When starting a work out plan for women (or anyone else), the key is to take it SLOW! There is no need to jump into an advanced routine because it can lead to burn out or worse, injury. The first step is to list your goals. A large goal, like losing a large amount of weight, fitting into a wedding dress or getting a toned beach body is a great source of motivation but can lead to frustration along the way. In order to meet that large goal, you need small goals so you can stair step your way to the top. Little milestones will help to keep you motivated and engaged. There are many different reasons for wanting to get fit and there are many methods to go about it. Here is a work out plan for women that will get you jump started by building strength.
Those that want to be strong are going to spend lots of time building strength via weights and resistance training. To achieve overall body strength, make sure to pick a routine that encompasses your full body, this means you aren’t going to just do 1000 crunches! While strength building takes place primarily through lifting free weights, machines, equipment or body weight resistance exercises, cardio is still a piece of the puzzle. I usually start clients on a weight circuit 3 days a week with a 10 minute cardio warm up and then encourage 20+ minutes of cardio 3 times a week as well. This helps to get the blood flowing and increases fat and weight loss while you are strengthening those muscles. Cardio and stretching also help to increase your flexibility and endurance.
One of the most important aspects of starting a strength routine is what size weight to use. The first concern is that women don’t want to bulk up. This is not a concern because without endless hours in the gym and supplements, you are not going to gain a body builder body. Women are not genetically designed to bulk up like that. If you do gain some size in the beginning, it is usually muscle building under fat but doing cardio will help to lose that fat so you can show off the toned muscles underneath it! As far as what weight you want to select, always start low and if it’s too easy, step up. You should feel the resistance in the first few and start to slow or struggle a bit from reps 7-10. There is nothing wrong with doing 2 sets at a certain weight and then lowering it to do the 3rd set. Remember that you will continue to get stronger so you can do more reps and more weight.
Here are 2 sample strength work outs for women.
Sample Routine #1
3 sets of 10 reps of the following:
- Bicep Curls
- Dumbbell Bench Press
- Bent Over Rows
- Tricep Dips
- Floor Bridges
- Stability Ball Wall Squats
- Standing Lunges
- Toe Raises
- Ab Exercises (25 reps of 3 various selections: crunches, stability ball crunches, plank…)
Sample Routine #2
3 sets of 15 reps of the following: