Fitness Programs | ACE’s Kick Start Workout : Phase II

Share this page
Pin It
Fitness Programs
Find an ACE Pro

Trainers Near You
San Diego CA change location

Connie Epperson-Jaffe
del mar, CA


Harry Cornwell
san diego, California


Teresa Howes
san diego, CA


View More


Workouts & programs

< BACK

ACE’s Kick Start Workout : Phase II

Join ACE's Jessica Matthews and Fabio Comana as they walk you through the 8 core exercises and 2 optional exercises featured in second phase 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.

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

Weeks 5-8
Stability & Mobility Exercise Program with Aerobic Base Conditioning (Phase II)

Now that you’re on week 5 of ACE’s Kick Start Workout, it’s time to increase the level of difficulty and progress to a movement-based training program. The cardiovascular conditioning goal for Phase II of the program is to progress from walking to walk-jog intervals. For resistance and functional training, the goal is to develop effective motor control and coordination for the five basic movements of exercise:

  • single-leg movements (like step-ups or lunges)
  • squatting (or bending)
  • pushing
  • pulling
  • rotation

Most of these exercises can be done without any external resistance using only body-weight; however, we recommend simple equipment or at-home items to add more to your workout including a straight bar (such as a PVC dowel or broom handle), a set of dumbbells (heavy cans of food can be substituted) and a medicine ball (a heavy book or gallon of liquid could be used instead). For optimal results try to do the exercises at least two times during the week and once on the weekend for a total of three days per week.

Your Exercises for Weeks 5-8 Will Include:
Bird Dog Front Squat Push-up Forward Lunge Bent-over Row
Hip Hinge Front Squat Push-up Forward Lunge Bent-over Row
Side Lunge Seated Shoulder Press Seated Trunk Rotations Triceps Kickbacks Standing Hammer Curls
Side Lunge Seated Shoulder Press Seated Trunk Rotations Triceps Kickbacks Standing Hammer Curls

Print This Workout

Week 5

Warm-up

Before diving into the workout’s exercises, be sure to warm up to increase blood flow and body temperature with either 3-5 minutes of walking or marching in place. Or, as another option, you can do the three warm-up exercises below.

Warm-Up Exercise #1: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 12-15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, place the left foot on the right knee and use only the right hip for 6-8 repetitions. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #2: Front Plank

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15-20 seconds. Rest 30 seconds before completing one additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, raise one leg, point the foot and hold for 3-5 seconds. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #3: Side Plank (for Beginner Level), or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds on each side. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set.

Core Exercises

During week 5 of the program, do only set of each exercise as described resting for at least 45 seconds before doing the next exercise.

Exercise #1: Hip Hinge

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Front Squat

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (You can also do the front squat without dumbbells. Simply cross your arms across your chest, or to increase the level of difficulty, hold your hands behind your ears with the elbows sticking straight out to the side).

Exercise #3: Push-up

  • Perform one set of as many repetitions as possible while maintaining good form. As soon as you lose proper form, that is your cue to stop. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If traditional push-ups are difficult, you can try bent-knee pushups as an alternative.)

Exercise #4: Forward Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the level of difficulty and activate the glutes and lower back muscles, you can also try the Forward Lunge with Arm Drivers.)

Exercise #5: Bent-over Row

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (Ideally this exercise would be performed with a light barbell, but a set of dumbbells or heavy cans of food can be used as an option. If using dumbbells or cans, be sure to watch the video for details on proper arm positioning and how to perform this exercise.)

Exercise #6: Side Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the intensity, add resistance by using a set of light-to-moderate dumbbells or heavy cans and hold them by the shoulders like described in the front squat progression).

Exercise #7: Seated Shoulder Press

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can perform this exercise using cans of food. (To increase the intensity, try the exercise in a standing position. When doing so, be sure to keep the feet approximately hip-width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other.)

Exercise #8: Seated Trunk Rotations

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can perform this exercise using a heavy book or a gallon of liquid.)

Optional Exercises

These arm exercises are optional. If you feel you have time to devote to additional exercises or if you want to emphasize muscular development in your arms, feel free to add them to your workout.

