For years the wrong workout recommendations have been given to women. You know what I’m talking about.
All those magazine articles that promote those highly restrictive diet plans and hours of monotonous treadmill based cardio. The same one’s that go on to describe the “toning” process as picking a light set of dumbbells and performing sets of 20-30 repetitions on any given exercise.
Knowing all we know about female specific training today, we can put some of that in the past.
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Muscle & Strength’s Women's Workout
This 12 week program is perfect for any healthy woman who is looking to transform her body through a good weight lifting program.
The goal is to help you develop lean and functional muscle tone through foundational lifts. The workout itself targets your lower body three times a week with a strong focus on your glutes, and your upper body twice a week with a focus on sculpting the muscles of the arms.
To increase the total number of calories burned each day, we’ve also added some recommended cardio sessions that you can do either in the morning or after that day’s workout. However, if you are limited on time, they are not required to see progress with this workout.
Rest periods for this program should be kept to 30-90 seconds in between sets and exercises.
- Monday - Legs & Glutes, Cardio (optional)
- Tuesday - Back & Arms, Cardio (optional)
- Wednesday - Legs & Glutes, Cardio (optional)
- Thursday - Chest & Shoulders, Cardio (optional)
- Friday - Legs & Arms, Cardio (optional)
- Saturday - Abs/Rest
- Sunday - AbsRest
Monday - Legs & Glutes
|2. Dumbbell Lunge||2-3||12-15|
|3. Dumbbell Step Up||2-3||12-15|
|4. Barbell Hip Thrust||3||6-12|
|5. Glute Cable Kickback||2-3||12-15|
Cardio - 15 min of HIIT on Stationary Bike
Tuesday - Back & Arms
|1. Pull Downs||3-4||6-12|
|2. One Arm Dumbbell Row||2-3||12-15|
|3. Seated Cable Row||2-3||12-15|
|4a. Dumbbell Curl||3||12|
|4b. Tricep Overhead Extension||3||12|
|5a. Cable Curl||3||15|
|5b. Cable Pressdown||3||15|
Cardio - 30 mins of moderate intensity on Stairmill
Wednesday - Legs & Glutes
|1. Goblet Squat||3-4||6-12|
|2. Romanian Deadlift||2-3||12-15|
|3. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift||2-3||12-15|
|4. Smith Machine Sumo Squats (Glute Focus)||3||6-12|
|5. Glute Kick Back||3||15|
Cardio - 30 min low intensity on treadmill at a 10-15% incline
Thursday - Chest & Shoulders
|1. Dumbbell Bench Press||3-4||6-12|
|2. Incline Dumbbell Press||2-3||12-15|
|3. Machine Chest Fly||2-3||12-15|
|4. Seated Dumbbell Press||3-4||6-12|
|5. Lateral Raise||2-3||12-15|
Cardio - 15 min of HIIT on rower or stationary bike
Friday - Legs & Arms
|2. Good Mornings||2-3||12-15|
|3. Leg Extensions||2-3||12-15|
|4. Incline Dumbbell Curl||3||12|
|5. Incline Skullcrusher||3||12|
Cardio - 30 min of moderate intensity on a Stairmill
Light activity – recovery walks and optional ab workout
Ab Workout (Optional)
|1. Plank||3||20 sec holds|
|2. Lying Floor Leg Raise||3||10|
|4. Side Crunches||2||15 each side|
It is important to note that your success with any workout program depends greatly on your nutrition and sleep habits. Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep each night and eat enough calories to help you get the results you desire.
Our BMR calculator will help you know how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight.
If your goal is to lose weight, subtract ~250 calories from this number. If you are underweight, try to add ~250 calories to this number. And if you are already at your ideal weight, make sure to eat the proper amount of calories to maintain.
It is important to track your results to show you’ve made progress with this program. At the beginning of the 12 weeks you should plan to take your preferred form of measurements.
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These measurements can include progress pictures, scale weighing, tape measurements, and skinfold caliper measurements. I recommend starting with what you are most comfortable with first and adding more as you feel comfortable.
The more data you have on yourself, the better you can tinker with variables such as increasing reps, sets, or weight used during your workouts, increasing the hours you sleep each night, increasing the amount of cardio you do each week, and/or increasing or decreasing the amount of calories you eat each day.
How frequently you measure your progress is completely up to you, but I’d recommend doing so once a month or 6 weeks to make sure you are progressing towards your goals.
Progressing with This Workout
You should strive to increase some variable within your workout each week. Whether that means increasing the weight you use or the amount of rep and sets you perform is going to be based on your individual preference.
One way you could go about it is to start off with the low end on all of the set and rep counts. Then each week add a single set on one exercise each day of each week. Once you’re doing all the maximum amount of recommended sets for each exercise, you could then add in 1-2 reps to each set of each exercise for the remaining weeks.
Another way you could progress is to keep your reps and sets the same throughout the whole 12 weeks. But each week you should aim to slightly increase the weight you use for each exercise.
Either way works and will help you see great results.
What Should I Do After the 12 weeks?
After you’ve completed the 12 weeks of this women’s trainer, you should take a week to deload.
If after you deload, you decide you’d like to try another 12 weeks of this program, then you should come back refreshed and ready to make more progress.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a review for this program, please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below!