How to Exercise in Project Zomboid – Build 41 Fitness

One of the new features that the build 41 beta brought to Project Zomboid is the ability to work out and train your character’s strength and fitness levels. You can read the official blog post for this update here. With a new mechanic being added it can be confusing figuring how it all fits in, what exactly the exercise system does and what workouts are the best. Luckily Set Ready Game is here with a full guide to the exercise system of Project Zomboid.

You can click this guide to find out how to opt into build 41 of Project Zomboid on steam.

How to Exercise in Project Zomboid Build 41

To access the menu for exercising and begin a training exercise open up the health menu by pressing the H key or by selecting the heath icon on the left of the screen. Once in the health tab, select the option to the right of the menu which is labelled “Fitness”. (See image below) Once you select this option you will open up the exercise tab and be able to start one of the exercises in the game.

The fitness tab in project zomboid
Select Fitness from the health menu to work out and get buff

Selecting this option will open up a new menu known as the Fitness menu. You will see a bunch of new options available to you here. All of the exercises currently available in Build 41 at the time of writing are:

  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Burpees
  • Barbell curls
  • Dumbbell presses
  • Bicep curls
opening up the fitness tab to do exercises
The fitness menu in project zomboid has every exercise

Note that as seen in the in-game menu, the bottom three on the list also require extra items in order to perform. You can select any of the exercises that are shown with white text and choose how long that you’d like your character to perform these workouts for. When selected, each exercise will have a brief description showing what levels you will be training and which parts of the body will be fatigued if you do the exercise too often. You can also check the list below.

Exercise List and Descriptions

I will list every exercise currently available in the game and give the in-game description as well as a brief summary of what is happening with each one. As with all exercises, I would advise first starting slow just in 30 minute or so intervals. You can see a Regularity meter below each exercise in the fitness menu. As you continue to do exercises more and more you will reduce the amount of fatigue each exercise has on your character’s body.

Keep in mind that working out hard can cause your character pain and muscle fatigue. Along with making them slower, your character will also have this combat ability weakened and may even sustain an injury from working out too hard. Keep in mind that the more regular you do the exercise the better it is for the character.


Squats exercise in-game in Project Zomboid
Squats improve fitness

Squats are the first exercise on the list in Project Zomboid. Doing squats will raise your characters fitness level when you start to do them a lot. Filling up the regularity bar will improve the fitness level gain you will get from doing squats and reduce the fatigue your character feels when they finish a workout. To begin with, your character will probably get sore legs after doing about 20 minutes of squats.


Push-ups exercise in-game in Project Zomboid
Push-ups build strength on your character

The next exercise is push-ups. Doing push-ups regularly will improve your characters strength level, making them not only better in melee combat, but also increase the carry weight of your character. Be aware that doing too many push-ups can cause your character muscle fatigue in the arms which can make it harder to defeat zombies.

I would advise you not to do push-ups unless your character is in a very safe position and doesn’t plan to be fighting any time soon. The good thing about push-ups is the fact that your character can still run at full speed after performing them.


Sit-ups exercise in-game in Project Zomboid
Sit-ups is another exercise available in Project Zomboid

The next exercise is sit-ups. Performing sit-ups will increase the fitness level of your character. As with all of the other exercises available, the more often you do the exercise, the better the experience gains. Performing too many sit-ups will give your character a ‘general exercise fatigue’. The in-game description for the sit-ups exercise reads; “Improves fitness when performed regularly. General exercise fatigue will be felt, increasing clumsiness.”


Burpees exercise in-game in Project Zomboid
Burpees are a great exercise for building both strength and fitness

Burpees are regarded as one of the best exercise in Project Zomboid for one reason; they give both strength and fitness experience at the same time! Unfortunately with such great positive sides also comes great negatives. If your character does a lot of burpees the fatigue will be felt basically all over the body. You will not only be slower in general movement speed, you will also have worsened combat abilities due to the fatigue on the character’s arms as well. Burpees are a workout for if you have a lot of time on your hands and are going to be spending a lot of time at your base, not exploring or fighting anything.

Barbell Curls

Barbell curls exercise in Project Zomboid will require a barbell
Barbell curls are better that push-ups in terms of strength experience gain

Barbell curls are an exercise that require you to have an item in the game before you can start performing them. Before you can perform barbell curls you will have to find yourself a barbell. This exercise is basically identical to the push-ups as it will increase your character’s strength at the cost of arm fatigue. The experience gain with this exercise is better than push-ups, however.

The great thing about the barbell curls is that the barbell can also be used as a weapon if you workout is interrupted by any uninvited guests.

Dumbbell Presses

Dumbbell presses in Project zomboid
Dumbbell presses will also increase the character strength

Another exercise that requires an item is the dumbbell press. This exercise will see the character lifting a barbell in one arm towards the sky. This exercise will increase strength much like the barbell curl. Also like the barbell curl, this will have heavy fatigue on the character’s arms, reducing their combat ability until they are back in shape.

Dumbbell Curls

The animation for the dumbbell curl in project zomboid
The dumbbell curls animation

Another exercise available to the player once they have found a dumbbell is the dumbbell curl. This is another strength-building exercise that will see the player listing weights. I am not quite sure what the difference is between all of the different weight training exercises as they all seem to give the same amount of experience and all fatigue the arms.

Jogging For Fitness in Project Zomboid

If you’ve looked through the different skills available in Project Zomboid you will see that apart from strength and fitness there are a few other skills involving working out. If the player was to simply run around for a while they can also gain a decent amount of fitness skill. Using this information you may have realized that you can gain passive fitness experience just by playing the game and that is indeed true.

By running around from time to time in project Zomboid your character will not only gain experience in Fitness, but also the nimble and sprinting skills. Leveling these skills can make your character not only run faster, but also reduce the stamina cost of running around all the time. This can make travelling without a car a lot easier across the Project Zomboid map.

Simply get out into your courtyard or safe area and spring around in circles. Remember to take lots of water with you and to take breaks regularly otherwise your character will get out of breath and can sustain injuries to their legs and feet. Jogging is one of the exercises they never told you about, but if you’re waiting around your base, or simply just want to level up those fitness and running related skills, get out there and go for a jog!

Exercise is one of the best features they’ve added to date in Project Zomboid’s early access. I think it fits really well with the hardcore survival simulation and keeping fit is an important aspect of the zombie apocalypse. Through training and exercise, you can get a very strong and fit character in Build 41. Hopefully that will help you survive a little longer in this harsh world.

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