Weight Lifting is Womanly

Okay, ladies, real talk time…

You won’t look like a dude – promise!

Can we, finally, leave behind the notions that exercise, strength training, and weights will make you bulky, manly, or bigger than you want to be?

When it comes to weight training for women, absolutely none of these adjectives hold any truth.

The sheer fact of the matter is that a lifting workout exercise, a few to multiple times a week, is not going to build muscle in your upper body or lower body the way that men get.

The overwhelming majority of women simply do not have enough testosterone to build muscles as men do. 

Woman in Blue Lifting Weights
Woman in Blue Lifting Weights

Hormones

Testosterone tends to wane with age and even young girls have only about 10% the testosterone that males do.

The benefits of strength training exercises are numerous and, contrary to the narrative that it will make you bulk-up or look masculine, it will help you build and support a very feminine physique.

Hello – can you say booty goals?

Cue “Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sparxxx and take me back to one 

of the most fun years of my high school career, 2007. 

This is also a good one for your workout playlist. 

What about, that forever sought after, hourglass figure?

Celebrities

Would you ever say that Khloe Kardashian or Jennifer Lopez look manly? – Absolutely not! They are beautiful, curvaceous women. 

But you know what? They strength train!

These women’s week workout plans include strength training exercises as a big part of their health and fitness routines to build muscle that maintains their very womanly figures. 

Athletes

Woman doing Bicep Curls

Of course, there are the women athletes, weight lifters, and bodybuilders who defy this. Some of which, indeed, take supplemental hormones and steroids in order to build muscle and get that big muscly look on top of their workout.

Women’s workout plans reminder: you innately don’t have the male hormone it takes to pack on that kind of muscle.

Other athletes do an intense training workout to develop a thicker body type over time – but largely, these athletes busted their butts off each week for that body in order to perform better in their sports.

Athlete Nutrition

Athletes like this are also eating substantial amounts of protein and carbs in order to support muscle growth.

Respect to all these women and their spectacular diligence in the gym, with exercise, and doing their diet. 

Regular Training

For most of us though, going to the gym to exercise a few times a week to strength train and resistance train for the sake of fitness, wellness, and beauty won’t be enough to pack on muscle. 

Lifting weights, even with heavy weight, sets, and reps – simply will not get you to looking bulky.

Perhaps this information comes to some of your dismay.

For you ladies – see me later about training to build muscle in mass, eating with intention to build major muscle, and some ideas on supplementation.

I won’t talk about steroids though. I really don’t believe in it. 

It’s a Process

If you want to build bigger and bigger – I will let you know that it’s a time, workout intensity, and nutrition game.

Getting to the point here, strength training and resistance training with intensity will not yield a manly physique.

Instead, it will lower body fat, increase upper body and lower body muscle strength, lead to less overall fat, and long-term weight loss and maintenance. 

A strength training workout plan for women will build a healthier, tighter (we will talk about “toned” in a second), fitter figure that I guarantee you will be proud of.

Toning is for Printers

Person Holding Pair of Dumbbells
Person Holding Pair of Dumbbells

Sorry not sorry.

Toning is for printers, not for bodies. The notion of “toning” is silly.

I get it, it sounds way less intimidating than “build muscle.”

I am a personal trainer, yoga instructor, and health coach for women.

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard a client tell me her goal is to look “toned” or asked for “toning” exercises, especially for their upper body… well, you know the end of that phrase… I’d be SO rich!

Misconception

But when I hear them say this, I really just want to educate and understand more.

Mostly, these ladies mean that they want to look leaner and tighter.

They want to jiggle a little less in their tummy area, thighs, arms, and booty.

However, the way to achieve that is largely through lifting (and diet).

Strength Training

I’d say that strength training is a key component to achieving that body type that jiggles a little less because, in order to sustainably lose fat mass and maintain a leaner, tighter body, you HAVE to have more lean mass a.k.a. muscle!

In order to have more muscle, you have to BUILD it through strength and resistance training.

Hopefully, no big surprises there. 

