There’s no denying it, every time you find a solid strength training guide online, it’s aimed at buffed up men who want to work out at home. They’re usually seeking maximum muscle growth, with arms bigger than, well, our entire bodies.
The trouble is, ladies, that’s not us!
But strength training doesn’t have to equal Superman sized muscles, nor does it mean packing on a load of bulk. But, if you are looking to build a little muscle and get toned, you’ve come to the right place.
With so many driven women looking for new ways to work out around their busy schedules, we thought it simply made sense to put together this guide!
So, here it is: The complete guide to strength training at home.
Why strength train?
In recent years, more and more women are attending body pump sessions, online classes and even following YouTube workouts. This has usually been the go-to for women who feel uncertain about lifting weights.
After all, few women want to gain muscle. But! The days of believing that women shouldn’t lift weights have long gone (hoorah!). This means, that women practising strength training at home (and in the gym) has risen to the surface.
But strength training isn’t about trying to look at the Hulk, but instead, improving muscle definition, boosting cardiovascular health and protecting your entire body by building strength.
It’s not just about getting toned up, even. But looking after yourself. In fact, strength training can help prevent injury, and keep you lifting a strong and healthy lifestyle.
All it takes is a quick scroll through social media and you’ll be met with the thousands – if not millions – of women worldwide feeling empowered via strength training. Believe me, you’ll thank me for this guide later!
The ultimate guide to weight training at home
Five minutes down the gym and it’s easy to feel baffled by the terminology used by gym-goers. So before we dive right in, what is ‘strength training’?
Also Read: How to regain your workout motivation
Put simply, strength training is any workout designed to build and improve your strength. For example, running on the treadmill will help to improve cardiovascular fitness. While strength training enhances your overall strength.
Typically, strength training involves weighted compound moves, such as:
- Glute bridges
If you don’t have any weights, no problem. You can do bodyweight exercises too, or nab yourself some resistance bands online for a small cost. Training with weights, however, is our best recommendation where possible.
Now, let’s take a closer look at strength training and what we aim to achieve.
“Will strength training make me butch?”
Ah, a common concern for many women wanting to tone up and get in shape. This is a popular misconception about weight training at home (or in the gym).
The truth is, there’s no rock-hard evidence to say that building strength will leave you looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In fact, research shows that strength training has the power to increase bone strength, improve joint function and reduce your risk of injury – while also increasing muscle mass (without getting bulky) and boosting your metabolism.
If you’re trying to lose weight, hitting the treadmill can be great for burning calories, but lifting weights can also be effective in reducing body fat and helping you tone up. If you’re looking to get lean, toned and athletic, strength training is for you. Don’t worry, ladies, no bulk here!
It’s also important to pair regular exercise with a healthy, varied diet.
What strength training exercises should you be doing?
It’s easy to knacker yourself out doing cardio at the gym. Strength training on the other hand is relatively low impact, with rewarding results. But it certainly doesn’t deliver overnight!
But, don’t give up ladies. Once you feel the burn, you’ll be coming back for more! This means that during strength training, you shouldn’t be feeling super out of breath, but instead experience a steady burn across different muscle groups.
Here are some of the most common strength training exercises to include in your workout:
- Squats (for the booty!)
- Bent over row
- Bicep curls
- Glute bridges
- Overhead tricep extensions
- Cable machine rows
Now you know what to do, how does it look as part of a workout? You can check out this bodyweight workout for starters. Now, ladies how you structure your strength training is pretty much up to you.
If you’re just getting started, you may want to focus on your sets and reps. To begin with, kick-off with 5 to 7 sets, with 8 to 12 reps for each exercise – 3 to 4 times through. Something like this:
- Rep one: Squats: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep two: Row: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep three: Glute bridge: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep four: Bicep curl: 8 to 12 reps
- Rep five: Lunge: 8 to 12 reps
If you’re new to lifting weights, start off slow at around 5kg per arm and gradually increase the weight as you build strength.
What are the benefits of strength training?
While we’ve covered plenty of benefits above, we could be here all day detailing the benefits of strength training for you!
Put simply, it can help to prevent injury, help you lose weight and tone up, and of course, build strength. As well as improve your mood, mental health, and alleviate stress.
Plus, strength training has the ability to improve power, flexibility, speed and neuromuscular control. So, ditch the workouts that promise you abs in a matter of days, and go for all-round strength training that works.
Are there any cons of weight training?
The biggest concern for most women when kickstarting a weight training plan is the potential to bulk up. Of course, if you wanted to build a huge amount of muscle, you can, with increased reps, weight etc.
But generally speaking, you’re not going to be getting bulky, don’t worry! With the right form, you’ll decrease your risk of injury. There are plenty of tutorials online for perfecting your form.
Also Read: The ultimate core workout for women
Not sure about getting started? Why not book a session with a PT at your local gym?
Our top 5 tips for weight training beginners
New to strength training? No problem, with these five tips you’ll be well on your way to smashing your goals.
1. Book a PT or gym induction
If you’re unsure how to use certain equipment – ask. Book an induction at your local gym, or book a session with a personal trainer to help you get clued up on how to perform moves safely.
2. Ask questions
Whether you’re seeking the help of a PT locally or speaking to an online coach, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Getting the right technique and finding out what works for you is key to committing to your new workout plan safely and successfully.
3. Work with what you have
As we mentioned earlier, you can strength train without a gym full of weights. As long as there’s some resistance, you can use items from around the house, your own bodyweight or treat yourself to some weights or resistance bands.
It’s time to get creative with household items! Try bottles of water, bags of flour or even tins as weights.
4. Consistency is key
It may not happen overnight, but you will start to see how your body is changing after committing to your new strength training. Keep it up, ladies!
5. Get ready to learn, a lot
Don’t be afraid of watching tutorials online in order to perfect your form. Don’t be afraid of lifting weights, either! While it may be slightly unknown territory to begin with, you’ll feel amazing in a couple of weeks!
Ready to feel your best?
Strength training could be the key to smashing your fitness goals! Remember, proper form and consistency is key here.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and seek the help of PTs to ensure you’re carrying out the movements correctly. You’ve got this, ladies!
But if you do need a little help in supporting your weight loss, Trimtone is always here to help you achieve your goals faster than ever before. Our 100% natural ingredients have been carefully selected to help you burn fat, reduce cravings and boost your metabolism.
Now, go smash it!