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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

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5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

Men, it seems, are not the only ones who enjoy lifting weights. Nowadays, you’re just as likely to see women in the gym, squatting, benching, and deadlifting. The women weightlifter’s movement is now very much established, and we think that’s awesome. That’s why we’ve compiled these workout routines for women to help them on their fitness journey.

Years ago, if you walked into a gym, more often than not, the sight you would be greeted with would be a weight room full of men, and a cardio room full of women. Women were generally advised to stay away from weights as it was wrongly believed that lifting weights would turn them into hulking she-beasts.

As research was conducted, and as common sense began to prevail, people found that lifting weights as a woman would not cause you to add 50 pounds of muscle to your frame overnight. In fact, it was found that resistance training provided a shapelier, curvier, leaner, more defined physique than one which could be attained through cardio alone.

That’s why today, we are going to be looking at 5-day workout plans for women to get strong and toned.

If you’re a woman who is looking to get bigger, stronger, and more toned, the following routine is perfect.

Warming up

Before you commit to any form of workout routine, it is absolutely vital that you take the time to properly warm up before training with workout routines for women.

Warming up before training is important because it helps improve your flexibility and mobility, and helps reduce the risk of injury. By stretching the muscles before training, you help to increase muscle fiber elasticity. This is important because it means that the muscle fibers are far less-likely to rip and tear.

A good warm up will also increase your core body temperature and will potentially improve your athletic performance. Warming up boosts circulation, which, in turn, means more blood flows around the body. This ensures that more oxygen and nutrients can be fed to the awaiting muscle cells. The more energy they have, the harder the muscles can work when you’re training.

Simply doing a few reps with just the bar, or a very light set of dumbbells, does not constitute as an effective warmup.

Sample Warm-up Routine

Let’s look at how you can warm up properly to get the most from your training when trying workout plans for women.

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A sample warmup routine could consist of the following exercises and movements:

  • 1 minute of knee lifts
  • 1 minute of heel digs

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    • 2 sets of 10 shoulder rolls per arm
    • 10 knee bends
    • 20 head rotations
    • 10 hip rotations

    Hip Circles | Illustrated Exercise Guide

      5-Day Workout Routine for Women

      Now let’s take a look at the ultimate 5-day workout routine for women to get strong and toned. If followed correctly, you should start seeing and feeling noticeable improvements on a weekly basis.

      The idea here is to build lean muscle while keeping calorie expenditure high to melt away stubborn body fat in the process

      Monday: Chest and Arms

      • Flat bench barbell press – 4 sets of 8 reps

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        • Push ups – 4 sets of 10 reps
        • Cable crossovers – 3 sets of 15 reps

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          • Incline dumbbell flyes – 4 sets of 12 reps

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            • Barbell biceps curls – 3 sets of 15 reps
            • Alternate arm hammer curls – 4 sets of 12 reps per arm
            • Triceps rope overhead extensions – 3 sets of 20 reps

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              • Triceps dips – 3 sets of 15 reps
              • 10 minutes on the elliptical machine

              Tuesday: Shoulders and Back

              • Standing barbell military press – 4 sets of 10 reps

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                • Dumbbell lateral raises – 4 sets of 15 reps

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                  • EZ bar upright rows – 3 sets of 15 reps

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                    • Seated dumbbell shoulder press – 4 sets of 10 reps
                    • Dumbbell shrugs – 4 sets of 10 reps

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                      • Close-grip lat pulldowns – 4 sets of 12 reps
                      • Dumbbell bent over rows – 4 sets of 12 reps per arm
                      • T-Bar rows – 4 sets of 10 reps

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                        • 10 minutes on the stationary bike

                        Wednesday: Cardio Circuit

                        • 10 burpees
                        • 10 push ups
                        • 15 crunches
                        • 20 squat thrusts

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                          • 3 sets of 10 hanging leg raises
                          • 3 x 1-minute rounds of plank
                          • 20 minutes low intensity cardio on the treadmill

                          Thursday: Strength Day

                          • Incline dumbbell press – 5 sets of 5 reps

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                            • Flat bench barbell press – 5 sets of 5 reps
                            • Deadlifts – 5 sets of 5 reps

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                              • Barbell clean and press – 5 sets of 5 reps
                              • Barbell bent-over rows – 5 sets of 5 reps
                              • Barbell snatch – 5 sets of 5 reps

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                                • 10 minutes on the stationary bike

                                Friday: Legs

                                • Barbell squats – 4 sets of 8 reps

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                                  • Leg press machine – 3 sets of 12 reps
                                  • Leg extensions – 3 sets of 15 reps
                                  • Hamstring curls – 3 sets of 15 reps

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                                    • Walking lunges – 4 sets of 10 reps per leg
                                    • Seated or standing calf raises – 4 sets of 20 reps per leg
                                    • 10 minutes on the elliptical machine

                                    In addition to the workout routines for women above, you can grab this Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan for free now.