Let’s lose this word “toned” when referring to our bodies and start to focus on lean mass and overall health.

Being “toned,” sounds like striving for only an aesthetic look.

*See my article about how fitness is not all about weight loss.**

More Than Your Body

There really is SO much more magic to it than that (i.e., self-confidence, self-efficacy, real health, pride, and trust in your accomplishments, I-could-go-on-forever, but I won’t. There’s an article for that!)

Being lean is healthy.

The opposite of which is having a body fat percentage that is unhealthy and can lead to other issues (i.e., obesity, diabetes, heart-related diseases and issues, joint problems, again – I could go on and on. **See the benefits of strength training section in this article, for a more positive spin, coming up soon!**).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to achieve an aesthetic goal with your body.

I love that. I live for it a little, as I am a bikini bodybuilding competitor.

Self Worth

Just remember that your body also does a LOT of other functions for you outside of looking pretty — you beautiful, boss babe.

I just want you to live your best life and deeply know how worthy you truly are.

By establishing a strength training habit, I know you will chisel the feminine body you want and an unstoppable, positive mindset.

I’m confident that strength training will make you feel like the sassy, beautiful, confident, sexy woman you were born to be!

I know this because I have experienced it.

My Journey to Build Lean Muscle

Woman Wearing Black Stretching

Like many women, I had my preconceived notions around going to the gym and strength training.

Dancer Bod

I grew up dancing and it was THE THING to have long, lean, toned muscles like ballerinas.

*Insert a sly, small, and very brief eyeroll here*

Because dancers are both strong and flexible, we were encouraged to steer away from other activities and exercises that would train our muscles in ways that might inhibit range of motion or exacerbate muscle soreness and tightness.

Of course, because you’re dancing, you’re fit.

There are slow and controlled movements that hold muscles contracted (or flexed) for durations which build strength.

Form of Training

One might say that this is strength training, body weight training, plyometrics, or strength training – esque.

There are also fast movements and sequences that take your heart rate way up.

One might call this cardio, and I do love me some cardio, athletic agile movement, and heart health too, y’all. 

While dancing did keep me fit and built muscle strength and it is one way to work out.

I didn’t necessarily have an easy time keeping weight off or maintaining the body type of a dancer.

Body Type

At the time I would have termed that body type as “toned.” I know now, that it is “lean.”

What do we know about achieving and maintaining leanness?

You need to increase lean mass (muscle).

In order to do so, you need to be progressively overloading the muscle to:

  • Break muscle tissue through high repetitions of exercises and/or higher resistance a.k.a. weight in those exercises,
  • Rest to allow for repair,
  • See muscle growth (don’t panic… remember, you are not a dude and will not suddenly bulk up like Arnie (Schwarzenegger that is).

Well, I panicked. As most dancers do. As most women do…

Fear Of Lifting

I did not want to get bigger. Quite the opposite!

Because of misnomers like strength training will make you look like a guy… I steered clear of strength and resistance training.

What I didn’t know was that 1 pound of muscle took up less space than 1 pound of body fat.

Hence – leaner is smaller, but might be heavier on the scale (Another moment to stop and remind you: do not panic, babes!).

Preventing Improvement

Because of the aversion to lifting weights for fear of getting too bulky as well as limiting my dancing ability, I never really felt like I looked the way dancers “should” look.

**Note: see my article about body image in athletics for more on this topic.**

Ultimately, I would say that I was a skinny girl when I was dancing.

I still had jiggle through my arms, hips, and belly and did not see my abs or leg muscles, which is not what I wanted.

I wanted to look lean with some muscle.

Finding My Way to the Weights

Sukhasana Pose
Sukhasana Pose

When I left my dance career, I had to find new, alternative ways to stay fit.

I started with yoga — another movement practice that was mostly body weight.

I struggled with the arm balances and Chaturanga (essentially a push-up with your elbows pointed back, tight to your sides).

In ballet, we didn’t use our upper body to hold body weight and, for this reason, I saw some muscle development in my arms and shoulders.

