Are you overexerting yourself with cardio? Indeed, jogging, cycling, and consistently using the elliptical can absolutely assist you in achieving your goals, particularly if you’re aiming to shed pounds or enhance your endurance. However, if you’re neglecting weightlifting exercises or resistance training for women, you may be selling yourself short. If you solely focus on cardio workouts, you will eventually reach a plateau and miss out on a multitude of other advantages, according to Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., the founder of Women’s Strength Nation and the author of Lift to Get Lean.
To overcome this hurdle, incorporating strength training into your regimen is essential. Why? Strength training for women helps to rev up your metabolism long after you’ve finished your gym session since the more muscle you possess, the more calories you’ll burn during exercise and even at rest. Additionally, strength training is an effective method for everyone to avoid injuries. The stronger your muscles are around your joints, the better your form will be, minimizing the risk of harm. And of course, weightlifting for women can make you incredibly strong (without causing you to “bulk up”).
If you’re new to weightlifting exercises, there’s no need to worry. Perkins has designed a four-week beginner weightlifting workout program for women that will assist you in establishing a solid foundation of strength training while transforming your body and mindset. The exercises will remain the same as you progress through the program, but the routine will become more challenging by adjusting variables such as rest periods, sets, reps, or load. (Refer to: Progressive Overload Strategies for Smarter, Faster Results)
Make it a goal to follow this routine twice a week, ensuring that you have at least two rest days between your strength training sessions. Remember: You can still engage in cardio on those rest days. After all, cardio is not detrimental; it’s simply not the sole focus for overall fitness and longevity.
Before you commence, ensure that you have a quality pair of strength training shoes to provide stability. Now, let’s break down the weekly gym workouts so you can commence lifting weights like a professional in no time.
4-Week Strength Training for Women Program
Perform the exercises in each workout as consecutive sets. For instance, complete one set of leg presses, rest for 30 seconds, then proceed to the second set, and so on. Move on to the next exercise once you’ve finished all movements in both strength workouts for women using this approach.
Complete 12 repetitions of each movement for 3 sets, resting for 30 seconds between each set. Select a weight load that challenges you so that the last two reps of every set are particularly difficult.
(You ought to be fatigued enough to perform the thirteenth repetition). You might discover that you require to augment (or diminish) the weight burden to uphold 12 repetitions for all three sets. (Inexperienced in weightlifting? Explore this user-friendly handbook to power training exercises for women.)
During this week, continue with the direct-set format for both strength training workouts. However, now, perform 15 repetitions of all movements for 3 sets, with a resting period of only 15 seconds in between each set. As a result, this week, you’ll be doing more work in a shorter amount of time. This is an excellent stimulus to bring your fitness to the next level.
It’s time to change things up this week. Instead of direct sets, you will be completing your strength training workout for women in a circuit style.
For this week, do 1 set of each exercise, performing 15 repetitions, and immediately move on to the next exercise without any rest in between. For example, in the Day 1 workout, perform your first set of leg presses for 15 reps, then move immediately to the goblet squat and do 15 reps, and continue on to the next exercise without resting between movements. After completing these four movements, take a one-minute rest, and then repeat the circuit two more times.
Continue with the circuit-style sets for this week. This time, perform only 12 reps of each movement, but with two challenging changes: Complete a total of 4 full circuits (that’s four sets of each exercise for both workouts) and there will be no rest between each circuit. The focus of this week is to keep you continuously moving. Once you finish the last movement of either workout, immediately return to the first movement and start a new circuit.
Understood? Let’s move on to the strength training exercises: Below, you will find demonstrations of the four weightlifting exercises that make up Workout 1 and the five movements that make up Workout 2. Observe and learn, and then mark your calendar – in four weeks, you’ll be amazed at how strong you’ll feel.
Strength Training for Women Workout 1
Seated Cable Row
Lying Dumbbell Chest Fly
Strength Training for Women Workout 2
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Lying Dumbbell Chest Fly
Straight Bar Tricep Press
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