ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Weight Training Guide for Women

Updated on November 29, 2014

Don't Be Afraid To Lift

Losing weight and gaining muscle involves so much. You need to eat clean, healthy and properly. In addition, you need to workout. You need to move your body in order to tone up your body, but one of the most important ways to shape your body--especially as a Woman is to weight train. Building muscle is ESSENTIAL. I repeat, BUILDING MUSCLE IS ESSENTIAL. I can not stress that enough.

As a woman, I know some, not all, of you ladies out there are intimidated by what I call "The Testosterone Zone." However, let's get in that zone right along with the men. There's nothing to fear, but flab itself. So, now, let's lift some iron and gain that lean muscle that will tone you up!

First and foremost, do not be afraid to get in there. I am going to guide you through on how to get into the weight area confident, strong and knowledgeable enough to attain and maintain your fitness goals.

One of the first steps is to admit you don't know a thing about weightlifting. Secondly, use that to your advantage and find out. Ask for help. If you have a gym membership, I'm quite sure every gym has someone that can provide assistance with every piece of machinery including the free weights, and other relevant weight training equipment. So, there, that's solved. Once you are confident in the space you are using to lift, then sky is the limit.

Why Do I Need To Lift Weights?

The fastest and most effective way of changing your body is strength training. Cardio and good eating habits will allow you to be fit and healthy, but in order to tone and sculpt your body you must lift weights; be it your own, free weights or machine equipment.

Strength training basically gives you more bang for your buck. Ladies, do not be intimidated, fearful or turned off by the weight area; instead embrace it!

Weight training will help you develop a sleeker overall body by hitting the weights regularly. With the right program, you will preserve bone mass; which is essential in preventing osteoporosis, more muscle means a faster metabolism and studies also show that it can help you against having high blood pressure and other weight related illnesses. In addition, it will help elevate your mood, energy-levels and combat stress.

Why Weight Training Works

In my experience with weight training, no other exercise form has made me feel so empowered and stronger than actually lifting my own weight and seeing my overall abilities improve over time. However, the first obstacle to overcome, in order to make it work, is getting out of your comfort zone.

Pushing your body to the next level is what will make weight training successful for you and eventually "overloading" your muscles is what will bring this change. Why? Because when you overload your muscles it causes them to react and stimulate. With that, they grow stronger.

The best way to overload is by using a progressive approach. Have you ever heard of the term "Slow and Steady" well, that's what you do with this approach. You increase the resistance each time an exercise is no longer challenging enough which forces your muscles to respond and develop.

There are other variables that will assist and make weight training a very efficient way of creating that physique you are meant to have:

  • Number of Sets and Reps: Reps or repetitions is a complete run through of a particular exercise, including the lifting and lowering. The number of reps you execute can have a notable effect on your results. Studies recommend an average of 8 to 12 reps. However, make sure to use enough weight on the last rep for muscle fatigue to stimulate growth. This is key. Vary the reps and sets. Go for 6 to 8 reps on Monday and finish on Friday with 12 reps; then repeat the cycle.
  • Weight-load: Choosing the amount of weight usually happens through trial and error and that's fine. If you are just getting started, choose a weight that is comfortable for you to complete at least 8 reps. If it's too easy, then increase the weight; too hard, decrease the weight--simple. As you notice that it's getting easier, as your progress, then change the weight again. You may change the weight for some exercises, but not for all. Make note and adjust accordingly.
  • Exercise Selection: The key here is BALANCE. Perform one exercise for each major muscle group:, upper body, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, abs and lower back. Beginners, don't overwhelm yourself. Pick one or two exercises and master them before moving on. Write it down and keep track of it. This will help you and motivate you to progress further or adjust accordingly. Use a variety of free weights, cable equipment, multi and single joint exercises as well as machines. Do not confine yourself in the box-come out the box!
  • Exercise Order: One of my favorite compound exercises (uses more than one muscle group and joint) to start off with is the bench press. This works your upper body, biceps, triceps, back and shoulders all in one movement. Then move on to an isolation (uses only one muscle group and joint) type movement, such as a pec flye (lay flat on a bench with dumbbells out to the side and bring arms together), Incorporating both types will save you time and allow you to have a full body workout.
  • Workout Frequency: Time is always of the essence in our hectic, busy lives so I know you are asking yourself, "How often do I strength train?" My answer to that, in my experience, and what the studies show is at least twice a week on non-consecutive days for 20 to 30 minutes. Aim to target each muscle group as listed above. Devote the other days to your cardio routines. But, stick to your two days of weight training for that lean, cut look you want.