Training Classes

Eventually, I started to dabble in strength training classes like, Les Mills Body Pump – a group fitness class with some dumbbells, straight bar barbells, and resistance tools like resistance bands or booty bands.

Because I enjoyed the class atmosphere (blame it on dance classes since I was 3 years old), I delved into bootcamp style training.

That is where I really found my stride with strength training.

Bootcamp

Boot camp was the start of my exercise routine that taught me about strength exercises, using reps and sets to optimize the workout, and dedicating time to the gym. 

To strength train, we used dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, agility drills (be still my dancer heart!), and more.

I loved the strength training workout and fitness-level that it gave me.

I also enjoyed time with other women and being inspired by their commitment to going to the gym.

Effects of Strength Training

As I got into it more, I noticed major effects in how my body looked.

It began to take shape.

It started looking leaner, tighter, and lifted.

Side note: I’ve always had a booty on me. But for the first time ever, I felt like it looked nice! Lifted and round!

Going to the gym and doing exercises that strengthened me changed my #bodygoals game and, honestly, my life. 

Fortifying My (Inner) Strength

My mood changed to be even more positive and grateful. I discovered more self-confidence, not only in my appearance but also (and more importantly) believing in my abilities.

I began challenging myself beyond what I’d so far accomplished and to tackle goals – like fitness modeling and going on for more higher education – that I’d written off for some time.

Yep, I said it – fitness modeling. That dream is what instigated increasing my involvement in strength training and evolved it into bodybuilding.

Fitness Modeling and Bikini Bodybuilding

Bikini Bodybuilding Competition

It could just be my personal preference, but I LOVE how bikini bodybuilders and bikini fitness models look.

It screams feminine, sassy, confident, curvy and fun to me.

These fit women have a tight waist with a bit of abs poppin’, round glutes, and defined shoulder muscles.

Make no mistake, they weren’t just born that way. They strength train! 

Fitness models and bikini competitors spend time in the gym focused on strength training to sculpt their figures.

Personal Workout

For me, I spend a couple days a week focused on lower body strength training, a couple times a week on shoulders, and an extra day of total body which includes what I’ve missed – arms, back, and chest.

More on strength training routines to come.

The point being, strength training is a path for women to develop a lean, feminine physique – a.k.a. not a bulky manly body.

While I do love to craft the hourglass shape, I also LOVE the health benefits and lifestyle. Being in the gym, strength training, helps me keep my body healthy and my mind right.

A Multitude of Benefits – the Usual Suspects

Strength training offers women a plethora of reasons to get involved.

The physical benefit of sculpting the body you want.

It’s called bodybuilding for a reason – you are literally creating your shape. Weight lift your way to the #bodygoals YOU want.

I hate to say this because health and strength training is not all about weight and appearance… but leanness IS a way to keep a healthy body weight and size, which perpetuates health in other ways (i.e. cardiovascular health, mental health, etc.).

Whether it’s overall leanness, slimming your waist, or adding size to certain body parts, strength training will help.

Muscle Gains

As the President of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, sadly, this does not help for boobs. Bummer.

Luckily, there are other super feminine curves to build and bring sexy back!

Right now, almost everyone is obsessed with building a booty.

Not sure who we have to thank for that – maybe Kim Kardashian… maybe Jennifer Lopez… maybe Cardi B.

Regardless, big butts are IN. 

*Cue Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot*

Glute Exercises

Glute Kickbacks
Glute Kickbacks

A few lifts you might include to grow those glutes are:

  • Squats (obviously) – Jump squats, Barbell squats (at the squat rack), Sumo squats (add a kettlebell) – there’s many variations to try
  • Glute kickbacks – can be done on a weight machine or cable cross, with resistance bands, or with ankle weights
  • Straight legged deadlifts OR Good Mornings – hinge from your hips and squeeze hamstrings (back of legs) and glutes to stand

If you are more interested in building some shoulders or tighter waist, I recommend,

  • Lateral raises with dumbbells
  • Shoulder press with dumbbells
  • Core twists with light weight bar or PVC pipe
  • Planks with a light weight plate on your low back

Building Lean Muscle and Being Leaner through Strength Training burns MORE calories.

