If you're a woman and are interested in beginning a weight training workout routine, this 8 week beginner workout for women is the perfect workout for you!
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

We’ve heard your feedback.

For the longest time, the fitness industry has catered its workout templates and training programs towards optimizing workouts for men.

But, that leaves women having to adopt training principles that might not be productive for their own goals or their own natural differences in sex-specific body types.

At Muscle & Strength, we’re trying our best to change that. Perhaps you’ve noticed the growth of our women’s workout routines database.

Still, looking at it, it appears we’re missing a pretty significant routine.

A workout for women who are just getting started in the gym.

You may need to tinker with this one to optimize it for your own goals, but I think you’ll find it perfect if you’re a beginner.

Editor's Note: Make sure you’re doing all the right things you need to be doing to build lean muscle mass. For those looking for a more in-depth resource to teach them how to build muscle, we’ve created a FREE 5 day Muscle Building Email Course.

The course will teach you how your body builds muscle, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize muscle growth, how to eat to build muscle, how to supplement to build muscle and how to track your progress.

Sign up below today to learn and ensure you get the most out of this workout program.

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8 Week Beginner Workout for Women

Beginners, both men and women, typically respond well to full body training. As a beginner, the weight used for each exercise doesn’t create as much stress as it would when using heavier weights at a more advanced level.

This allows you to recover faster and train each body part more frequently. To compliment this, women also naturally have a quicker recovery rate than men. So, full body workouts will allow you to workout at a training frequency for each muscle group that will help optimize your results.

Since we are working out just 3 days a week to start off with, we will focus our workouts around compound movements. These exercise will require more muscles to be involved in the movement which will not only build those muscle, but also provide a higher calorie burn than working each muscle in isolation.

For the workout, you’ll want to have at least 1 day of rest after each training bout. You can set up your weekly workouts on fixed days, or utilize an every other day training structure. This will be based on your individual time restraints outside of working out.

Rest for 2-3 minutes in between sets. This will allow you to recover and maximize the amount of weight you are able to use for each exercise on every set.

Choose a weight that is challenging. Since these exercises are predominately compound, you don’t want to take them to complete failure. Try to keep 1-2 reps in reserve (feeling as though if truly pushed you could get 1-2 more reps) for each set.

Added to the end of each workout are some isolation exercises for the glutes. Glute development is a common goal a lot of lifters. Strong glutes have a positive carry over in a lot of strength aspects both inside and outside of the gym.

However, the program is simply a template. If there is another area you’d like to focus your isolation lifts on, feel free to alter the template in whatever way you see fit.

Keep your rest periods shorter on your isolation exercises. 60-90 seconds should do the trick depending on the amount of weight used.

Day 1: Full Body Beginner Women’s Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Romanian Deadlift 4 6-8
Leg Press 3 10-12
Assisted Chin Up 3 6-8*
Bench Press 3 6-10
Cable Row 3 10-12
Hip Abduction Machine 2 15
Bodyweight Glute Bridge 2 30

*If you can perform without assistance do so and progress by adding weight.

Day 2: Full Body Beginner Women’s Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Back Squat 4 6-8
Leg Curl 3 10-12
Barbell Row 3 6-8
Assisted Dips 3 6-8*
Lateral Raise 3 10-12
Kettlebell Swing 2 25
Glute Kickbacks 2 30 Each

*If you can perform without assistance do so and progress by adding weight.

Day 3: Full Body Beginner Women’s Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Hip Thrust 4 6-8
Goblet Squat 3 10-15
Lat Pull Down 3 8-12
Barbell Shoulder Press 3 6-8
(Assisted) Push Up 3 10-12
Dumbbell Curl 2 12
Cable Tricep Extension 2 12

*If you can perform without assistance do so and progress by adding reps.


The program listed above is suitable for most healthy women looking to get started in the gym. It involves a lot of foundational movements that are important to learn how to do and progress with through your fitness journey.

That being said, it is a template and some movements may need to be substituted for other variations depending on your own ability to perform them.