Optional Exercise #1: Triceps Kickbacks

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left arm action as one complete repetition.)

Optional Exercise #2: Standing Hammer Curls

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Cool-down

Perform these exercises as a cool-down to properly stretch the muscles used during the workout.

Cool-down Exercise #1: Cat-Camel

  • Perform one set of 8-10 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Cool-down Exercise #2: Downward-facing Dog

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds. Come back to all fours and rest 5-10 seconds, and repeat for 4-5 repetitions.

Cardio Session

Walk continuously for 20 minutes based on the intensity levels and timing below. You will start with a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation, and then increase the speed of the walk to a pace where it is difficult to hold a conversation, before returning to the comfortable pace of walking for the last 5 minutes. Perform this cardio session a minimum of three different times during the week.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 10
Walk Difficult to hold a conversation 5
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 5

Week 6

Warm-up

Be sure to warm up to increase blood flow and body temperature with either 3-5 minutes of walking or marching in place. Or, as another option, you can do the three warm-up exercises below.

Warm-Up Exercise #1: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 12-15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, place the left foot on the right knee and use only the right hip for 6-8 repetitions. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #2: Front Plank

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15-20 seconds. Rest 30 seconds before completing one additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, raise one leg, point the foot and hold for 3-5 seconds. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #3: Side Plank (for Beginner Level), or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds on each side. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set.

Core Exercises

During week 6 of the program, progress to doing two sets of each exercise resting for 45 seconds between each set. Complete both sets before progressing to the next exercise.

Exercise #1: Hip Hinge

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Front Squat

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (You can also do the front squat without dumbbells. Simply cross your arms across your chest, or to increase the level of difficulty, hold your hands behind your ears with the elbows sticking straight out to the side).

Exercise #3: Push-up

  • Perform one set of as many repetitions as possible while maintaining good form. As soon as you lose proper form, that is your cue to stop. Rest 45 seconds before performing another set, then rest for 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If traditional push-ups are difficult, you can try bent-knee pushups as an alternative.)

Exercise #4: Forward Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the level of difficulty and activate the glutes and lower back muscles, you can also try the Forward Lunge with Arm Drivers.)

Exercise #5: Bent-over Row

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (Ideally this exercise would be performed with a light barbell, but a set of dumbbells or heavy cans of food can be used as an option. If using dumbbells or cans, be sure to watch the video for details on proper arm positioning and how to perform this exercise.)

Exercise #6: Side Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the intensity, add resistance by using a set of light-to-moderate dumbbells or heavy cans and hold them by the shoulders like described in the front squat progression).

Exercise #7: Seated Shoulder Press

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If you don’t have dumbbells, you can perform this exercise using cans of food. To increase the intensity, try the exercise in a standing position. When doing so, be sure to keep the feet approximately hip-width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other.)

Exercise #8: Seated Trunk Rotations

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can perform this exercise using a heavy book or a gallon of liquid.)

Optional Exercises

These arm exercises are optional. If you feel you have time to devote to additional exercises or if you want to emphasize muscular development in your arms, feel free to add them to your workout.

Optional Exercise #1: Triceps Kickbacks

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left arm action as one complete repetition.)

Optional Exercise #2: Standing Hammer Curls

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 45 seconds. Perform an additional set, then rest 45 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Cool-down

Perform these exercises as a cool-down to properly stretch the muscles used during the workout.

Cool-down Exercise #1: Cat-Camel

  • Perform one set of 8-10 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Cool-down Exercise #2: Downward-facing Dog

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds. Come back to all fours and rest 5-10 seconds, and repeat for 4-5 repetitions.

Cardio Session

For week 6, walk continuously for 23 minutes based on the intensity levels and timing below. You will start with a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation, and then increase the speed of the walk to a pace where it is difficult to hold a conversation. Then you will return to a pace comfortable to hold a conversation before increasing again to a difficult pace, followed by a few minutes of comfortable walking to cool down. Perform this cardio session a minimum of three different times during the week.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 5
Walk Difficult to hold a conversation 5
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 5
Walk Difficult to hold a conversation 5
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation (cool down) 3

Week 7

Warm-up

Be sure to warm up to increase blood flow and body temperature with either 3-5 minutes of walking or marching in place. Or, as another option, you can do the three warm-up exercises below.

