For Women

Weight Loss Workout Plan for Women

Author: Lee Bell

February 1st 2018

It’s time to shape up, lose weight and discover a healthier, more confident you.

In as little as 12 weeks, this workout plan for women will help you turn your life around, bring back that smile and feel comfortable in your own body once more.

We’re going to help you discover a strong and curvy physique with toned muscles and a sexy, lean shape.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner to exercise or returning after a long break. If you bring the motivation we’ll bring the tools.

Weight loss is on the cards. And we’re here to help you play the winning hand.

The toughest part of the journey is building up the initial momentum. But you’ve made the biggest step by deciding to make a start. Once you get that first session under your belt it’s bound to get easier.

Let’s get to it!

What does this program cover?

Goal:Fat loss, weight loss
Aimed at:Beginner women
Program duration:8-12 weeks
Workout duration:30-45 minutes
Equipment needed:Body weight

The Basics of Weight Loss: Starting Your Journey Properly

That feeling you get when you’re due to start a new health kick or weight loss program is unrivaled.

There’s an anticipation of things to come. A buzz for the challenge ahead and a strange excitement building up inside of you.

You can visualize your new body and you just an’t wait to get there.

But there’s more to successful body transformation than hitting the gym hard and hoping for the best. It’s all about being clever with your efforts.

Better results with less time in the gym

Losing weight takes a more holistic approach that dials in on both nutrition and lifestyle too. That’s when the progress really starts to speed up.

In this 8-12 week fitness program for women you’ll be focusing on melting fat and staying lean by attacking your body with a three-pronged assault.

  • Home workouts
  • Calorie control
  • Increased daily activity levels

It’s the results trifecta. Plain and simple.

Control  your calories to carve out new curves

The number one factor in whether or not you lose weight and burn fat is energy balance.

No matter how hard you exercise, if you eat more than your body burns off each day you just won’t make progress.


Weight loss is all about the simple equation of calories in versus calories out. Okay, there are possibly some secondary factors such as hormones or metabolic disorders involved as well – but calories is the most important thing here.


When it comes to burning calories there are 4 main ways that your body uses energy obtained from food:

  • Basal metabolic rate (BMR) – this is the energy your body needs just for basic functions such as thinking, breathing, controlling heart rate and maintaining muscle mass. It’s the calories you’d need to survive if you were just to sit in a chair all day, every day without moving.
  • General activity – when you work your way through your daily activities (walking, housework, fidgeting) you need energy to move your body. It’s not hard activity, but it still requires calories.
  • Exercise – if you play sports or you go to the gym you’re burning calories from food.
  • Thermal effect of digestion – for you to digest and absorb food you need to use a small amount of energy.

Using stored calories as fuel is referred to as energy expenditure.

The energy you get from food keeps you alive. Whether it’s a burger or a salad, a steak or a smoothie, all foods contain calories. We call this energy input.

But not all foods are made equal.

For every gram of carbs you eat you get 4 calories.

It’s the same for protein.

But fat is higher, giving you as much as 9 calories per gram.

Find your calorie sweet spot and lose more weight

What we know about the human body is that we can predict weight gain or loss based on the relationship between energy input and expenditure.

  • Calories in > calories out = calorie surplus and weight gain
  • Calories in < calories out = calorie deficit and weight loss

It really is that simple.

But how big should your deficit be?

If you don’t cut calories enough you’ll lose weight slowly. But if you go too aggressive you’ll find it hard to stay on track and you might lose muscle mass too (goodbye curves).

Here’s what to do…

Use a 20-40% calorie deficit to accelerate fat loss

The first thing you need to do is calculate exactly what your maintenance calorie amount is. This simply refers to the energy you need each day to maintain body weight rather than gain or lose fat.

If you’re unsure how to do this you can use our scientifically reliable calculator right here…

Once you’ve done that you need to slash between 20 and 40% from that number.

If you prefer an easier-to-follow weight loss diet but with slower progress then go with 20% from maintenance. You’ll be in deficit, but the difference is only small so you’ll not burn fat rapidly.

If you need fast fat loss then go more towards 40%.

But be warned – it’ll be tough to follow because you’ll be hungry most of the time! You’ll see results quickly to begin with, but it’s harder to adhere to.

Weight loss is all about personal preference, the need for results and your own motivation.

Fit and athletic woman in sports top standing with her back towards camera. Rear view of fitness female with muscular body

Use Exercise and Activity to Maintain Muscle and Burn More Fat

Now this might be hard to get your head around to begin with.

Exercise isn’t that great for weight loss in beginners.

Especially the run-of-the-mill cardio sessions you might have expected in this plan (after all, that’s always been a popular approach for women).

Yep. We said it. Exercise isn’t your main strategy here.

So how does exercise help with weight loss?

When you’re in a calorie deficit your body will do everything it can to make up for the lack of stored energy. It’ll use fat because it’s the most energy-yielding nutrient in your body.

But it will also use muscle if you let it.

Muscle is metabolically active.

Remember, your metabolic rate refers to the energy needs of muscle mass. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn each day.

If you let your body use your muscle tissue for fuel you’ll find that your metabolism decreases over time. And that’ll quickly put the brakes on your progress.

Using strength training and circuit-style workouts is great for maintaining muscle mass during a weight cut. 

It not only burns calories during the workout, but continues to use fat for fuel afterwards too. While cardio might burn more calories during a workout when compared to lifting weights, strength training has a greater afterburn effect.

This means you’ll continue to shred fat for up to 48 hours after your workout.

That’s why strength training should be a priority over cardio.

Strength training stops muscle loss when you’re on a cut, helps you maintain a high metabolic rate, and helps you build shapely curves too.

Your ‘Weight Loss Workout Plan for Women’ doesn’t have a cardio element so you’ll be pleased to know we won’t be asking you to lace up your running sneakers and hit the track.