Turn yourself into a metabolic machine by increasing your lean mass.

It takes a lot of energy to sustain lean mass (a.k.a muscle) so you are able to eat more and burn more of the body’s fat and calories.

Of course – eating more means more healthy food choices.

You can’t be eating cakes all day everyday.

But you could eat cake and see less body fat accumulate because you’ve been building muscle.

Plus, after just one session of lifting weights, the body continues to burn more calories through the day as it works to repair/ rebuild the muscle fibers.

More Food

Energy is being exerted and you need to fuel well in order to sustain energy for the rest of your day while the muscles recoup.

Can you say WIN – WIN – WIN?

Who doesn’t want that? Eat more calories daily and not be guilty when you enjoy and indulge a bit.

Hi – yes, that’s the master plan for me!

Be lean and tight while also fueling well and feeling more confident, fun, energized, and super mindful when in treat – yo’ – self mode!

Let’s freakin’ lift ladies!

Exercise gives you endorphins.

If you’ve read my article on exercising for more than weight loss, you know I’m a big Legally Blonde and Elle Woods fan.

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”

It’s true…

Strength training– exerting energy – releases endorphins in your body and that affects your mood and mind.

Not only will strength training improve your physical appearance and physical health, it will boost your mental health.

Strength training has been proven to assist with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and feelings of pain. *See article on chronic pain; namely Lupus.*

Build up Self-esteem and Self-efficacy.

Women Working Out Together
Women Working Out Together

I mentioned that for me, strength training spurred me to get my MBA.

The two seemingly do not go together, but I was feeling so confident in my capabilities and strength, I thought “why couldn’t I do it?”

Strength training taught me persistence and resilience…

It takes time to build strength and muscle. Sometimes it’s super hard and heavy.

But I’ve always made it through a workout and tend to leave feeling better than ever and accomplished.

Yes, my body looks better.

But the body is always changing, adapting, and evolving – especially because I compete. 

Off Season

“Off season,” also known as “progress season” or “bulking” and being more than 10% body fat is not when I think I look my best, but it’s necessary to keep building muscle so I can change my body shape and, in the future, maintain my shape leaner year round.

Navigating those changes gets easier though because I am generally more confident in my other skills and who I am.

I sense more of my worth day to day because I am able to recognize how amazing I am at showing up and doing my best in everything.

Motivation

Be consistent with your practice and I know you will find the same inspiration and confidence.

It will be in your own unique way. But I promise, it’s the best you’ll ever feel. You are an incredible force to be reckoned with.

Being consistent with your strength and resistance training plan will prove that to YOU!

Proactive, Preventative Healthcare

Why wait around for health issues or injuries?

Especially if there are action steps you could take to prevent them as best you can!

Strength training can help you steer clear of injuries because you are strengthening muscles that support your bones and joints.

Therefore, preventing sprains, broken bones, fractures and more. 

It’s also suggested that strength training and resistance training, coupled with good nutrition and enough calcium intake, will also help ward off osteoporosis, a disease that degenerates your bones.

Daily Routine

Working with a Laptop
Working with a Laptop

Strength training also helps counteract some of our everyday, cultural tendencies — like sitting for your profession and leisure, driving your car, typing on your computer, and text-neck from hunching over your cell phone (I’m so guilty of this).

It strengthens your upper body and lower body,, opens up the chest, and moves the body in coordination which reverses our chronically stationary lifestyle.

Other ways lifting weights is preventative includes: heart disease and diabetes.

This is because strength training reduces blood pressure and cholesterol (cardiovascular health) as well as the body’s insulin response to sugar (diabetes).

If these scientific (and a vain one) reasons aren’t enough for you, here are a few more fun facts to consider because – well, women who weight lift are BAD ASS.

Fun Facts About Strength Training

Women’s Muscles Recover Faster Than Men’s.