Warm-Up Exercise #1: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 12-15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, place the left foot on the right knee and use only the right hip for 6-8 repetitions. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #2: Front Plank

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15-20 seconds. Rest 30 seconds before completing one additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, raise one leg, point the foot and hold for 3-5 seconds. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #3: Side Plank (for Beginner Level), or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds on each side. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set.

Core Exercises

During week 7 of the program, you will complete one set of each exercise resting 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. You will repeat this series two additional times to fully complete three sets.

Exercise #1: Hip Hinge

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

Exercise #2: Front Squat

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (You can also do the front squat without dumbbells. Simply cross your arms across your chest, or to increase the level of difficulty, hold your hands behind your ears with the elbows sticking straight out to the side).

Exercise #3: Push-up

  • Perform one set of as many repetitions as possible while maintaining good form. As soon as you lose proper form, that is your cue to stop. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If traditional push-ups are difficult, you can try bent-knee pushups as an alternative.)

Exercise #4: Forward Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the level of difficulty and activate the glutes and lower back muscles, you can also try the Forward Lunge with Arm Drivers.)

Exercise #5: Bent-over Row

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (Ideally this exercise would be performed with a light barbell, but a set of dumbbells or heavy cans of food can be used as an option. If using dumbbells or cans, be sure to watch the video for details on proper arm positioning and how to perform this exercise.)

Exercise #6: Side Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the intensity, add resistance by using a set of light-to-moderate dumbbells or heavy cans and hold them by the shoulders like described in the front squat progression).

Exercise #7: Seated Shoulder Press

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If you don’t have dumbbells, you can perform this exercise using cans of food. To increase the intensity, try the exercise in a standing position. When doing so, be sure to keep the feet approximately hip-width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other.)

Exercise #8: Seated Trunk Rotations

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can perform this exercise using a heavy book or a gallon of liquid.)

Repeat this series two more times, to fully complete three sets of all exercises.

Optional Exercises

These arm exercises are optional. If you feel you have time to devote to additional exercises or if you want to emphasize muscular development in your arms, feel free to add them to your workout.

Optional Exercise #1: Triceps Kickbacks

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left arm action as one complete repetition.)

Optional Exercise #2: Standing Hammer Curls

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

Repeat this series two more times, to fully complete three sets of exercises.

Cool-down

Perform these exercises as a cool-down to properly stretch the muscles used during the workout.

Cool-down Exercise #1: Cat-Camel

  • Perform one set of 8-10 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Cool-down Exercise #2: Downward-facing Dog

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds. Come back to all fours and rest 5-10 seconds, and repeat for 4-5 repetitions.

Cardio Session

During week 7, you will begin to introduce a slow jog into your workout. Perform this 22-minute cardio routine based on the intensity levels and timing below, a minimum of three different times during the week. You will start with a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation, and then increase the speed of the walk to a pace where it is difficult to hold a conversation. Then you will introduce a slow jog, before returning to a pace comfortable to hold a conversation. You’ll once again work in a few more minutes of a slow jog, and then cool down with comfortable walking.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 5
Walk Difficult to hold a conversation 5
Slow Jog Difficult to hold a conversation 3
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 3
Slow Jog Difficult to hold a conversation 3
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation (cool down) 3

Week 8

Warm-up

Be sure to warm up to increase blood flow and body temperature with either 3-5 minutes of walking or marching in place. Or, as another option, you can do the three warm-up exercises below.

Warm-Up Exercise #1: Glute Bridge

  • Perform one set of 12-15 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, place the left foot on the right knee and use only the right hip for 6-8 repetitions. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #2: Front Plank

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 15-20 seconds. Rest 30 seconds before completing one additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. (To increase the intensity of the exercise, raise one leg, point the foot and hold for 3-5 seconds. Be sure to switch legs to complete the set.)

