Woman stretching on her morning run.

3 Workout Programs for Your New Year's Resolution

Losing weight and becoming fit is a common New Year’s Resolution and one worth sticking to. If you want to start the coming year on a healthy foot, but need a program or plan to keep you accountable, then I recommend trying one of these three or a combination of the three.

I tend to become bored when I do the same workout every single day, so I’ve spent a lot of time looking around for new workouts. I also don’t like to spend a lot of money if I can help it – especially not on an exercise plan. To keep things affordable and get the most I can from each plan, I utilize the free aspects of these programs and combine them into a workout schedule and meal plan that works best for me.

Kayla Itsines - Most Challenging Workout

We’ll start with the most costly option first. Kayla Itsines is a personal trainer who has recently become popular for her nutrition and exercise plans because they are ebooks that can be purchased digitally from anywhere in the world. Her Bikini Body Guide Weeks 1-12 and the H.E.L.P. Nutrition Guide can be purchased separately for $69.97 or for $119.97 as a bundle. Her Bikini Body Guide Weeks 13-24 are available for $69.97 as well, but are more advanced than the first guide. Itsines’ guides are a combination of strength training with cardio and only take 30 minutes to complete.

I’ve done the first five weeks of this guide and found that it worked well with my busy schedule. They do, however, make you sweat like a pig, and I normally start feeling sore before I even go to bed. Her leg day circuits are my personal favorite because the exercises require a lot of movement, and thus, you build muscle and do cardio at the same time. It is a challenging plan, though. It can seem too difficult to complete, but I’ve learned that you just have to stop thinking about how tired you are, ignore the burning muscles, and finish strong. Doing this guide, I’ve noticed a significant difference in my strength and cardiovascular endurance.

If you’d like to try this guide out before purchasing, there is a free week of workouts available for download here. Itsines is also active on social media - especially Instagram - and her posts are excellent sources of motivation. In addition, she has a blog where she regularly posts nutrition and workout information.

Tone It Up - Best All Around Program

One of the most attractive things about the Tone It Up nutrition and workout plan is the community surrounding it. Tone It Up is a full nutrition and fitness website by Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson. You can either pay to be a full TIU member or utilize the free workouts and recipes provided on the site. Only paid members have access to the nutrition plan and receive the members-only email, but you can still benefit from the site if you don’t pay for a membership.

TIU also does seasonal challenges and workout schedules for you to follow along with. These challenges include a printable monthly calendar for motivation, weekly workout schedules, and rewards for individuals who went above and beyond during the challenge. The weekly schedules provided included printable workouts and follow-along videos. All of the workouts can be done in the comfort of your living room, and they usually only last around 30 minutes. TIU challenges also include mileage goals for participants, so workouts can take longer on run days. The combination of cardio and strength training leaves you energized and often quite sore.

The Tone It Up trainers, Instagram accounts, and workouts are all very fun, energized, and upbeat, which makes the program easy to continue and enjoyable. The TIU community is supportive and active on social media channels, which fosters a sense of togetherness as you work your way to a better body.

BiteSizedFitness - Best Free Nutrition Plan

My most recent fitness find is the site BiteSizedFitness. Alyse Scaffidi has put together a nutrition and workout plan for anyone to follow for free. BiteSizedFitness workouts include a guide for Phase I and Phase II, which are both 12 weeks long individually, and a guide for HIIT (high intensity interval training). The #BiteSizedChallenge is designed to be continuous so users can go fluidly through Phase I to Phase II and back to Phase I again. Some of the exercises call for a specific machine, but Scaffidi provides ways to alter the workout if you cannot or do not want to go to the gym. This is a good option for those who enjoy traditional gym workouts and using traditional weights, but it might seem overwhelming to those new to fitness.

The nutrition program is very simple, so those without extensive nutrition experience can easily understand and follow along. The nutrition plan includes a simple guide, which outlines which foods are proteins, complex carbs, limitless veggies, healthy fats, etc. It includes a grocery list, a meal plan for the days you do morning workouts, and one for the days when you work out at night. These can be printed for free here. The nutrition plan is the crown jewel of this site because very few websites and training plans will give nutrition guides freely, and this is what many of us need most.

Choosing One

Instead of choosing one plan to follow, I suggest trying a combination of all three. Kayla Itsines and Tone It Up both charge for their nutrition plans, so utilize the free one from BiteSizedFitness. Try the free week of workouts from Itsines before purchasing, and follow her Instagram and blog for useful health and fitness information. Instead of paying for the full Tone It Up membership, take advantage of the free weekly workout schedules, printable documents, and videos. By combining what you like best from each program, you’ll increase your chances of success and have a diverse plan that works best for your lifestyle and goals.

Last Updated: January 16, 2015