Strength training is awesome.
It’s an activity that provides numerous, amazing benefits. And they only increase the longer you strength train.
But for women who are new to strength training it can be confusing, or maybe even intimidating. Don’t worry! This women’s beginner strength training guide will get you on the fast track so you can start strength training correctly, and safely, and begin reaping the wonderful results you deserve.
Below you’ll find seven important strength training notes and a sample strength training program along with exercise demonstrations. Please don’t skip any sections!
Women’s Beginner Strength Training Notes
Before you start the beginner strength training workouts you need to know a few important things first. Do NOT skip this section!
- Use Exercises That Have a Low Learning Curve, but Provide the Greatest Benefits
Any new activity has an inevitable learning curve, but I like to make it as small as possible. That’s why you should (and will in the following workouts) use exercises that you can learn quickly. This way you can start working hard and correctly from the first day, and this means you’ll get stronger, build momentum, and increase your confidence from the beginning.
The second part of this is “but provide the greatest benefits,” and that’s important. A dumbbell curl has a very low learning curve, but it doesn’t provide the greatest results for your efforts. A better example would be to perform a goblet squat (you’ll see it momentarily) instead of a barbell back squat because most people can learn that exercise much quicker, but it still provides a great training effect for your lower body.
- Don’t Get Too Sore
Some soreness is okay, and likely to occur. But you shouldn’t be crippling sore for days after your first few workouts. Some people go too hard too early, and the soreness is so bad they stop strength training because they don’t like that feeling. I don’t blame them! While it may be a little funny to say, “It was hard to get off the toilet!” you don’t want that to drag on for days. Make sure you don’t get too sore by starting out on the easy side; this will be explained in the workouts below.
- Get Stronger!
Want to lose fat and keep it off and build a “toned” body? Fantastic! But to ensure that happens you need to improve your performance (i.e. get stronger) each time you repeat a workout.
That is your sole focus right now: getting stronger whenever possible. The first several weeks, and likely couple of months, of the program you should be able to perform more reps, more circuits, or add more weight every workout.
This is mandatory if you want to achieve results.
- Be Proud of What Your Body Can DO!
Most people start strength training because they want to look better, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t go through your workouts thinking about the future when you’ll achieve noticeable, visual results for your effort.
Take the time to be proud of what your body can do, and don’t just focus on how it looks.
And when you put the focus on your performance, don’t be surprised when you realize you’re stronger than you thought and you shatter any previously help self-imposed limitations.
- It’s NOT about Fatigue – It’s about Getting Better
Despite the grueling workouts you see all over TV and social media, you do not have to finish every workout exhausted. Fatigue and muscle soreness are not indicators of a successful workout, so don’t focus on those things. It’s about getting better – improving your performance and getting stronger when possible.
Every time you perform and repeat a workout, the goal is to do a little better than last time. Don’t strive to reach a high level of fatigue.
- Don’t be Afraid to Move at Your Own Pace
You may learn the exercises quickly and increase your strength rapidly, or your new workout routine may be a bit intimidating and uncomfortable at first. However quickly you progress is fine, so work at your own pace. Don’t force yourself to do too much too soon, but don’t hold yourself back too much either. It’s not about getting to the finish line the quickest – it’s about going at a comfortable, consistent pace so you can maintain this activity for the rest of your life.
Health and fitness should be a life-long activity.
- Don’t be intimidated
If you work out at a crowded gym, venturing into the weight lifting area may be intimidating. There are a couple things you can do to make this transition easier. One, recruit a workout buddy. If you’re both in there together, it will be less intimidating and you can support and encourage each other. Two, if a workout partner isn’t an option, put your favourite music on your iPod and listen to it the entire time. This way you can “get in a zone” and won’t pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Either way, just get in there. You have as much right as anyone, so get in there and get to work. And remember the goal – you’re there to become a stronger, more awesome version of yourself. Forget about what others think and focus on becoming the best YOU possible.
Now that you know some important notes, it’s time to look at the workouts.