The Freshman 15 Exercise Routine

The Freshman 15 Exercise Routine

During your first year at school, you’ll learn that time is a very scarce resource. You’ll have to find time to study, work and have social life. Trying to make room for exercise each day might seem impossible. Hard, maybe, but impossible, far from it. College should be the easiest time in your life to exercise.


If you feel too busy for the gym now, when in life will you ever find time? When you graduate you’ll have a 9-5 job and you still won’t have time. Then you’ll get married, have kids and by then all your extra time is gone.

Free Gym

Most schools charge you a student activities fee which is hidden in your tuition. Usually, the fee includes access to an on campus gym as well as activities such as intramural sports, tennis and basketball courts and many other programs. If you don’t take advantage of these tools, it’s as if you’re paying for a gym membership and not using it. In this case since you can’t cancel it, you might as well use it.

Full Body Workout

When time is an issue, one of the best and most efficient routines to use is a full body workout. Go to the gym 2-3 times per week. Find one machine or free weight exercise for each muscle group (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves).

For each muscle group, do 1-2 sets at a weight that you can do between 8 and 12 repetitions (reps). The last rep has to truly be your last rep. If you can do more, you need to increase the weight. Read more about full body workouts.


For cardiovascular exercise you need to set aside 3-5 days of the week and workout for 20-60 minutes. The upside is that you don’t have to do all of it in one “sitting.” You can do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes at night. You can pick any mode of exercise such as running, biking (to class), playing intramural sports and even walking. Read more about cardiovascular workouts.


Flexibility is also important especially when you first start out to prevent injury. A flexibility routine should be done almost everyday but shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes for your entire body. Start off by lightly warming up with a walk, jog or slow bike ride. Pick a stretch for each muscle group and hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat each stretch 2-4 times. Read more about flexibility workouts.

The Bottom Line

Aside from making yourself healthy, having a good exercise routine will make you look good, feel great and even relieve stress from all of those exams. Committing the time now, when you’re young, will save you a lot of problems down the road.

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