Individual DAREBEE workouts are sorted by type and focus as well as difficulty. Use the filter at the bottom of the workouts’ page:
Most of DAREBEE routines are full-body workouts and already have ab exercises included but if you want to get additional midsection definition, use the filter and select workouts for “abs / core” and include them into your training as extra or in between workouts during the week.
All DAREBEE workouts are designed for both men and women, regardless of illustrations. There is no difference in difficulty or approach in routines with male or female illustrations in them.
Workout posters are read from left to right and contain the following information: grid with exercises (images), number of reps (repetitions) next to each, number of sets for your fitness level (I, II or III) and rest time. Images that show two positions of an exercise are dynamic moves e.g. jumping jacks and squats, you can find a how-to video for most of them in our video exercise library. Exercises that only show a single images are static exercise e.g. planks and wall sits which you hold to a count (count to ten, for example) or for a given amount of time.
"Reps" stands for repetitions, how many times an exercise is performed. Reps are usually located next to each exercise’s name. Number of reps is always a total number for both legs / arms / sides. It’s easier to count this way: e.g. if it says 20 climbers, it means that both legs are already counted in - it is 10 reps each leg.
Reps to failure means to muscle failure = your personal maximum, you repeat the move until you can't. It can be anything from one rep to twenty, normally applies to more challenging exercises. The goal is to do as many as you possibly can.
Reps throughout the day means that your goal is to get all of the numbers in by the end of the day. You can split the total number of reps for the day into manageable sets. In some of the challenges it is a necessity, in others an optional extra. Using this option will help you complete any challenge on your fitness level. Ideally, you want to do as fewer sets as possible. Most of the time you will begin to need this option a week or two into the challenge.
Some workouts will contain combinations or "combos". Combinations will have two or three exercises with a "+" between them, for example "3combos: 10 high knees + 2 push-ups".
To complete the combo you will need to do 10 high knees followed up by 2 push-ups three times in total before you can move on to the next exercise.
Transitions between exercises
The transition from exercise to exercise is an important part of each circuit (set) - it is often what makes a particular workout more effective. Transitions are carefully worked out to hyperload specific muscle groups more for better results. For example if you see a plank followed by push-ups it means that you start performing push-ups right after you finished with the plank avoiding dropping your body on the floor in between.
Each workout has three levels of difficulty: I, II and III.
If you are new to exercise or you haven’t done any training in a long while you should start on Level I. You don’t have to stay on level I consistently, if you feel that you can do more, you can advance a level. Level III is the hardest level of difficulty and it can be pretty challenging to complete.
Think of it as game levels of difficulty, except there is no Easy, it starts on normal:
Level I: normal
Level II: hard
Level III: freaking murder
Try not to push yourself too hard too fast; just because you can do something on a harder level it doesn’t mean that you should. You’ll end up too sore to work out the next day and the day after that and that’s just not at all helpful or productive. Gradually increase the load, keep your workouts challenging but doable.
Not sure? Try our fitness test to see what level is more suitable for you.
Rest between sets
There is no rest between exercises - only after sets, unless specified otherwise. You have to complete the entire set going from one exercise to another as fast as you can before you can rest.
What does "up to 2 minutes rest" mean: it means you can rest for up to 2 minutes but the sooner you can go again the better. Eventually your recovery time will improve naturally, you won't need all two minutes to recover - and that will also be an indication of your improving fitness.
Recommended rest time:
Level I: 2 minutes or less
Level II: 60 seconds or less
Level III: 30 seconds or less
If you can't do all out push-ups yet on Level I it is perfectly acceptable to do knee push-ups instead. The modification works the same muscles as a full push-up but lowers the load significantly helping you build up on it first. It is also ok to switch to knee push-ups at any point if you can no longer do full push-ups in the following sets.