Warm-Up Exercise #3: Side Plank (for Beginner Level), or Modified Side Plank (for Intermediate Level)

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds on each side. Rest 30 seconds before completing an additional set.

Core Exercises

During week 8 of the program, your goal is to complete an entire circuit of exercises before taking a rest interval of two minutes. For best results, complete the circuit three times.

Exercise #1: Hip Hinge

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise.

Exercise #2: Front Squat

  • Perform one set of 15 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (You can also do the front squat without dumbbells. Simply cross your arms across your chest, or to increase the level of difficulty, hold your hands behind your ears with the elbows sticking straight out to the side).

Exercise #3: Push-up

  • Perform one set of as many repetitions as possible while maintaining good form. As soon as you lose proper form, that is your cue to stop. Immediately move to the next exercise. (If traditional push-ups are difficult, you can try bent-knee pushups as an alternative.)

Exercise #4: Forward Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the level of difficulty and activate the glutes and lower back muscles, you can also try the Forward Lunge with Arm Drivers.)

Exercise #5: Bent-over Row

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (Ideally this exercise would be performed with a light barbell, but a set of dumbbells or heavy cans of food can be used as an option. If using dumbbells or cans, be sure to watch the video for details on proper arm positioning and how to perform this exercise.)

Exercise #6: Side Lunge

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left leg action as one complete repetition. To increase the intensity, add resistance by using a set of light-to-moderate dumbbells or heavy cans and hold them by the shoulders like described in the front squat progression).

Exercise #7: Seated Shoulder Press

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (If you don’t have dumbbells, you can perform this exercise using cans of food. To increase the intensity, try the exercise in a standing position. When doing so, be sure to keep the feet approximately hip-width apart with one foot slightly in front of the other.)

Exercise #8: Seated Trunk Rotations

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (If you don’t have a medicine ball, you can perform this exercise using a heavy book or a gallon of liquid.)

Rest for 2 minutes. For the most effective workout, aim at repeating this series two more times, to fully complete three sets of all exercises.

Optional Exercises

These arm exercises are optional. If you feel you have time to devote to additional exercises or if you want to emphasize muscular development in your arms, feel free to add them to your workout.

Optional Exercise #1: Triceps Kickbacks

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise. (When counting repetitions, count both the right and left arm action as one complete repetition.)

Optional Exercise #2: Standing Hammer Curls

  • Perform one set of 12 repetitions. Immediately move to the next exercise.

Rest for 2 minutes. For the most effective workout, aim at repeating this series two more times, to fully complete three sets of all exercises.

Cool-down

Perform these exercises as a cool-down to properly stretch the muscles used during the workout.

Cool-down Exercise #1: Cat-Camel

  • Perform one set of 8-10 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds before an additional set. Rest 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise.

Cool-down Exercise #2: Downward-facing Dog

  • Perform one set by holding this exercise for 10-15 seconds. Come back to all fours and rest 5-10 seconds, and repeat for 4-5 repetitions.

Cardio Session

During week 8, you will incorporate two slow jog intervals into your workout. Perform this 27-minute cardio routine based on the intensity levels and timing below, a minimum of three different times during the week. You will start with a walking pace where it is easy and comfortable to hold a conversation, and then increase the speed of the walk to a pace where it is difficult to hold a conversation, and then progress to a slow jog. You’ll go back to walking at a comfortable pace, increase again to a slow jog, back to a fast walk and then follow-up with a few minutes of cool-down with walking at a comfortable pace.

Activity Intensity / Speed Time (min)
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 5
Fast Walk Difficult to hold a conversation 3
Slow Jog Difficult to hold a conversation 5
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation 3
Slow Jog Difficult to hold a conversation 3
Fast Walk Difficult to hold a conversation 5
Walk Comfortable to hold a conversation (cool down) 3

Continue to Phase 3 >>

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. You’ll receive the exercise program for 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.


  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
  • Millitary friendly schools