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Beginner Gym Routine for Women

Burn fat, build muscle, increase your strength and improve your fitness with our beginner gym routine for women.

This guide covers the fundamentals of the gym, including key compound lifts and commonly used exercises that are perfect for newbies. We’ve set out a 4 week plan, giving you an ideal starting point for your fitness journey, after which time you’ll be more than ready to head out and make those gains.

Before You Start

You’re probably eager to get going, but there are a few things to take into consideration before you start:

Set Your Goals

The biggest driver of failure for gym goers is a lack of clearly defined goals. Are you aiming for strength? Why not set a personal best target for one month, three months and six months. Looking to get ‘ripped’? Measure body fat and work towards your ideal. Want that all important booty? Work on glute measurements, aiming to add a few inches here and there. Obviously, these are all suggestions, but the point is, a gym goal can be anything you want it to be, just make sure to set your own realistic, timely targets and you will be so much more driven to keep at it.

Form Over Function

Look, this is the first time you’ve ever picked up a weight (we’re guessing, otherwise you wouldn’t be here) so let’s be realistic; you’re not going to be pulling up any trees, at least not in the first few weeks. Instead of looking to lift the heaviest weight you possibly can, focus on getting your form bang on. Remember, the purpose of this beginner gym routine is to get yourself familiar with key workout elements and set the wheels in motion for your lifting journey. Go easy on yourself (whilst still pushing it a little) and focus purely on getting comfortable with the key lifts.

Have Fun & Get Comfortable

If you’re feeling a little intimidated, don’t be. All gyms survive on regular members, that’s why it’s in their interest to make you welcome. Speak with the staff and get to know as many people as possible; even the biggest guys are pussycats once you get to know them.

Day One: Legs

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Barbell Squats5x55x55x55x5
Seated Leg Extensions3x123x124x124x12
Seated Leg Curls3x123x124x124x12
Standing Calf Raises3x203x204x204x20

We thought it best to get the most notoriously difficult day out of the way first. Even though it’s a tired old (gym) cliche; never skip leg day! You may want bigger arms, curvier shoulders or a flat stomach, but it all works from the ground up. Getting your squats nice and solid is one of the key drivers in making those gains.

Day Two: Chest & Triceps

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Barbell Bench Press5x55x55x55x5
Dumbell Flyes3x123x124x124x12
Tricep Dips3x63x64x64x6
Cable Tricep Push Down3x83x84x84x8
Cable Tricep Rope Push Down3x83x84x84x8

To help build a solid foundation, we’ve put a heavy compound lift at the start of each routine; on chest & triceps day, it’s the barbell bench press.

5 reps x 5 sets helps keep you in a heavier weight range without pushing you to the limit but if you’re feeling strong, feel free to up the weight or add a few reps. Don’t worry if your other exercises take a back seat, you’ll still see great results.

Day Three: Back & Biceps

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Barbell Deadlift5x55x55x55x5
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down3x83x84x84x8
Close Grip Seated Rows3x123x124x124x12
Dumbell Hammer Curls3x83x84x84x8

Deadlifts are another major component to overall strength and performance, but can be a little tricky to get right. Even though we’re sure you’ll be lifting heavy numbers in no time, we recommend starting super light and absolutely nailing your deadlift form. A few things to keep in mind; 1. Pointing shoulders to the ceiling will help stop your back arching and 2. Keep looking forward! Looking down is a sure fire way to bad form and injury.

When performing lat pull downs concentrate on pulling with your back muscles, rather than your arms. Try ‘flaring’ your lat muscles during the exercise to keep tension on your back and away from your triceps and biceps.

Gym Routine for Women Back Day
Wide grip lat pull downs are great for building those ‘wings’

Day Four: Shoulders

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Barbell Shoulder Press5x55x55x55x5
Lateral Raises3x83x84x84x8
Dumbell Front Raises3x123x124x124x12

This is it, you’ve made it to the final day of your gym routine! We’ve chosen to put shoulders on it’s own day, similar to legs, as it’s a pretty big muscle group. When pressing, keep your arms in line with your body and concentrate on pushing in an ‘arc’ shape from ear to above your head; if your press is a simple up and down you’re doing it wrong!

Lateral raises can also be a little tricky to master, so keep the weight light until you feel comfortable. Keep head bobbing to a minimum on lateral raises and you’re half way there.

The Wrap Up

We really hope you enjoy our Beginner Gym Routine for Women, we’re sure it will set you up well for a long and rewarding weight training lifestyle. If numbers are your thing, why not download our log-sheet? It provides you with the entire 4 day routine, as well as sets and rep ranges, with space to record your lifts; perfect for monitoring and improving your strength.

With this routine, we recommend rest periods between 60 and 90 seconds, with perhaps a little longer between compound exercises. Remember to keep it intuitive, listen to your body and find your feet in the gym. Lastly, keep it enjoyable!

Good luck, we’re sure you’ll be feeling stronger, better and all round awesome in no time. Now go out and get those gains!

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