Workout Routines for Women to Lose Weight Fast – Get Toned in 12 Weeks

Gone are the days when cardio machines are crowded by women. Now, you see them in the more hardcore sections of the gym, deadlifting 300 plus pounds and completing all sorts of freakishly complex circuits. Granted, the cardio section is still relevant and it always will be, but this shift in training mentality and philosophy has been a welcome change. The invisible wall between men and women, in terms of training approach and strategies is starting to crumble. Strength training can be as effective as a good 60 minute cardio session. So, if you wanna trim inches off your waist and hips, I strongly recommend picking up a couple of dumbbells or a barbell and start banging out reps, at least three times a week. What we have today in our article is a workout routine for women to lose weight fast through a 12-week Beginner’s Program. And by “weight”, I meant “fat”. This strength training program can help you lose fat and make you look good and toned. There’s a difference between the two and it’s always a good choice to aim to see visual results rather than go by numbers in the weighing scale.

Why Strength Training?

There are many reasons why women should have some component of strength training in their workout routine. I have selected the most compelling ones among them, to convince those in doubt, to head towards the gym, which are given under as –

  • Lose Fat Fast – An intense session of weightlifting not only burns a ton of calories during the workout itself but it can also rev up your metabolism in such a way that it continues burning calories for as long as 48 hours after the actual lifting session. I have to mention here that the EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) has been over hyped by most sources in the internet to make it seem like it will burn calories in astronomical numbers. Yes, it will burn some but not that much as to make you toned in 6 weeks or so, depending on your current levels. However, you will lose fat fast as you will be building lean muscle mass, which is your greatest ally in burning fat. And, rather than look skinny fat like most cardio bunnies do (Sorry), you will look healthy and toned way faster than you thought possible. This reason alone should be enough to convince you to sign up for a gym membership, right? Hold on. You can strength at home with easy calisthenics and even better with Suspension Straps like TRX.
  • Look Younger – Point me in the direction of the lady who doesn’t want to look young and nubile and I will take you to the pot of gold in the rainbow’s foot. Seriously, having a few extra pounds of adipose addition in all the wrong places and proportion can make you look older. Depending on your build and level of health, it can be anywhere from a couple of years to even 10. But with some strength training and a good knowledge of nutrition, you have the very ingredients of “The Fountain of Youth” where you can churn out vials of “The Elixir of Agelessness” at your own sweet disposition and will. Not yet convinced?
  • Get More Healthy – Strength Training can have a major positive impact in your health as well. Some of the more direct effects of lifting weights include a healthy management of blood sugar levels, reduction in cholesterol, prevention of osteoporosis, strengthening of the heart (very similar to cardio), education of stress and hormonal balancing.
  • Get Confident – Try pushing a 5000 pound jeep uphill. Brie Larson, amidst her controversial role as Captain Marvel/Carol Denvers did just that in one of her more intense gym sessions. Her rapid progress in the gym gave her the confidence to tackle her role with ease and we can see that translating in the silver screen. Yes, strength is oftentimes directly proportional to our confidence. The more you gain strength, the better your self-confidence becomes. Sweet.

The Routine

  • Name – Upper Lower Beginner’s Routine
  • Level – Beginner
  • Duration – 12 weeks
  • Frequency – 4 times a week
  • Equipment needed – A gym membership to get access to barbells, dumbbells and all.
  • Calorie Expenditure – More than 400, but it depends a lot on your personal stats as well

We will have 4 workouts in the gym, every week in the schedule of two days on, one day off, two days on and two days off.

  1. Day One/ Upper Body A
    1. Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 8 reps
    2. Seated Cable Row – 3 sets of 8 reps
    3. Military Press – 3 sets of 8 reps
    4. Lats Pulldown – 3 sets of 8 reps
  2. Day Two/ Lower Body A
    1. Deadlift – 3 sets of 5 reps
    2. Goblet Squat – 3 sets of 8 reps
    3. Hamstring Curls – 3 sets of 8 reps
    4. Glute Bridge – 3 sets of 30 seconds
  3. Day Three/ Rest – Take a 60-minute brisk walk in any time of your convenience. Add a few ab exercises, if you want to.

