Women’s Strength Training Program

Women’s Strength Training Program

Women Strength Training Program



Question: “I am a woman who wants to lose weight and strengthen her silhouette, but I do not want big muscles! Do I have to be oriented towards cardio, group lessons or bodybuilding? How many times per week?

Answer: Most women avoid doing weight training for fear of gaining volume and accidentally getting into “big arms”. Yet most studies show only benefits in combining bodybuilding and cardio-respiratory exercises during a diet, especially to conserve muscle mass and maintain metabolism at a high rate.
For example, the American College of Sports Medicine advocates cardio sessions 3 to 4 times a week, associated with bodybuilding or fitness 2 to 3 times a week during a diet.

Practicing with weights or on weight machines will not make you become a mountain of muscle, women do not have the same muscle growth capacity as men! Your muscles will not be bigger but stronger and stronger, which will result in a toned and harmonious silhouette.
Concretely, we advise you to associate cardio training and bodybuilding in your sport practice.

At the strength training level, 2 to 3 sessions per week working the whole body at each session should be enough.
In general women prefer programs that target a specific part of the body such as the famous abs courses that are found in virtually every gym. This type of program is unfortunately not complete and will tend to overwork the areas worked. Do not delude yourself, you do not lose fat locally, you lose fat throughout the body and these areas are often the most rebellious.
To achieve a harmonious and balanced physique you have to work the entire body and especially the back, so important for posture. Remember that the body is a chain as strong as the weakest of its links. This is also true for men who waste their time working only the arms, abdominals and pectorals.

So here is a complete bodybuilding program for women to perform 2 to 3 times a week:



Squat (thighs, buttocks, lumbar)
Warm-up: 1 set of 20 repetitions vacuum barbell
Sets of work: 4 * 12 ( 4 sets of 12 repetitions )
– Alternative machine movement: Thigh press
– Alternative movement with free weights: Lunges


Bench press (pectorals, triceps, shoulders)
Warm-up: 1 set of 20 repetitions vacuum barbell
Sets of work: 3 * 12
– Alternative machine movement: Seated pectoral press
– Alternative movement with body weight: Push-ups


Cable row (Dorsals, biceps)
Warm-up: 1 light sets of 20 repetitions
Sets of work: 3 * 12
– Alternative movement with free weights: One-arm row
– Alternative movement with body weight: Pull up.


Incline Dumbbell Press (shoulders, triceps)
Warm-up: 1 light sets of 20 repetitions
Sets of work: 3 * 12
– Alternative barbell movement: Front barbell press
– Alternative movement on machine: Barbell Bench Press.


Down crunches (abdominal)
Sets of work: 4 * maximum
Alternative abdominal program: Giant sets


As for the strength training equipment, if you are in gym the fitness machines can be interesting to begin with. They are reassuring and allow you to learn the movements safely without worrying about balance. Free weights, barbells and dumbbells, even if they have less coastline with women are not to be put in the closet.
Indeed, several scientific studies have demonstrated that the machines are less interesting than the free weights in particular because the latter solicit the stabilizing muscles of the joints and the postural muscles. Ideally, combining machines and free weights is a good strategy.
Body weight exercises, can be interesting especially for those who do not like the atmosphere of the gym or those who prefer to practice at home for practical reasons.

When it comes to loads, start with a weight you control, in sets of at least 12 repetitions long, and take rest between the relatively short series of the order of 30 seconds to 1 minute. You must use heavier and heavier loads as you progress and not be afraid to increase them.

At the level of cardio training (bike, stepper, rowing, aerobics …), you can do your sessions after weight training or another day. There are also group lessons that combine cardio and “soft” bodybuilding such as body-sculpt, body-pump, body-balance or the Pilate method. However, we advise you to keep at least one session out of two of traditional weight training on machines and / or free weights.
Your cardio sessions should evolve as you progress. It will increase the difficulty of the exercises because the body tends to adapt when training is routine. For example, for a treadmill running session, you can run longer, increase the speed or tilt of the machine.

Flexibility should not be forgotten because muscle work tends to make the muscles stiff. The stretches can be placed at the end of the session or on another day.

One last thing to consider and not the least will be nutrition. You are not unaware of the importance of nutrition in weight loss. You will probably lose weight but mainly fat.
It may be that your weight stagnates giving you the impression that you are not making progress. This should not worry you may have altered your proportions, ie gained muscle and lost fat. The scale is therefore not a good indicator of your progress.
Concretely for food, you will need to eat healthier, less carbohydrates, less fat and more protein by eliminating refined sugars and bad lipids. You will also need to eat more often but smaller portions without increasing your caloric intake. You can consult the section diet and slimming of the site which contains all you need to start your diet well.

Finally, show consistency and patience, you do not change your body in 3 weeks before the beach. Loss of weight too high and fast may leave traces that even the surgery can not erase.

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