This Full Body Workout For Weight Loss Female will help you burn fat, tone muscles and get a flat stomach. This is a great workout as it requires only 3 pieces of equipment. Do this workout every other day, starting with cardio and abs on day 1, then doing legs and arms on day 2, chest and back on day 3, and shoulders and abs on day 4. The timing is 3 sets per exercise for 8 reps for each muscle group. After each set you can rest for 1-2 minutes between the different exercises.
Best Weight Loss Workouts for Women
If you’re looking for a weight loss workout for women, you may already know that losing weight isn’t the same for everyone. Depending on your fitness level, age, lifestyle, and medical history, it may seem to take you longer to reach your goals than it does for other people. Plus, women tend to lose weight more slowly than men.
This slower rate of weight loss can be attributed to several factors, including differences in muscle mass and hormonal variations.1 However, it’s possible to overcome barriers that are slowing you down. With a positive mindset and the right training plan, you can start seeing the results you want.
Physical activity and nutrition both play a role in weight loss. Most experts agree that what we eat is more likely to have a more significant impact on our rate of weight loss than exercise alone. Nonetheless, exercise provides several weight-loss benefits that go beyond burning calories.2
Exercise produces feel-good endorphins that keep weight loss fun and prevent burnout. Building muscle, flexibility, and endurance through exercise can boost your body image and improve your chances of sustaining weight loss over the long term.3
It may surprise you, but putting weight loss aside and focusing on other goals can help you lose more weight. If you find yourself obsessed with weight loss, speak to a healthcare provider.
Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is often the first thing that comes to mind when trying to lose weight. Cardio is any rhythmic activity that raises your heart rate: Running, walking, swimming, or cycling, for example. It contributes to calorie burn (you need a calorie deficit to lose weight), and if you increase intensity, you burn more calories.
Get more out of your exercise time with higher-intensity workouts. Because these workouts are shorter, you can squeeze them in even if you don’t have a lot of time.
Interval training is one of the best ways to increase your fitness level during any workout. Work hard for some time (say, 30 to 60 seconds), rest briefly, and repeat.
How to Burn More Fat When Exercising
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) takes regular intervals to the next level, focusing on very high-intensity exercises. HIIT offers proven benefits for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.4 This type of training can also help improve body composition effectively and efficiently.5 An example is sprint interval training.
Tabata training is another form of high-intensity interval training that involves pushing hard for very short periods, helping you burn calories and rev up your metabolism. Try the Tabata low impact challenge or a high impact Tabata cardio workout.
Cardio Mistakes to Avoid
Cardio exercise can help with weight loss. To keep it safer and more effective, take care not to:
- Do too much cardio. Repetitive motions in cardio exercises (like running) increase the risk of injury and overtraining.6 Switch up your routine and take days off to recover between workouts as needed.
- Neglect other types of exercise. If you skip out on weight training to focus only on cardio, you’re missing out on opportunities to change your body composition7 for the better.
- Stick to low-intensity cardio only. Doing cardio in your fat-burning heart-rate zone may not be enough to help you lose weight. Mixing in higher-intensity workouts will give you an extra edge for weight loss.
Both men and women can see improvements in body composition (ratio of muscle to fat) with weight training, especially when it’s combined with a nutritious, balanced diet.8 Beyond strengthening muscles, weight training burns a lot of calories (sometimes more than cardio).
Stronger muscles also help build stronger bones and boost metabolism. Following a regular weight training routine will help you maintain an active lifestyle for years to come, warding off some of the weight gain and chronic diseases associated with aging. Try a total body workout twice a week or split routines for your upper and lower body.
Kettlebell exercises can increase your strength just as well as regular dumbbells. You can also use resistance bands. Just make sure you’re lifting enough weight. Proper form is extremely important for effective and safe strength training. If you’re not sure how to get started, enlist the help of a qualified personal trainer.
Circuit training involves going from one exercise to the next with no rest in between, usually combining cardio along with strength moves. If you get bored easily from weight training, circuit training is a fun way to sneak in a resistance workout. Aim to incorporate circuit training one to two times per week.
Is It Easy To Lose Weight For Females?
In general, women have a harder time losing weight than men. This doesn’t mean that women can’t be successful when following a fat loss program. It just means that we may see slower rates of fat loss than men, and often those struggles are due to factors beyond our control.