Instead we’ll be giving you some fat-melting strength circuits instead. All of which can be done in the comfort of your own home.

That way, you’ve got constant access to your workouts, and only need a small space in your front room or bedroom to perform them.

Day-to-day activity burns a huge number of calories

At this point you’ve nailed your calorie intake and you’ve got a good idea of what your workout will look like.

Now here’s the secret weapon… non-exercise activity.

Stick with us on this while we explain.

General fidgeting, walking, housework and activity is a great way of boosting your overall daily energy expenditure.

Referred to as none-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) in the science, being on your feet and staying active is a great way to burn fat without exercise. Even more so when you’re in a calorie deficit and strength training regularly as well.

And while you’re not getting out of breath or feeling like you’re exercising, NEAT can burn as many as 150 calories per hour. And it soon adds up.

Research hows that those that have high NEAT or walk over 10,000 steps per day are leaner and carry lower body fat. 

This is one of your daily goals. Buy a pedometer if you can or even download an app on your smart phone.

No, your metabolism isn’t ‘slow’

One of the most popular things people say when they don’t lose weight is that their metabolism is ‘damaged’ or ‘slow’.

We guarantee you right here that it isn’t.

Metabolic damage isn’t a thing.

What happens is that when you’re in a calorie deficit your body doesn’t like you burning energy left, right and center. It sees it as a waste.

So it tries to reduce tour NEAT by making you feel tired and reducing the amount of ‘energy’ hormones it pushes around your body (epinephrine for example).

This in turn will decrease your energy expenditure and over time your weight loss will slow down. And if you’re not aware of it you’ll never even notice how less active you are.

How do you fix this?

Two ways really.

One way is to just have days where you eat a bit more and use that extra energy to ‘kick start’ your activity levels. Eat at maintenance levels and you’ll feel full and energized.

Or you can simply be conscious of how active you are being each day regardless of how tired you feel.

Again, it’s down to preference.

Dark-haired female athlete performing push-ups in the gym

Key Weight Loss Points:

  • You need to achieve a calorie deficit to lose body fat. Pitching for around 20-40% lower than your maintenance allowance will help you find the sweet spot between progress and adherence.
  • Strength training burns calories but is primarily used to maintain muscle mass during a weight cut.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of general physical activities on a weight loss plan. Aiming for 10,000 steps per day and keeping active in general are potent fat loss tools.
  • Wen you’re dieting your body will naturally want you to reduce your activity levels. You’ll need to fight it every step of the way to keep making progress.

How Does The Workout Plan for Women Work?

If you’re a woman who wants to get lean, lose weight and drop body fat then this is the workout for you.

We wanted to strike a balance between a workout schedule that would work and get results, but also one that was doable in the real world. So many times we’ve seen plans that are too difficult to do because they require specialist equipment to are just too difficult.

This 8-12 week program works well for a beginner level woman because it’s tough, but adaptable too.

And what’s best is that it can be done in the luxury of your own front room too.

Here’s how it works…

Phase 1: full-body exercise routine to burn fat and build strength

The goal here is to target as many of your large muscle groups as possible.

You’ll be hitting your legs, butt, abs and arms to start the journey to lean and curvy muscles, while letting your calorie deficit do the work for weight loss.

And the beauty here is that this ‘prep’ phase is only 2 weeks long so you can use it as a less intense springboard while your body gets used to your lower energy diet.

We’re keeping it basic by going with tried and tested exercises in phase 1.

Later on in phase 2 and 3 we’ll give you some pretty cool variations on these, but for now it’s all about nudging your body and gaining momentum.

You can do this workout as many times as you want. We suggest going for 3 times per week, pushed up to 4 if you feel like you can. Definitely don’t drop to 2 though or you’ll not be getting enough lifting volume in to keep those muscles nice and lean.

NumberExerciseRepsSetsRest Time
1Air squats12-2031-2 minutes
2Push-ups (on knees or full)12-2031-2 minutes
3Split squat12-20 per side31-2 minutes
4Plank rotations12-20 per side31-2 minutes
5Chair dips12-2031-2 minutes
6Hip thrusts12-2031-2 minutes
7Mountain climbers12-20 per side31-2 minutes
8Step-ups (using 2 stairs)12-20 per side31-2 minutes

Phase 2: strength circuits to torch fat and get you lean

In phase 2 you’ll notice that there’s a sneaky cardio element working its way into your workout plan for women.

Not in the sense of jogging or cycling, but through strength training.

Because of the way we’ve organized your exercises, blood will have to travel around your body at a quicker rate. To achieve this your heart rate and breathing will have to increase… and so will your body temperature.

It’s your homemade cardio strength workout!

We’ve also added a time element to your plan too, with 2 separate circuits built into one workout.

You’ll perform as many reps and exercises as you can in 15 minutes for block 1, and after you’ve rested for 5 minutes, do the same for block 2.

The idea is to complete the first exercise and then move onto number 2 as quick as you can. You’ll keep going non-stop until the 15 minutes is up (you can use mini-breaks during the circuit if you need to).

That’s a 30-minute intense workout right there.

We suggest you follow this plan for 3 sessions per week for 6-8 weeks, consistently trying to do more reps within the 30 minutes. Keep a log and try and beat your total rep count each week.

If you do, you’re results are guaranteed.

Circuit 1: 15 minutes long

1Dynamic lunge (or) Bulgarian split squat10 per side
2Full push-ups (if you can't do full you can use your stairs to place your hands higher)10
3Prisoner squat15
4Dips (Use a chair or step to get the right depth for your ability)10

Circuit 2: 15 minutes long

1Single leg hip thrust10 per side
3Towel hamstring curl15
4Russian twist10

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