The Beginner's Guide To Weight Training for Women

To the beginner, the weight room can be intimidating. Our weight training guide offers everything you need to know about lifting to walk into the gym with confidence and start building your best self.

weight-training-guide.jpg

Benefits of Weight Training

Weight Training offers both mental and physical benefits, including increased strength and flexibility, lower risk of injury, improved body composition, better-defined muscles, and an enhanced state of mind.

 

 
Increased Fat Loss

Increased Fat Loss

Your body has the ability to burn fat during and after exercise. After a weight training session, the metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post-workout.

Burn More Calories

Burn More Calories

Lifting helps you build lean muscle mass, which contributes to how many calories you burn in a given day. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate.

Womanly Curves

Womanly Curves

Cardiovascular exercise is great for weight loss, but weight training can help you burn fat while keeping your curves. Target your weaker body parts to make them pop. 

Increased Energy

Increased Energy

Weight training can boost your energy and mood by elevating your level of endorphins. Think of lifting as a natural antidepressant that improves your quality of life.

Define Your Fitness Goals

Your probability of success is far greater if you define short-term and long-term goals prior to embarking on your fitness journey. Ideally, your fitness goals need to be specific, measurable, and achievable within a certain timeframe. 

 

 
Lower your body fat

Lower Your Body Fat

If your goal is to shed pounds, aim to lose body fat and gain (or retain) muscle. This means changing your body composition and lowering your body fat percentage.

Set a personal record

Set a Personal Record

When it comes to weight training, getting consistently better and increasing the challenge is the key to success. Try to set a new personal record every day.

Train for an event

Train For An Event

If you prefer deadlines and need an extra push to achieve your goals, an upcoming event can provide the motivation you need to keep up with your training. 

Get fit after pregnancy

Get Fit After Pregnancy

Maybe you just had a baby, or kept that baby weight for a little too long and you're ready to shed some pounds. Set a goal to get back in shape after baby.

Build Your Workout Routine

Now that you’ve defined your goals, decide how many hours per week you can dedicate to the gym. With a set number of workouts each week, you can build a workout routine that fits your lifestyle and helps you reach your goals. 

 

 
Setup weekly split

Setup Weekly Split

A SPLIT is breaking up a workout routine by muscle groups to be trained on separate days.

You don't want to train all muscle groups on the same day. By splitting up your muscle groups on separate training days, you allow your muscles time to rest and recover.

3-DAY SPLIT EXAMPLE

Muscles to train: Shoulders, Chest, Back, Arms (biceps and triceps), Abs, and Legs (quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves). 

Monday: Legs & Abs
Wednesday: Chest & Back
Friday: Shoulders & Arms

 

 

CHOOSE YOUR EXERCISES

Create a plan with at least a few exercises per muscle group and keep your body guessing by changing up your exercises every 2 to 4 weeks. If you're not sure where to start, check out our Exercise Library to learn about the different muscle groups and how to target them.  

CHOOSE YOUR SETS & REPS

A REP (or repetition) is the number of times you move a weight from point A to point B during a specific exercise. A SET is the number times you repeat that exercise for the set number of repetitions. Alter your sets and reps every 1 to 2 weeks to reduce training plateaus.

 

COMMON SET & REP RANGES

Heavy Lifting: 1-5 reps is ideal for increasing strength (4-6 sets) 
Moderate Lifting: 6-12 reps is ideal for building muscle (3-5 sets)
Light Lifting: 12+ reps is ideal for improving endurance (2-3 sets)

Weight Training Tips

Follow these weight training tips to maximize your efforts in the gym and avoid injury. Don't forget to return weights and other equipment to their proper places and wipe down equipment when you're done.

 

 
Warm-up properly

WARM-UP PROPERLY

Prep the muscles you plan to workout by getting the blood flowing to them. For example, if you're preparing for an upper body workout, warm-up with pushups. If you're preparing for a leg workout, warm-up with body weight squats.

The right weight

THE RIGHT WEIGHT

Choose a weight heavy enough that the last few reps of each set are difficult to complete, but light enough to maintain proper form at all times. If you can finish all your sets with proper form and without difficulty, then increase the weight.

Workout progression

WORKOUT PROGRESSION

If you perform the same exercises using the same weight for weeks and weeks, don't expect new results. You should constantly challenge yourself in the gym by increasing weight, changing sets and reps, or decreasing rest periods.

Rest between sets

REST BETWEEN SETS

A good rule of thumb is to rest for at least 45 seconds, but no more than 90 seconds between sets to give your muscles enough time recover. Too much rest and you lose your pump. Too little rest and you quickly fatigue the working muscle.