Below are some of the reasons why women tend to have a harder time losing weight.
1. Women don’t have as much lean muscle mass
Women typically have higher body fat percentages than men and don’t carry as much lean muscle mass.
There are a few reasons for this. For one, women don’t have as much testosterone, which is the hormone responsible for growing and maintaining muscle mass. Men have four to five times the amount of testosterone as women do.
Women also tend to carry more fat because it helps with biological functions such as childbearing and breastfeeding. Having a higher body fat percentage is also necessary for us to have regular menstrual cycles.
2. Women have more hormonal fluctuations
Women have more hormonal fluctuations due to the menstrual cycle. Depending on where you are in your cycle, your hormones may make you feel hungrier or more tired than usual. This can cause you to eat more, and that can make it more difficult to lose fat if you aren’t consistently monitoring your calorie intake.
Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause can also affect women’s metabolisms. As well, conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which occurs in 5-20% of women of childbearing age, can cause significant hormonal imbalances that make it harder to lose weight.
3. Women are too afraid to lift weights
If you step foot into any large chain gym, you’ll likely find the weight room overrun by men. There may be a couple of females lifting weights, but most women prefer to take group fitness classes or stick to the cardio machines.
Society has come a long way in being more accepting of women with muscular physiques, but many females still avoid lifting weights because they’re afraid to get bulky.
But lifting weights is necessary if you want to increase your lean muscle mass, which helps to burn more calories throughout the day. Women who avoid strength training may be missing out on the metabolism-boosting effects that increased lean muscle mass can offer.
4. Women have to balance a lot of familial and professional responsibilities
Even when women have a lot of help from their partners when it comes to taking care of their children, they are usually the ones waking up in the middle of the night to feed a baby, driving kids to and from school or extracurricular activities, and preparing meals for the family. Many women work full-time jobs on top of all that as well.
All of these responsibilities don’t leave women with much free time. When they’re putting their family’s well-being above their own and trying not to neglect their professional obligations at work, workouts and healthy eating habits sometimes fall to the wayside.
5. It’s more common for women to be emotional eaters
Men can certainly be emotional eaters, but some studies have shown that women are more likely to eat sugary, fatty, carb-laden foods when coping with stress while men experience decreased appetites.
Part of this is due to the hormonal fluctuations in females I discussed above. Researchers have also hypothesized that women are more likely to possess a gene trait that blocks serotonin, the hormone responsible for mood stability and general feelings of happiness.
Women that exhibit this gene trait tend to engage in emotional eating more often, which can cause them to overeat.
The Problem With Most Female Fat Loss Workout Plans
Before I get into my own recommendations for how to structure a fat loss workout plan for females, I think it’s necessary to address some of the issues with most plans you can find on the internet.
1. Lack of variety
This workout plan from Muscle & Strength has you performing the same exact exercises with the same set and rep schemes for 10 weeks. It offers no guidance on how to adjust your sets and reps throughout the course of a fat loss phase.
The exercises it prescribes aren’t actually that bad. They hit all of the major muscle groups and include a combination of compound exercises (ones that work multiple muscle groups at once) and isolation exercises (those that work just one muscle group at a time), which I like.
But doing the same thing over and over again for 10 weeks can lead to boredom. It also doesn’t provide enough of a challenge to work your muscles in different ways or give you the opportunity to strengthen areas that may be lagging.
2. No recommendations for rest days
The workout plan above from Muscle & Strength has you working out 7 days a week. Three of those days are for cardio or low-impact core work, but it still perpetuates the idea that you need to work out more in order to lose weight.
For the vast majority of women, there’s no need to train every single day. On your rest days, you can simply focus on stretching or getting in enough steps without putting extra stress on your body. I provide examples of ways you can increase your activity without exercising further down in this article.
3. Lack of guidance when it comes to load management
In that same workout plan from Muscle & Strength, there’s no mention of how to properly select a weight for each movement. There are also no guidelines to follow when it comes to adding weight to each lift every week.
I understand that it’s hard to do that when you’re writing something for the masses and can’t possibly know every single reader’s workout history or current strength levels. But there are general recommendations you can provide to at least get people started. I share some of my own guidelines for weight selections later on in this article.
