The Women’s Beginner Strength Training Guide to Lift Like a Girl & Look Absolutely Awesome

newlogoimageI’ve dedicated an article specifically to beginner trainees in the past with 11 Beginner Strength Training Tips for Women, but today, I’m going beyond the tips and I’m giving you detailed information on how you should design your strength training program.

In addition, I’m going to provide you with a strength training template you can used based on equipment availability; whether you train at home with just your bodyweight and dumbbells, or if you have access to a barbell set and power-rack — I’m going to show you how to get the most results from your training program.

Please watch this video to get everything you need to achieve the best results possible from your strength training.  If you don’t have a chance to watch the video right now, I encourage you to do so whenever you have a few minutes to spare. I explain all of the topics from the video below, but please watch that as soon as you can as I share important beginner trainee information.

The Women’s Beginner Guide to Lift Like a Girl & Look Absolutely Awesome

Here’s the breakdown of the previous video so you can see everything at once.

Beginner Strength Training Basics

  • Focus on a few, basic, compound exercises
  • Use acceptable exercise alternatives, if necessary
  • Learn and use proper form from the very beginning
  • Focus on getting stronger
  • Do not be intimidated!
  • Start immediately and be consistent

The Best Beginner Training Template

  • Total body workouts: three training days per week on non-consecutive days

The Best Beginner Exercises

I’ll provide a barbell/dumbbell/bodyweight variation for each movement

  • Squat (barbell squat to a box/goblet squat/single leg squat)
  • Deadlift (rack pull/DB deadlift/skater squat or glute bridge)
  • Vertical push (standing BB overhead press/DB overhead press/modified handstand push-up)
  • Vertical pull (chin-up/cable machine)
  • Horizontal push (BB bench press/DB bench press/push-up)
  • Horizontal pull (bent over BB row/DB row/inverted row)

Sample Beginner Training Template

Plug in the exercises into each spot below; this is based on equipment availability and training preferences.

Training Day 1

1) Squat variation 4×5-8

2a) Horizontal push 4×5-8

2b) Horizontal pull 4×5-8

3) Back extensions 3×10

Training Day 2

1) Deadlift variation 4×5

2a) Vertical push 4×5-8

2b) Vertical pull 4×5-8

3) Back extensions 3×10

Sample Beginner Training Program

The following is a sample beginner training program I would highly recommend to a beginner trainee. It consists of bodyweight and barbell exercises. If you don’t want to choose your exercises and prefer instead being told what to do, then here you go.

Training Day 1

1) Squat to a box 4×5-8

2a) Push-up 4×5-8

2b) Inverted row 4×5-8

3) Back extensions 3×10

Training Day 2

1) Rack pull (a couple inches below the knee) 4×5

2a) Standing BB overhead press 4×5-8

2b) Neutral grip chin-up 4×5-8

3) Back extensions 3×10

Beginner Program Notes

  • Train three days per week on non-consecutive days (choose days you know are most convenient for you)
  • Alternate Training Day 1 and Training Day 2
  • Perform squats and deadlifts as straight sets, and superset the upper body exercises
  • Start by performing 4×5 for each exercise and stick with the same weight until you perform 4×8; then increase the weight by 5-10 pounds and start back with 4×5 reps. (Exceptions include back extensions and deadlifts)
  • Your work weight should be challenging, but you should maintain proper form on every rep
  • Strive to improve your performance each training session by performing more reps or increasing the weight
  • Use the same weight for each work set

What about Cardio?

Focus, first and foremost, on improving your performance with your strength training workouts.

You can include some cardio such as brisk walking, if you choose. Be sure to check out the Lift Like a Girl Guide for more information on the types of cardio you can do and how to include them in your training program.

The Two Most Common Beginner Mistakes

Over analyzing everything: the most important thing is that you train hard, use proper form on every exercise, improve your performance, and workout consistently. Don’t waste time and energy focusing on minute details that won’t have much of an impact on your results. For example, don’t worry about something like “back squats vs front squats” or something similar. Focus on the big picture, and that is laid out for you above.

Training for soreness and fatigue: soreness and utter exhaustion is not an indicator of a successful workout. Train for improved performance because that is the indicator of a successful training session. Your goal with each training session is to do a little better than last time. Your goal is not to train to total fatigue and nausea. In fact, you should finish most of your workouts feeling stronger and more energized.

There’s only one thing left for you to do – start training!

Never Miss A Thing!

Sign up to get email updates for new articles and insider-only information.