                                    Diet and Nutrition

                                    It doesn’t matter how hard you are working with strength training or weight training in the gym; if you aren’t eating the right foods at the right time, all of your efforts will have been in vain. You can’t out-train a bad diet, which is why we’re going to share a few diet and nutritional secrets to include along with the above workout plans for women.Remember, we’re looking at the ultimate 5-day workout routine for women to get strong and toned, and if you’re not eating right, you will become neither strong nor toned. You’ll also struggle with weight loss, despite any high intensity workouts.

                                    Here are some tried and tested methods proven to give great results.

                                    1. Drink Enough Water

                                    When it comes to exercise and health in general, adequate hydration is crucial, especially when you’re dedicated to workout plans for women.

                                    Water makes up close to 80% of our bodies, and we need it to perform even the most basic of physiological processes. Without adequate amounts of water in our bodies, we run the risk of dehydrating, which can affect athletic performance, and our health in general.

                                    When we exercise, we perspire and can lose important electrolytes via our sweat. This is why it’s important to stay well hydrated during exercise, to help replenish the fluids, minerals, and electrolytes we lost through training.

                                    Aim for 2.5 liters of mineral water per day. Failing that, filtered water is still very good for you.

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                                    2. Get Plenty of Healthy Protein

                                    When trying workout routines for women, protein is vital for muscle growth and repair. If you want to become strong and/or toned, you need to make sure you are taking enough protein in each day.

                                    Aim for around 0.6 – 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and be sure to spread it out evenly throughout the day. Look for lean and healthy sources like fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy, and grass-fed red meat.

                                    3. Invest in a Good Quality Whey Protein

                                    Providing you can consume whey, whey protein is a supplement you will need to invest in if you wish to build muscle and burn fat while engaging in workout routines for women.

                                    Whey protein shakes are perfect because one shake provides around 30 or more grams of protein per serving. They’re easy to make, convenient, they taste great, and they’re full of other nutrients that the muscles thrive upon.

                                    4. Don’t Forget Your Veggies

                                    As well as protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs, you will also need to make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables as you try out workout plans for women.

                                    Vegetables are full of digestion-friendly dietary fiber, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they help to give your meals extra texture and flavor.

                                    Don’t rely on vitamin supplements alone when it comes to nutrient intake. Instead, make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables each day.

                                    If you’d like to follow a well-structured program to help you reach your fitness goal effectively, join Lifehack’s Busy Yet Fit Program. Celebrity fitness coach Davide Alfonsi will be helping you to get fit easily at home!

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    When it comes down to it, women are just as capable of building muscle in the gym as men. It will look and feel different, but with dedicated workout routines for women, you can expect to build strength and get toned. Take time to find which workout plans for women work for you and your body type, eat well, stay hydrated, and you’ll be on the road to completing your fitness goals in no time.

                                    More Resources to Get in Shape

                                    Featured photo credit: ŞULE MAKAROĞLU via unsplash.com

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                                    Reda Elmardi

                                    Fitness and bodybuilding blogger

                                    The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level) 5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

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                                    Last Updated on October 4, 2021

                                    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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                                    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

                                    With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

                                    Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

                                    Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

                                    We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

                                    • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
                                    • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
                                    • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
                                    • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
                                    • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
                                    • Total: 20 to 22 hours

                                    Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

                                    Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

                                    • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
                                    • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
                                    • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

                                    Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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                                    Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

                                    No equipment? No problem.

                                    So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

                                    Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

                                    Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

                                    1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

                                    Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

                                    Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

                                    • Quadruped Rocks
                                    • Frog Stretch
                                    • Hip Prying
                                    • Scapula Push-ups
                                    • Hindu push-ups

                                    Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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                                    2. Yoga

                                    Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

                                    3. Calisthenics

                                    Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

                                    You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

                                    Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

                                    4. Aerobic Exercise

                                    Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

                                    Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

                                    Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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                                    5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

                                    High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

                                    Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

                                    Chipper 60

                                    Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

                                    If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

                                    What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

                                    Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

                                    Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

                                    Sleep

                                    Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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                                    “Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

                                    Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

                                    Stress

                                    We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

                                    Stimulants

                                    Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

                                    Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

                                    Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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                                    Reference

                                    [1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
                                    [2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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