Meaning, women can show up consistently and perform better, longer, and more often. (Ha! In the gym and out, if you know what I mean *wink wink*)

Supersets

Training back to back exercises allowing one muscle group to rest while another one is working – builds up your endurance and stamina.

Strength training doesn’t need to be the boring, time intensive thing that you imagine all the bros doing. Keeping your heart rate high is super efficient and less boring.

You will feel exerted and on fire in the best of ways.

Time Is Money And Strength Training Does Not Need To Be Time Consuming.

An effective, strengthening, and fat burning training sesh can be done in as little as 30 minutes.

Just be focused and intense! 

Cue Work B*tch by Britney Spears – “You wanna hot body?”*

Strength Training Is Cross Training For Running And Other Endurance Sports.

Guaranteed, lifting weights will strengthen any of your other athletic pursuits. If you’re a runner, triathlete, or swimmer, you know that cardio stamina isn’t everything for improvement.

Strength training builds power which will make you better in your sport.

Better Libido, Sex, And Orgasms. 

Need I say more? Basically, you’re feeling empowered and in your body.

On top of that, a single weight sesh will increase your growth hormone and testosterone production (temporarily) which tends to make women start to get turned on and, in turn, makes for powerful, goddess-like orgasms. So – um – get to it, girls! Sex is healthy too!

I know you’re pumped now.

Let’s look at how to get pumped with a strength training workout.

How to Get Started with Strength Training

Person Loading Weights
Person Loading Weights

I mentioned the start of strength training by way of leaving ballet, going to yoga, and finally training in classes and bootcamps.

Since then I have relied on my trainers to learn more and spot me in the gym.

Since starting bodybuilding, I hired a coach to do my programming for strength training and training.

Mostly, I started by looking at my goals and researching gyms, trainers, and coaches around me.

As you get started or as you develop your strength training routine further here are a few of my recommendations:

1. Define Your Goals.

Be S.M.A.R.T. with your goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Sensitive.

Determine why you are starting to weight lift and exercise…

Your WHY is important – read any entrepreneur’s or millionaire’s book on this (Check out Simon Sinek’s, Start with Why). Your WHY makes the strength training relevant (“R” in S.M.A.R.T.) and motivating for YOU.

It only needs to be meaningful to YOU, so you can refer to your WHY in times when you may be less than motivated.

Decide if you want or need to lose fat, build muscle, improve muscle strength, or compete in a sport such as bodybuilding, powerlifting or CrossFit.

S-M-A-R-T

These specifics (“S” from S.M.A.R.T.) will help you decide how much time (“S” and “T” from S.M.A.R.T.) you have or need to give to your workout goals.

At this point, you may also reflect on your life and exercise goals and decide if that time requirement is achievable (“A” from S.M.A.R.T.) for YOU.

Be real with yourself. Honesty is the best policy here

Make it measurable (“M” from S.M.A.R.T.). It’s fun to celebrate your success along the way and you SHOULD give time to celebrate your achievements!

What sorts of measurements – scale and non-scale – will indicate success for you? What are the small steps toward the end goal so you KNOW when it’s time to pat yourself on the back? Those little moments will encourage you onward!

2. Ask for Help!

This is a big one, especially if you are brand spanking new to workout plans and starting to strength train.

When you find your gym, it’s good to reach out to a personal trainer there to walk through the equipment and get set up with some initial workouts.

You may choose to continue to strength train in depth in a one-on-one setting with this person — or not. 

Maybe you find someone else based on your preferences (could be local or remote/ online).

Maybe you decide to get a strength training program from the personal trainer or a coach and get after your workout alone.

MAYBE, like me, you enjoy other people’s company and kick it off with some time lifting in a group setting such as Body Pump or bootcamp.

Building Your Foundation

Trainer Assisting with Lifting Form
Trainer Assisting with Lifting Form

Regardless of what you choose, it’s good to have help — especially as you are learning new exercises. 

You will learn so much about the body, lifts, form, and how to train (i.e. intensity, supersets, how many sets and reps to do, how many times a week to do upper body and lower body exercises, how much recovery time to get between workouts each week, etc.).

