Workout Routines For Women – Simple and Effective

women working out

You’re probably expecting to read something like workout routines for women need to be different because… (you can fill in the blank). Sorry, you won’t find that here. The fact is workout routines for women don’t need to be different than routines for men. They only need to be different if your goals are different.

If both the female and male have the goal of losing weight then the workout can be the exact same with the only exception being consideration of the strength and fitness levels. The movements and exercises are the same; you just change the resistance as necessary. I’ll save those details for another post.

Click here if you want yo go straight to the workouts

Workout Routines For Women To Lose Weight

Chances are high that you’re actually looking for a weight loss routine. That’s what most women are after when beginning a fitness regimen, losing weight is the ultimate goal. Women, in general, don’t want to workout to get big and muscular. Preferring instead to drop a few (or more) pounds and or dress sizes. You’re not concerned with how big your “guns” are.

Scratch that….you’re concerned, but because you want them smaller – not bigger.

Workout routines for women to lose weight are more effective if the exercises are full body, or combination movements. Meaning it requires the movement of more than one joint to complete the exercise. Compound exercises work your body in a more complete and fundamentally natural way. They are usually the same type of movement that you would see normally throughout your day.

For example, picking up a child is a compound movement that’s very similar to deadlift or sandbag shouldering. If it’s not then you’re probably doing some improper lifting and putting yourself at risk of injury. Compound exercises also make your body work harder. I know you want those toned and tight triceps. But doing 3 sets of 20 “kickbacks” with little 2.5lb dumbbells isn’t going to get you anywhere. There are many exercises that will provide 10 times the result you’re after. BUT, they are harder to do.

The Problem With Most Workout Routines For Women

I see it all the time. Women have these easy exercises. Circuit training on machines. Women are given routines to “sculpt” the body. The fact is if you’re overweight you’re not going to be sculpting anything. The first order of business is to shed the pounds. You can “sculpt” the best arms in the world but if those biceps and tight triceps are covered up by layers of fat then no one is going to see them.

To get that fat off and expose your beach body you’re gonna to have to work hard. Every exercise or movement you do should create some type of discomfort. The kind of discomfort that makes you want to quit before the set is even over and find something else to do. The kind that makes your lungs hurt sometimes because you’re breathing so hard. The kind that causes you to let out a grunt from time to time when you never knew you had that in you. Yes, discomfort!

My female clients regularly call me nasty names and give me glaring stares that make me think “serial killer”. But that’s only during their workout. The post workout high they get from knowing what has just been accomplished washes all that hate and discontent away and brings ’em back for more.

Workout Routines For Women Should Help You Get Skinny And Strong

I know most trainers would say that you can’t lose weight and build muscle at the same time, but that’s simply not true.

workout routines for women

women working out pic courtesy

To build muscle, and/or strength, all you need is an element of overload. Exposing your muscles and body to stresses or resistance it’s not used to. To lose weight all you need to do is eat less. Your body stores excess calories as fat. If you don’t provide those excess calories – then guess what – it has nothing to store as fat and must begin burning fat for fuel.

BAM! Gettin’ skinny!

Put a workout routine that builds strength through compound movements alongside a proper nutrition strategy and you’re well on your way to “itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-yellow-polka-dot-bikini”.

Workout Routines For Women Should Include 6 Types Of Movements

Pushing, Pulling, Squatting, Lifting, Jumping, and Running. All of these are basic human movements and are natural. The first 4 you will do in one form or another every day. The running and jumping are movements you might not ever do, but you should.

Keeping your body physically ready and able to do whatever task you may encounter is the very definition of General Physical Preparedness (GPP). Most women lack the upper body strength to perform a push up with proper form. More than that lacks the ability to do a pull up. Most of my ladies can’t even hold themselves on the bar for 10 seconds when I first begin working with them. Honestly, I think the majority of men couldn’t do a pull up now-a-days. But I digress. Being able to do a pull up isn’t important, but you should at least be able to do a static hold on the bar.

Squatting is another fundamental life movement. Every time you sit and stand you’re squatting. Pick something up from the ground and you’re lifting. Your workout routines should make you stronger and prepare you for any and all of life’s obstacles as well as help you fit into those skinny jeans.

The Cornerstone Of My Workout Routines For Women

Resistance training in the form of high intensity intervals is going to be your focus. The exercises I put together in each individual workout are designed to work every muscle group. The protocol of the workout is designed to make you work hard and with intensity to create a huge disturbance in your metabolism which creates that EPOC or afterburn. The higher the intensity the longer the afterburn.

Workout Routines For Women – 4 Week Program

Warm Up

Do this routine for 5 – 7 minutes. I’m not giving a pre-determined number of reps and cycles. I encourage you to focus on how you feel through each movement and be your own judge. The purpose of a warm up is to bring your body’s temperature up, loosen the muscles and prepare your joints for action. Static stretching should come at the end of your workout. If you want to static stretch as part of the warm up then do that first.

  • Arm Circles (forward and reverse)
  • Imitation Rope Jumping
  • Straight Leg Swings (forward and reverse)
  • Knee Hugs

Workout A

Perform part 1 (3) times only resting when necessary. After round 3 recover for 3 minutes then move on to part 2

Part 1

  • Bodyweight Squats – 30 sec
  • Push Ups – 30 sec
  • Hip Extensions – 30 sec

Part 2

Do 5 sets with 1 minute recovery between each

  • Baby Burpees – 20 sec

Workout B

Perform part 1 (3) times only resting when necessary. After round 3 recover for 3 minutes then move on to part 2

Part 1

  • Static Lunge – 20 sec each leg
  • Handcuffed Superman – 10 reps
  • Plank – 15 sec hold

Part 2

  • Jumping Jacks – 30 reps
  • Bicycles – 30 sec

Workout C

Perform part 1 (3) times only resting 1 minute between sets. After round 3 recover for 3 minutes then move on to part 2

Part 1

  • Chair Step Ups – 5 each leg
  • Push Ups – 10 reps

Part 2

  • Jump Rope – 20 skips or 30 secs whichever is longer (you can pretend if you don’t have a rope or have bad knees and can’t jump)

Do this 5 times

Workout D

Perform part 1 (3) times only resting 1 minute between sets. After round 3 recover for 3 minutes then move on to part 2

Part 1

Walking Lunges – 10 steps

Chair Push Ups – 10 reps

Single Leg Hip Extensions – 5 reps each leg

Part 2

Perform 3 times. Rest 1 min between rounds

High Knees – 30 sec

Butt Kicks – 30 sec


Perform workouts on the following days, or adjust according to what fits your schedule best

  • Day 1 = Workout A
  • Day 2 = Workout B
  • Day 3 = Active Recovery – walking, hiking, cycling, etc
  • Day 4 = Workout C
  • Day 5 = Workout D
  • Day 6 = Active Recovery
  • Day 7 = Rest

Follow that schedule for 4 weeks. After 2 weeks, increase the number of sets in each workout to 4.

Give this workout a shot and come back to let me know how it worked for you. Good, bad, or indifferent. Once I get enough feedback I’ll put up some more advanced workout routines for women.

Click here to see 5 fantastic bodyweight routines

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  1. Jen Gonzales says

    This has really helped me, thank you!!! It’s exactly what i needed. True facts with a dose of reality and tons of advice with an informative video. I appreciate it!!

    • Bryan says

      You’re welcome Jen. So glad it’s helped and that you took the time to comment and let me know.


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