Women’s Strength Training For Beginners.

{Let me start by saying that I am NOT a personal trainer. I am not certified and I am completely self taught. But I do think that my workouts are beneficial to me and my body…but I have done my research. Ok? Ok. Carry on.}


My husband was unemployed for about a month earlier this year [yeah, we are only 5 months in…its been a ride, 2014…thanks]. While he was home, we would often go to the gym together. And you know what that means for boys: “Grrr, I pick things up and put them down.” #meathead. Haha, not really…but kinda. Anyway, his little bro and him coached me into lifting on the days that we were at the gym together.  AND I FELL IN LOVE.

I am one of those people who loves physical activity and fitness, but when it comes to motivation and actually enjoying it at the time, not so much. When I run, I don’t get the “runner’s high.” I do get an adrenaline rush when playing volleyball, but that is about it. Lifting on the other hand, just makes me feel strong as hell. Yes, I said it. When I am going through my daily circuits, I am often the only chick on the weight-training side of the gym, my headphones are blasting house remixes, and I am trying to keep my ponytail out of my face. I am totally that girl. Oh, and I am typically dancing or playing the drums on my legs. No joke, my playlist is LOUD [& slightly raunchy].

In general, I just like it. I am still in the process of working more cardio into my days, because I don’t feel like I am getting lean enough…but I am definitely getting stronger. And I advise that you invest in a heart-rate monitor watch and lifting gloves.  I used the Polar FT4 HRM watch & the Under Armour CTR Trainer HF Gloves.

photo 3 photo 5


my weekly schedule.

goals: maintain weight, but lean out. trying to keep a calorie burn of 1600-2000+ a week (at least). eating around 1900-2200 cals on my good days (depending on the calorie burn that day). and generally extending my workout times…and burn within the times. an ideal would be 75-90 min workouts with a ~650-700 burn.

[NOTE: the weight numbers in parentheses next to the exercise are where I am currently at with weight in that exercise. it is so much easier to up your weight if you have a partner, which most of the time I do not. proceed with caution when working out alone.]

Sunday: co-ed volleyball (4 competitive, 2-game matches)
Monday: chest & triceps
Tuesday: back & biceps
Wednesday: legs & cardio
Thursday: shoulders & abs
Friday: co-ed slow pitch softabll (1 game, beer league)
Saturday: OFF/FUN DAY


– choose 4-6 exercises in each focus point
– do 3 sets of each exercise that you choose for 10-12 reps





  • Dumbbell curls (9lbs)
  • Bicep barbell curls (20lbs)
  • Arm circles with weight plates (2.5-5lbs)
  • Hammer curls (12lbs)


  • Squats (if doing these with heavy weight, do not do without a partner/spotter)
  • Deadlifts (again, do these with partner/spotter if lifting heavy)
  • Quads/Seated leg press (110lbs)
  • Quads/Leg extension machine
  • Hamstrings/Leg curls (my gym and a machine that does each leg…I do 35lbs per leg)
  • Glutes/Butt lift bridges/Glute kickbacks/Flutter kicks (I hate the glute machine my gym has…there are TONS of exercises to get those butt dents though ;))
  • Medicine ball squat throws (BE CAREFUL! I use a 6lbs ball and throw high…but my gym has soft toss balls)
  • Inner thigh machine (35lbs)
  • Outer thigh machine (35lbs)
  • Walking lunges with plated weight over head (25lbs)



  • Elbow plank
  • Hand plank
  • Up down plank (my fave!)
  • Plate weighted side bends (make sure you are focusing on lifting with your side abdominals) (25lbs)
  • Back extensions (15lbs held at chest)
  • Situps on exercise ball
  • Leg raises
  • “Little swimmers”/Flutter kicks with legs and arms while laying on belly

CARDIO (30-60 minutes)

  • Running (always run)
  • Long distance walking/treadmill walking on incline (I walk my dog 4 miles, 2-3 times a week during the warm seasons)
  • Box jumps
  • Rowing machine
  • Jumping jacks/jumprope
  • Elliptical -OR- ARC Trainer
  • Team & individual sports
  • Spin/Cycle/Group fitness


[NOTE: I am not a huge advocate for pre-workout supplements. Sometimes I do protein post-working, if I am feeling really deficient that day or not planning on eating right after the gym. I do really LOVE during workout supplements. Clif Shot Bloks are probably my favorite right now. But Honey Stinger are another favored by runners. The GU Energy Gel worked well, but I was not a big fan of the thick texture.]

polar FT4 HRM watch.photo 4photo 4squat

3 thoughts on “Women’s Strength Training For Beginners.

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