4. Illogical weight selections
If there’s anything worse than not offering any guidance at all when it comes to weight selection, it’s telling women to lift weights that simply don’t make sense.
Take, for example, this workout program from Muscle and Fitness Hers. On one of the trainer’s strength training days, she advises doing a glute exercise with a 3lb ankle weight.
Three pounds is nowhere near enough of a stimulus for most healthy women to actually build muscle. That’s lighter than most things you carry on a daily basis!
Healthy newborns that are carried full-term weigh more than that when they’re born. I’d even be willing to bet that your purse or the tote bag you take to work every day weighs more than 3lbs.
You can’t expect to get stronger if your workout doesn’t challenge you to lift weights that are heavier than the bags of groceries or toddlers that you carry every day.
5. Unsustainable diet plans
Nothing bothers me more than diet culture and “health experts” who prey on women’s insecurities by telling them they need to eat less. This diet plan from Women’s Health magazine — which claims to be “the best diet plan for weight loss ever” — is especially problematic.
The writer just assumes that any woman who wants to lose weight should eat 1,500 calories per day. Even if you’re not a professional athlete, that’s not enough food to support an active lifestyle. And to put into perspective just how few calories 1,500 is for an adult woman, that’s the same amount of daily recommended calories for a 7-year-old girl.
Expecting an adult woman, especially one who’s physically active, to sustain a diet of 1,500 calories a day is unreasonable. You likely burn more calories than that just by existing.
Diet plans like these also assume that all women need to eat the same amount of protein, carbs, and fats each day regardless of activity levels, current body weight, and other lifestyle factors. There are no guidelines on how to make the diet work for your individual needs, other than suggesting that you have a post-workout snack if you’re at the gym frequently.
Factors To Consider When Designing A Female Fat Loss Workout Plan
Taking what you know to be inaccurate or just illogical when it comes to most female fat loss programs, let’s review the proper way to structure a fat loss workout plan for women.
1. Exercise selection
A female fat loss workout plan should include a combination of compound and isolation movements.
Compound exercises such as squats and bench presses are beneficial because they can help you maintain or even gain strength even if you’re eating in a calorie deficit. They also burn more calories since you’re recruiting more muscles with each rep.
Isolation exercises, on the other hand, can help you maintain musculature in the smaller muscle groups such as your calves and biceps as you’re trying to get leaner.
I also recommend switching up your movements every 4-6 weeks. Certain exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses should remain, as these are some of the best movements for developing overall strength. However, if you need a break from them, you can choose different variations such as pause squats or Romanian deadlifts.
But choosing different accessory movements — for example, swapping lunges for Bulgarian split squats — can help prevent boredom and allow you to work your muscles in different ways.
2. Training volume
When you’re eating fewer calories than you’re used to, you need to train with the goal of preserving as much lean muscle mass as possible.
This typically means training with rep ranges in the 5-10 or 10-15 range, depending on the exercise. I’d recommend doing lower reps for compound movements like squats or deadlifts and higher reps for isolation movements like calf raises or tricep extensions.
You may also find that you can’t complete all of your prescribed sets or reps per exercise as your calories get lower. You may even find it difficult to do all of your exercises, period.
You can alleviate this by cutting your sets or reps in half. So if you are supposed to do 4 sets of back squats, you can reduce it to 2 sets. If you’re really low on energy, you can even decrease both sets and reps based on however much you think you can handle that day.
3. Training intensity
When you first start a fat loss phase, you may not notice that much of a decrease in energy because you’re not in too significant of a calorie deficit. You can likely continue training at a high intensity without gassing out halfway through your workout.
But as you get deeper into a cut and decrease your calories more, you’ll likely find it difficult to sustain high-intensity workouts. Training with weights around 70-75% of your 1RM may be all the intensity you can handle in the last few weeks of your cut.
You’ll need to closely monitor how you feel so you can determine what kind of intensity you can train at each day.
4. Training frequency
Maintaining a training frequency of 4-5 days per week is beneficial during a fat loss phase to prevent the loss of muscle mass. But when your daily calories are reduced and energy levels are low, you may find it difficult to keep up with that training schedule.
