A change has taken place. Women are starting to rush back to the gym. The growth of social media has really helped destroy the myth that weight training causes women to get bulky and "look like a man." They aren't afraid to try new things, and an unparalleled number of women are revamping their bodies using resistance training.
The question for most women is where do I start?
It takes some serious time, patience and knowledge to weed through all the training and fitness nonsense. If you don't do massive amounts of research, you will likely get lost.
It has become evident to me that most women have no idea where to start. They can be really nervous about heading to a gym. Because of this, I developed a simple starter program that will help women build some muscle and gain confidence.
I considered a lot of factors when developing this program. First, I did not want ladies to break the bank purchasing a ton of workout equipment. I settled on a small set of kettlebells, nothing special; just a set you could pick up from Wal-Mart. With kettlebells you can learn the basics of the squat and deadlift, which prepares you for barbell movements when you decide to go that route.
I believe in sticking to the fundamentals of training, man or women. In my opinion you have to bench press, squat, deadlift, and row. Without those things your workout program is lacking. These standards should not change because you are a different sex. Women just may have to vary the style of each lift to fit their goals and body type.
Next I had to decided on what body parts to focus on. Most people that seek my training advice have a lot of myths and crazy theories. Most of this comes from what they have read (see above). Because of this, I made the decision to forget about body parts.
Women need to focus on developing full body strength. Simply put, you need to get stronger, and you need to develop muscle. Both of these need to happen, long before you think about "toning."
Based on this, I decided to create a very basic 3 days per week lifting routine with core work. I also included 2 days of some really basic cardio.
Structuring the warm up and core work was easy. I saw no point in trying to reinvent the wheel. With that said, I do suggest using use the warm up program Brian Carroll advocates in his book 10/20/Life.
He suggests, among other things, that you start with the McGill Big 3. These include the birddog, McGill curl-up, and a rolling plank with side bridge. My suggestion is to do these every training day that includes both lifting and cardio. They are a great way to get the body primed for training.
Your goal during the first few weeks is to simply make it through the workout. I have found that some women will need to start a few exercises without using the kettlebell, and some will will need to start by performing pushups on their knees. That is fine. It's a starting point, and we all start somewhere.
The goal is to improve each week. If you keep with it you will!
Remember that this simple workout set up is designed to build your confidence and get you prepared for the gym. This routine is not designed to be your workout program for the next year. It exists only to help you start your journey.
Below is a 3 day set up. You can run it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with any two days you select as a cardio day.
For cardio, if you are just starting out, simply walk. Go out for a 20-30 minute walk. Try to get your heart rate up. Like I said before, everyone had to start somewhere. Good Luck!
|3 Day Kettlebell Workout|
|Legs and Back|
|Kettlebell Goblet Squat||4||10|
|Kettlebell Walking Lunge||4||10|
|One Arm Kettlebell Row||3||8|
|One Arm Kettlebell Swing||3||8|
|Push Ups (On knees if needed)||4||10|
|Kettlebell French Press||4||10|
|Single Arm Kettlebell Shoulder Press||4||10|
|Single Arm Kettlebell Curl||4||10|