For all my strength training veterans out there, having help from a personal trainer can keep you in check and progressing – reigning in any sloppy form and pushing you to the next level, with intensity and strength.

3. Do Your Research

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start to strength train with the machines, weight racks, and free weights.

Lucky for us, we have these AWESOME hand held machines called cell phones with internet and data capabilities.

You could even use a computer at home.

When you find yourself lost on what an exercise is (i.e. a hack squat), try doing a quick Google search! No need to panic.

Look Online

There are tons of fitness influencers and brands who have YouTube videos galore demonstrating movements.

If you decide to get programming from a trainer or hire a coach, I would also recommend doing your research.

While there are a TON of fitness influencers out there, it’s recommended to find someone who knows what they’re talking about and can keep your body, current health and your health history (illness, injuries, etc.) in mind.

Coaching and training can get pricey. But there are numerous pre-made, accredited lifting programs out there too – on sites like Bodybuilding.com.

4. Gauge Your Fitness Level and Work Up

There is a myth running around out there that women should only do light weights and high reps.

It’s good to include those sets into your work out, but heavy weight is awesome for women too!

First of all, if you are working out regularly and getting stronger, you will be able to lift heavier weights.

The point of a workout is to WORK.

Your muscles should be taxed, tired, and sore later.

Eventually, light weights will feel normal for your body and you will need to challenge it beyond that to continue to see results from your efforts and time strength training.

Find Your Pace

Incline Bench Press

As you get started, however, be sure to recognize where you are at strength and fitness – wise.

No need to overdo it and wind up injured out of the gate.

strength training is a progression.

Bodybuilding (for the sake of this argument) is a long-term vision.

No one wakes up being able to deadlift 200 pounds or with perfectly capped deltoid muscles (shoulders).

Go slowly and strategically.

Maybe those little bump ups in weight are EXACTLY the specific and measurable S.M.A.R.T. goals you need to keep your sights and motivation high!

5. Prep Your Muscles and Coordinate Them.

Here’s an important one – stretch and warm up. Get the blood flowing through your muscles.

You will have more range of motion and more capacity to lift weight if your body is warm and limber.

It will also help with injury prevention during your weights sesh.

When you start to lift, do compound lifts first – exercises that use multiple muscles at the same time or muscle groups.

These exercises look like squat to shoulder presses or lunges with a bicep curl.

These movements are athletic and ask the body to work all together.

Compound Exercises

Deadlift
Deadlift

Compound movements require more activation through the whole body and therefore take more energy – making your workout more time efficient while also challenging and strengthening you MORE. 

Try to start with these more complex exercises in a set with reps that correlate to the weight you are using. For example, try this workout:

  • A set of squat to shoulder press with light weights (5 to 25 pound dumbbells) for 12 reps 
  • A set of step ups with a shoulder shrug (5 to 25 pound dumbbells) for 15 reps
  • A set of walking lunges with a plate overhead (10 to 25 pounds) for 12 reps

Then move to more simple exercises focused on a single muscle group, an example exercise is a hamstring curl. It doesn’t require the support and energy of the whole body, so these are good and safe for “finisher” (towards the end of the workout) movements. 

Try these exercises to finish up the complex exercise routine from above: 

  • A set of leg extensions with heavier weight (50 to 120 pounds) for 10 reps 
  • A set of lying hamstring curls with light weight (20 to 50 pounds) for 10 reps
  • A set of glute bridge with no weight for 30 reps 

As a general rule of thumb, your workout should include light and heavy weight and high and low reps.

The number of reps will decrease with heavier dumbbells, barbells, or plates. As the reps increase, you will want to decrease the weight used in the exercise. 

Women should try to get strength exercises 3 to 5 times per week.

As you start to strength train, begin with 2 or 3 days a week and increase based on how your body feels and what your schedule allows. Remember to challenge yourself! 

My Goals and Weight Training Routine

As of right now, I would consider myself an advanced weight lifter and a regular at the gym week to week. 

I still have goals to compete in bikini bodybuilding, so my training each week is very focused on that.