This program can be used for however long you wish to use it so long as you are enjoying it and still making progress. Focus on progressing with the weight you are using whenever possible (week to week or biweekly depending on your abilities) as the primary form of progression.

If you have any questions about the workout routine, please feel free to leave us a comment in the comments section below. We’re always more than happy to help.

Posted on: Mon, 03/04/2024 - 16:43

What's a good warm up and cool down routine for these workouts?

Posted on: Thu, 04/27/2023 - 21:01

Hi! What is a good starting weight for beginners?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/04/2023 - 07:10

The number is based on the user. No way to predict how strong someone is. As long as you feel challenged but can perform the reps with good form, that is a good weight to start with.

Posted on: Sun, 12/04/2022 - 13:53

There’s very little in terms of ab work here. Is that for a particular reason?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/05/2022 - 09:53

Hi, Katy. Don't know the reason, but this ab workout would go nicely with the program. Hope this helps!


Posted on: Sat, 12/02/2023 - 03:10

Hai M&S team. So I plan to start this program + ab workout as mention in the link above, but can I add some cardio? If I can, does it goes weightlift workout -> ab workout -> cardio, or any other way around?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 17:56

Hey Tyas, you can do them in that order, or you can start with abs before weights. Either way, yes, cardio is last. Hope this helps!

Michelle Tompkins
Posted on: Sun, 11/06/2022 - 14:15

I don’t have a leg press at my home gym. Can you suggest a substitute exercise?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 11/12/2022 - 10:59

What equipment are you working with? I want to make the best choice possible.

Posted on: Sat, 10/22/2022 - 06:31

Can I add cardio to this workout? If I can how many times a week can I do the cardio?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 10/22/2022 - 08:28

You can, 3-4 sessions a week should serve you well.

Posted on: Sun, 03/27/2022 - 07:40

I am a beginner and I have injury in my left knee. I have partially torn meniscus so I am not sure how much weight I should use not to make it worst than how it is. can you help me with that

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:20

Hi, Asal. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be responsible of us to offer advice based on an injury. Your best bet is to speak to a doctor about training around your injury.

Posted on: Mon, 02/14/2022 - 09:45

My only issue is I unfortunately don't have 60-90 minutes because I workout during my lunch at work as that is the only time I have access to a gym. I can only do about 35-40 mins. So, what should I modify to get the best results without having the time needed?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 02/18/2022 - 19:22

Hello. You can remove one set from each exercise, and keep the rest periods to an absolute minimum. 30 seconds when possible. Saving those seconds can add up to less minutes in the gym.

Posted on: Wed, 10/21/2020 - 15:36


Can I add a 10 min ab workout after each of these workouts? Or will that be too much for 1 total workout?
Thanks in advance.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/22/2020 - 09:21

Hey Suzanne - yes that should be fine.

Posted on: Fri, 09/04/2020 - 23:43

Hello, I don't see the start weight for any of these. How do I determine this?
Thank You

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:07

Hey Kelly,

The starting weight will vary from person to person, based on training level. You'll want to start with a weight that allows you to hit all the specified reps per exercise.

Gem Collins
Posted on: Sun, 06/21/2020 - 02:46

I am looking for a beginners weight training plan - my main goal is to loose weight. I have weights and treadmill but no access to other machines. Can you advise a plan? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 08/30/2020 - 21:25

Hey Gem,

Feel free to check out our 4 Day (At Home) Women's Workout Routine, found here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/4-day-at-home-womens-workout

This is a great beginners workout plan for those who are limited with equipment.

Katrina Taylor
Posted on: Sat, 06/20/2020 - 08:58

Do I repeat this 3 day workout twice a week?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 08/30/2020 - 21:23

Hey Katrina,

You would do this workout just 3 days a week. Not twice.

Posted on: Tue, 06/09/2020 - 12:27

Hi I am just getting back into the gym after a 4 months break. How much cardio should I add to this routine for fat loss?
Thank you!