  4. Day Four/ Upper Body B
    1. Dumbell Incline Bench Press – 3 sets of 8 reps
    2. Barbell Bent Over Row – 3 sets of 8 reps
    3. Dumbell Seated Overhead Press – 3 sets of 8 reps
    4. Chin ups/ Push ups (Band Assisted if you haven’t built up enough strength) – 3 sets of 8 reps
  5. Day Five/ Lower Body B
    1. Barbell Squats – 3 sets of 8 reps
    2. Romanian Deadlift – 3 sets of 8 reps
    3. Dumbell Lunges – 3 sets of 8 reps per leg
    4. Hip Thrusts – 3 sets of 8 reps
  6. Day Six/ Rest – Take a 60-minute brisk walk in any time of your convenience. Add a few ab exercises, if you want to
  7. Day Seven / Complete Rest – You have earned it. Rest and recover and get ready for the next week of your training.

Some questions about the Routine

  • Won’t lifting make me bulky?

This is the most common question asked by women about lifting. It stems from the irrational fear of getting as bulky as men bodybuilders. However, men have a different hormonal profile than women. And to put it simply, women without testosterone boosters won’t be able to get bulky. Try as you might, even if you can curl 135 pounds, I am afraid your biceps won’t be as big as a bodybuilder. The takeaway is that women can get away with lifting heavyweight without getting huge muscles. So, use this to improve your strength instead of dreading compound movements like the squat and the deadlift.

  • Should I train with heavy or light weights?

This is no brainer. Men or Women should incorporate both heavy and light weights in their training regimen to fix muscular imbalances and isolate weaknesses. Using a highly versatile rep range of anywhere in between 3-15, women should train in a regular basis. One thing to be said about beginners of this routine is that they should stick with the basics and improve form and efficiency and then eventually their strength. So, I prefer big compound lifts that can give you the best bang for your buck. Go heavy and reap the rewards.

  • Will I see results in just 12 weeks?

Yes, you will start seeing visible results within the given time frame. Once, you are consistent with anything, nothing can stand against you in your way and deny you the just rewards you have earned over the weeks. The results will differ from person to person, based on the incalculable differences in physiology and tenacity. But 12 weeks is the perfect sweet spot for any transformation challenge. You will go down several sizes if you are obese and might even get abs if you start out at around 30% body fat (women). When the flames of motivation are extinguished, it is determination that will make you grind out years of struggle.

  • How do I plan progressive overload within your program?

For progressive overload, try to add 5 lbs/week for every exercise given in the routine. Remember, results don’t come as rewards for staying inside your comfort zone, they come as rewards for breaking limits and venturing forth inch by inch. Take care not to be over-confident about this though for injuries can come as rewards for ego-lifting.

  • Do I need Cardio?

Not really. The main workout combined with the 60-minute low intensity walking on off days are more than enough to give you the aesthetic effect you seek. I am not against cardio myself and I would prefer to have at least one cardio day in a week to keep my heart health up to mark. But you can skip it all together and get toned without hours of using an elliptical.

  • What about calories?

If you want to lose weight fast, eat about 500 calories less than your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure).12 weeks of consistency will get you there. Calorie deficit working synergistically with a good workout plan is the very formula of transformation success.


Picking up a bigger dumbbell won’t make you bulk up and it certainly won’t make you lose your feminine attributes. Go heavy and hard. Focus on progressive overload and keep a logbook to record each and every one of your progressions. And you can even skip your cardio sessions. Sounds good? Then, get a gym membership pronto and start getting stronger in your lifts and maybe even look like a badass by using my workout routine for women to lose weight fast. Comment down below on the topics you want me to cover next time. Have a great day.

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