified Side Plank for the first two weeks, now progress to one set holding for 10 seconds with straight legs.)

Exercise #3: Front Plank

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15 seconds. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the other side, then rest another 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #4: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #5: Crunches

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest thirty seconds.

REPEAT this entire circuit once more.

Cardio Session

Walk for 20 minutes continuously, a minimum of three different times during the week.  Use a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 20

Week 4

Exercises

In the fourth week the goal is to complete the entire circuit (do all exercises) before taking a rest interval of one minute, and repeat this circuit three times for the best results. For optimal results, try to do the exercises at least two times during the week and once on the weekend for a minimum total of three days per week.

Exercise #1: Bird Dog

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 15 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Side Plank (for Beginner Level) or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15 seconds on each side. Do not rest and switch to do the other side. Do not rest before moving to the next exercise. (If you started with the Modified Side Plank for the first two weeks, progress to hold each set for 10 seconds with straight legs now.)

Exercise #3: Front Plank

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15 seconds. Do not rest and switch to do the other side. Do not rest before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #4: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Do not rest before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #5: Crunches

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest for one minute.

REPEAT this entire circuit two more times.

Cardio Session

Walk for 20 minutes continuously, a minimum of four different times during the week.  Use a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 20

Continue to Phase 2 >>

To receive the remainder of this 12-week program, simply sign up for ACE’s Health eTips enewsletter by entering your email address in the gray bar below. In January, you’ll receive a video demonstration of all 5 exercises featured in this workout from an ACE Exercise Physiologist and ACE-certified Personal Trainer. Then you’ll receive the exercise program for weeks 5-8 in February, and weeks 9-12 in March to help keep you on track for 2010. If you are interested in working with an ACE-certified Personal Trainer, be sure to browse our online profiles and find an ACE trainer in your area.


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