As such, it may become necessary to cut out at least one workout per week. Even if you only have enough energy to train two days a week, you can still maintain your strength, though you may still feel weaker until your fat loss phase ends and you increase your calories again.
5. Load management
Experienced lifters will likely have a good idea of what weights to start with when beginning a new workout plan. But if you’re new to strength training, you probably have no idea where to start.
The best way to figure out a starting point is to experiment. I recommend starting with an empty barbell or a light pair of dumbbells and doing 10-12 reps of an exercise.
If you can complete all of the reps easily while maintaining good form, you can go heavier the next time you do that exercise. If you couldn’t complete all of the reps, you’ll need to lower the weight. If you completed all of the reps but the last few were a struggle, you can stay at that weight.
You should follow this same protocol when deciding whether or not you should increase your weight from one workout to the next. You can likely increase your upper body weights by 5lbs and your lower body weights by 10lbs each week. But on some lifts like the overhead press, you may only be able to increase the weight by 2.5lbs every week.
With each set, you should also avoid lifting to failure — in other words, your form shouldn’t break down even during your last couple of reps. You should also finish each set feeling like you have 2-3 reps still left in the tank. If you don’t, your weight is likely too heavy.
Female Full Body Workout For Weight Loss
Losing weight is easier said than done, and there isn’t a magic pill to take off pounds. Instead, you have to burn more calories than you take in. This involves a healthy diet, as well as a combination of cardio and strength training.
Ready to shed stubborn pounds? Here’s a look at some of the best cardio and strength-training exercises for weight loss, along with tips to be active throughout the day.
Cardio exercises for weight loss
Cardiovascular workouts (or simply cardio) elevate your heart rate. These are some of the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss because the greater your heartbeat, the more fat you’ll burn, explains Multazim Shaikh, a fitness trainer and nutritionist with FamFits.
To lose weight or maintain weight loss, you’ll need up to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, according to the Mayo Clinic. This averages about 60 minutes, five days a week.
If you’re busy, split up your cardio into three smaller workouts a day. One example: Exercise 20 minutes in the morning before work, walk 20 minutes on your lunch break, and exercise for 20 minutes after dinner.
Great cardio workouts to help you lose weight include:
1. Low-intensity cardio
You don’t have to exercise at a high intensity to lose weight. If you’re a beginner or have physical limitations, low-intensity cardio can also help you burn calories and drop pounds.
These workouts include jogging, bicycling, power walking, swimming, and aerobics. Start slow and gradually up the intensity as you adjust to your new routine.
Aim for 60 minutes of low-intensity cardio five days a week. As you become more physically fit, carry hand weights while jogging, walking, or doing aerobics.
2. Jump rope
Jumping rope not only improves coordination and cognitive function, but the intensity of this workout elevates your heart rate, helping you burn about 1,300 calories per hour, explains Shaikh.
- Warm up with 8 to 10 jumps.
- Then jump continuously for 1 1/2 minutes.
- Rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat.
- Complete 3 sets.
You can switch up your routine, too. Jump one set on a single leg, one set with both legs, and one set while running in place.
Burpees combine squats, jumps, and pushups. It’s an effective workout because you’re burning fat from your overall body, and you’re training multiple muscle groups like your chest, legs, and core, says Shaikh.
- Do 10 reps in 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.
- Repeat for 5 minutes.
4. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This cardio workout has increased in popularity due to its ability to maximize calorie burn and fat loss. It involves intense bursts of exercise to elevate your heart rate, followed by 15 seconds of rest.
HIIT is great if you don’t have a lot of time. You’re able to exercise for a shorter length of time, yet complete a more intense and strenuous workout. As a result, you’ll continue to burn calories for hours after the workout, notes Shaikh.
Here’s an example of a HIIT routine:
- Complete butt kicks for 45 seconds, and rest for 15 seconds.
- Next, perform jumping lunges for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.
- Complete burpees for 45 seconds, and rest for 15 seconds.
- Repeat for 10 to 20 minutes.
- You can also incorporate other movements like mountain climbers and jump squats.
Or, you can try to complete a HIIT workout on a treadmill:
- Warm up for 5 minutes.
- Then sprint at a high-intensity speed for 1 minute.
- Walk for 30 seconds, and then sprint again at a high-intensity speed for 1 minute.
- Complete 8 to 10 sets.