Because of the competitive goals, there is a major focus on shape and creating muscle groups that are specifically looked at in bikini – mostly, front, rear and lateral deltoids (shoulders muscles), glutes (that booty tho), quads, hamstrings, calves, and waist/ abs.

In order to achieve this “S-shape,” hourglass body type for bikini, my training days usually look like:

Monday

  • Morning Workout:

Train legs and abs.

Usually, leg day consists of about 6 – 8 different lower body lifts.

Those lifts are generally:

Superset (back to back) with an ab work set.

(i.e. 4×20 Walking lunges superset with 4×30 Leg lifts)

  • Evening Workout:

Walk uphill on a treadmill for 30 – 40 minutes, which targets some calves.

Tuesday

  • Morning Workout:

Train shoulders, arms, and include some biceps and triceps

Shoulder day is typically 6 – 8 lifts that target all the shoulder muscles.

3 sets of biceps and 3 sets of triceps will be mixed in as a superset with shoulder movements.

(i.e. 4×12 Candlestick raise superset with 4×10 Hammer curl)

  • Evening Workout:

Walk uphill for 30 – 40 minutes

Wednesday

Lat Pulldown Machine
Lat Pulldown Machine
  • Morning workout:

Train back and chest

While not primary body parts for the bikini girl to showcase on stage, it’s still important to train these body parts.

This training day is usually 4 back exercises and 4 chest exercises, performed in a superset.

(i.e. 4×8 Lat Pull Down superset with 4×10 Chest Press on a machine)

  • Evening workout:

Extra abs and glutes, for a cardio and bodyweight workout. To continue to build the booty and get some extra calorie burn in.

Thursday

  • Morning Workout:

Train legs

*See notes from above*

  • Evening Workout:

Steep elliptical cardio session for 30 – 40 minutes

Friday

  • Morning Workout:

Train shoulders & arms

*See notes from above*

  • Evening Workout:

Run at a 2% incline on the treadmill for 20 minutes – about 2 miles.

Saturday

  • Morning Workout:

Cardio boot camp class

You know me, these are my roots.

Sweaty, plyometric bootcamp (body weight work) for strength, agility, and heart health.

Sunday

  • Rest Day:

Get extra sleep, rest, recover, repair, and prep to repeat the week above.

Occasionally, I will hit an evening yoga class for extra stretching and tuning into my body.

Weight lift for YOU

So now you know what I do.

But really, strength training is for women and your routine is all about YOU.

There are SO many awesome goals to set for yourself and benefits to uncover.

No matter your goals, let your lifting sessions remind you just how capable and amazing you are.

Let the weight that fills your hands, racks on the bar, or stacks on machines be a symbol of your fearlessness, self-love, strength, and health.

Not Exclusive For Men

Strength training is not just for the boys. 

It’s a feminine and meditative activity.

Being at the gym is a chance to reclaim your power and craft a lifestyle you LOVE.

Workout to meet your health and body goals.

Strength and resistance training is empowering.

Exercise puts you in charge of your body, health, time, and other goals.

By creating structure and goals, you set yourself up for achievement in the gym and throughout your life.

Routine

I’m a big believer that your gym habits are an indication of your character.

Showcase who you aspire to be with your weight training routine. Jot down those attributes and go to the gym and execute.

I promise that strength training will establish a confidence that inspires you to be the woman of your dreams!

As you can probably tell by now, this is a topic I am super passionate about.

Get In Touch

If you’d like to chat more about the gym, strength training, resistance training, bodybuilding, trainers, online programs, or body image, hit me up on Instagram.

I’d LOVE to connect with you about your workout and exercise routines and goal. 

In the meantime, check out these other articles to get inspired and motivated:

Robin Arzon article

Body image article

Fitness is not just weight loss article

Catch ya after a workout soon!

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Steph Boll
Steph Boll
Founder of Spikes & Heels. I'm on a mission to show the reality of women's fitness. Red faces, blotchy skin and sweaty hair is my everyday look and I'm proud of it! 😅