Routine 1: Full Body

This routine will help you if you are at a beginner or intermediate level. The frequency here is for 2 to 3 days a week.

If you do not have a lot of experience or are simply in a major time crunch, this workout routine is for you and provides a full body conditioning program since it focuses on NOT overwhelming the muscles and you get plenty of "off" days for much needed recovery:

SAMPLE Full body workout schedule:

Day 1: FULL BODY: Chest, shoulders, back, arms, abs, quads, hamstrings/glutes and calves.

Day 2, 4, 6, 7: Off (Use these days to incorporate your cardio routines)

Day 3: Full Body

Day 5: Full Body

For a list of exercises go to

Routine 2: Upper/Lower Body

This routine is a split between the upper and lower body and works for those that want to take it up a notch into the intermediate levels. The frequency here is a 2 to 4 day split.

As the name of the routine suggests, you do an upper body session (chest, shoulders, back, arms) and then a lower body session (quads, hamstrings, gluteals and calves) on different days. The most common method used here is the every-other-day method, where you are training three times a week and pick back up where you left off the preceding week.



Day 1: Upper

Day 2, 4, 6, 7: Off

Day 3: Lower

Day 5: Upper

Start the following week with the Lower Body .

Concerns Women Have

Like I mentioned before, many woman feel intimidated by weight training. I know I did! But, once I learned the facts, asked for help (very important) and saw the results, I knew it was going to be part of my fitness routine.

So, before you hit the weights with my suggestions let me answer some of your concerns:

  1. Will I get bulky? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We do not have enough testosterone to grow huge muscles. Even most men can't create those body builder muscles without either extreme heavy lifting for several hours a day and unfortunately many may use steroids. In addition, many have very, very low body fat so their muscles look even bigger.
  2. Can I achieve muscle definition? Yes, by using an appropriately designed strength routine, but always keep in mind that in order to get that "cut-look" you must also decrease the layer of fat covering the muscle. Lifting aides fat loss by burning calories and maintaining or even increasing your metabolic rate. But, don't let go of your cardiovascular routine since it's essential in creating that calorie deficit needed to properly aid in weight loss and maintenance. Combine both strength and cardio training and never forget to burn more calories than you eat!
  3. Why do beginners gain more strength? This is due to the fact that novice lifters, at first, make gains in skill and coordination. Therefore, spending a lot of time on just lifting and keeping the weight steady. As you progress, you can put all your mind capacity into just doing the move without hesitation. This links your brain and muscles and allows them to process information faster; as a result your muscles are pros at that point.

How To Get Moving From Here

The old adage says, "Knowledge is Power!" and I tend to agree. Now that you have some form of comprehensive instruction or guide to start your training, why not get it going?

It's all up to you now to take this knowledge and put it to use. Perhaps you've been frustrated with your current status quo. Perhaps you've been curious to use the weight area. Perhaps you've been wanting to feel more empowered, stronger, leaner and balanced. The time is now!

Despite your fitness experience, use this guide to get started, back on track or get going on your weight training goals. Successful training depends on consistency, trial and error and awareness. The techniques and suggestions stated here are all tried and true, but it all depends on your attitude and willingness to adopt a new program or element into your routine and keep at it. In the long run you will be amazed, pleased and excited about how your body feels and looks!

Now, go and START NOW.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Writerly Yours profile imageAUTHOR

      Writerly Yours 

      5 years ago


      Thank you so much for your feedback. I agree with you 100% Yes, it sure does and it's what keeps you lean and fit. Thanks again.

      Keep lifting! :)

    • mariekbloch profile image


      5 years ago

      I lift weights. Men and women have asked me when I tell them this, "Why do you want a bunch of muscles?" I don't, not like a body builder. I just want to be healthy, and lifting weights burns a lot of fat on the arms and legs, and pretty much everywhere else depending on what you're doing. Good topic.

    • Writerly Yours profile imageAUTHOR

      Writerly Yours 

      6 years ago

      Thank you all for commenting.

      In addition, as we age we need more muscle as it is to stay fit.

      Thanks again.

    • marufabdullah profile image


      6 years ago

      You are right MarittaC.

    • MarittaC profile image


      7 years ago from Utah, USA

      Very nice hub for beginners. Thanks for putting this info out there! The crossfit class I go to now has 3 women in it -- I'm so glad to see women jumping into strength training for all the benefits you've outlined here.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)