It’s Not Too Late To Start A January Challenge, Here Are Four Free Workout Plans You Can Start Today

Man performing bicycle crunch exercise at home
(Image credit: Oscar Wong / Getty Images)

January is the month when a lot of us pull up our socks, put on our workout shoes and resolve to get fit after a season of indulgence. If you’ve yet to decide how you’re going to get fit, you may be interested to know that you may be more likely to succeed if your New Year’s resolution is to try something new instead of trying to quit something.

That was the conclusion of a 2020 study in PLoS One, which indicated that approach-oriented goals (doing something new) are more successful than avoidance-oriented goals (stopping something), with a 58.9% and 47.1% success rate, respectively.

Trying one of the many January fitness challenges going is a great way to start adding regular exercise to your routine, and we’ve scoured the internet to find four great free options.

Roxanne Russell Fitin4 Challenge

Russell is a trainer and fitness model, and one of my go-tos when I need a new strength workout. 

Her Fitin4 challenge gets you to work out for 30 minutes a day for four weeks. I like that she’s programmed 14 workouts, which you then repeat for the final two weeks. Chances are you’ll be able to lift heavier weights or complete more reps the second time around—proof that you’re making progress.

Russell has posted a FitIn4 challenge calendar on her website with links to each workout.—Lou Mudge

Fiit Start Strong Challenge

Fiit is one of the best workout apps and it offers a daily schedule of free group classes. Fiit’s Start Strong challenge is a little different to the set schedules of other challenges and dangles more freebies in front of you as an incentive. Complete 25 or 50 workout classes on the Fiit workout app before February 29 and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a set of dumbbells, a kettlebell and a year’s Fiit membership.

Fiit has a wide range of classes—from 10-minute stretching sessions to hardcore metcons—so you’re sure to find something to suit and they all count to your tally. If you’re new to the service, there’s also a 30-day trial in January so you can try the full experience, which includes training plans.

Sign up to Fiit to get started.—LM

Yoga With Adriene Flow 30-Day Challenge

With more than 12 million subscribers, YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene is one of the most popular free yoga channels. Adriene Mishler’s soothing tones and low-key approach to yoga is a refreshing change, and when I need guidance and want a follow-along yoga session I’ll usually look for one on Mishler’s channel first.

This new 30-day “flow” yoga challenge is about tapping into different energetic states, while building strength and flexibility. It’s not all vinyasa flows though, there’s lots of variety and plenty of challenges as well as nourishing, grounding poses. Suitable for all levels, each session lasts around 20-25 minutes, with themes such as sync, balance, release or align. 

Sign up on the website to get access to the 30-day calendar for an idea of what’s coming, or just tune into the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel every day.—Camilla Artault

Rachel’s Fit Pilates 28-Day Pilates Challenge

Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that builds strength, stability and flexibility, with a particular focus on the core. Following on from the hugely popular Wall Pilates 28-day Wall Pilates Challenge by Rachel’s Fit Pilates in June 2023, this is a brand new challenge for 2024. It’s suitable for beginners and people of all fitness levels, and can be a useful tool as part of a weight loss program. 

This 28-day challenge consists of 10-30 minute sessions, with one or two optional rest days per week. The exercises are simple but challenging, and sessions span full body, core, abs, lower body, wall Pilates and cardio Pilates. Most workouts don’t require any equipment, but some involve a pair of dumbbells or optional ankle weights. There’s a downloadable calendar so you can plan ahead and see what’s in store.—CA

Coach’s 30-Day Exercise Challenges

We have five 30-day fitness challenges you can try at any time of the year, but they make for a great way to motivate yourself through January, if only because you get a day off at the end since January is 31 days long. There’s a squat challenge which culminates in doing 250 squats in one sitting, a plank challenge which works its way up to a three-minute plank, a press-up challenge which builds the strength to knock out 100 press-ups, and a burpee challenge which is a great one to start with because it scales to any ability—established by a max rep test on day one. If focusing on one move for a month leaves you cold, work on your core with our 30-day abs challenge.

Need help deciding? Our guide to the best home dumbbells can help.

Lou Mudge
Health writer

Lou Mudge is a health writer working across Coach and Fit&Well. She previously worked for Live Science, and regularly writes for Pet’s Radar. Based in Bath, UK, she has a passion for food, nutrition and health and is eager to demystify diet culture in order to make health and fitness accessible to everybody.

Multiple diagnoses in her early 20s sparked an interest in the gut-brain axis, and the impact that diet and exercise can have on both physical and mental health. She was put on the FODMAP elimination diet during this time and learned to adapt recipes to fit these parameters, while retaining core flavours and textures, and now enjoys cooking for gut health. 

With contributions from