Beginner Strength and Conditioning Workout Plan: 4-6 Weeks

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    Women Back Gains

    Workout Tips

    • Set your music if you use it, and then STAY OFF YOUR PHONE; stay focused.
    • Exercise whenever you have at least an hour to dedicate to the full workout and where you won’t cut yourself short. However, try to avoid working out past 8pm or 3 hours before you go to bed
    • For EVERY exercise, mentally focus on the muscle group you’re engaging and visualize how you are working it with every rep. Don’t just do the workout and go through the motions. Watching yourself in a mirror or occasionally looking down can really help
    • Do not eat a large meal and no more than a small snack 30min before working out
    • Drink water throughout the entire workout and a recovery drink (especially protein based!) 30min or sooner after you finish working out
    • Take your time with everything; make sure you are comfortable and that none of the movements hurt! And google or go to bodybuilding.com for any doubt or questions on how to do something, or what machine I’m referencing!
    • ’#x#’ = number of sets and the number of reps so for example: 3x12 = 3 sets and in each set, do the exercise 12 times.
    • Rest period between each set should be no longer than 2 minutes. Rest period between each exercise should be no longer than 5 minutes.
    • For breathing, breath initially when lifting, then breath out when returning to starting position of the exercise; never hold your breath!
    • If anything, when it comes to posture, make sure your sitting up straight, head upright and keep repeating the same movements during the entire set; form!
    • Challenge yourself. If the weight seems too easy or light then stop, increase weight and continue the set; never sell yourself sort or cheat yourself out of progress!
    • You want to be able to do the entire set count (like all 12 or 10 or 8 reps) without losing form, so always be comfortable but push yourself when choosing weight.

    Week 1: Consistency and Form

    For Weeks 1-3, keep the same weight you start each exercise with for all the sets

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    Day 1 – Lower Body

    Leg Extensions (machine): light weight, 3x12

    Sitting Back Row (machine): light weight, 3x12

    Calf Raises (machine): light weight, 3x18

    Bend-over Rows (w/ bar): light weight, 3x12

    Barbell Squats: bar only, 3x12

    Seated Calf Raises (machine): light weight, 3x18

    Bent-over rows (w/ dumbbell), one arm at a time, both done is a set: light weight, 3x12 each side

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 2 – Rest but with 30min of light cardio (work counts ;p)

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    Day 3Upper Body

    Bicep Curls (w/ bar): light weight, 3x12

    Shoulder Press w/ bar (seated): light weight, 3x12

    Triceps Push Down (machine): light weight, 3x12

    Seated Preacher Curl (machine): light weight, 3x12

    Straight-arm Pulldowns (machine): light weight, 3x12

    Seated Behind-the-Head Triceps Extensions (w/ one dumbbell): light weight, 3x12

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 4 – Rest but with 30min of light cardio (work counts ;p)

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    Day 5Core/Abs *It is ok to slightly arch your back on chest exercises*

    Straight-Leg Crunches (place hands on temples; don’t grab your neck!): 3x10 *make sure to only lift from the shoulders and higher*

    Dumbbell Chest Press: light weight, 3x12

    Lunges (body weight only): 3x20

    Seated Chest Press (machine): light weight, 3x12

    Scissor Kicks: 3x30 seconds

    Seated Chest Fly (machine): light weight, 3x12 *keep elbows only slightly bent*

    Bent-knee Crunches (cross arms around chest; don’t grab your head!): 3x10

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 6 – Rest

    Day 7 – Rest

    Week 2: Consistency and Form

    Only slightly increase from weight used last week

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    Day 8 – Lower Body

    Leg Extensions (machine): light weight, 4x10

    Sitting Back Row (machine): light weight, 4x10

    Calf Raises (machine): light weight, 4x15

    Bend-over Rows (w/ bar): light weight, 4x10

    Barbell Squats: bar with some weight, 4x10

    Seated Calf Raises (machine): light weight, 4x15

    Bent-over rows (w/ dumbbell), one arm at a time, both done is a set: light weight, 4x10 each side

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 9 – Rest but with 30min of light cardio (work counts ;p)

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    Day 10Upper Body

    Bicep Curls (w/ bar): light weight, 4x10

    Shoulder Press w/ bar (seated): light weight, 4x10

    Triceps Push Down (machine): light weight, 4x10

    Seated Preacher Curl (machine): light weight, 4x10

    Straight-arm Pulldowns (machine): light weight, 4x10

    Seated Behind-the-Head Triceps Extensions (w/ one dumbbell): light weight, 4x10

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 11 – Rest but with 30min of light cardio (work counts ;p)

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    Day 12Core/Abs *It is ok to slightly arch your back on chest exercises*

    Straight-Leg Crunches (place hands on temples; don’t grab your neck!): 4x8

    Dumbbell Chest Press: light weight, 4x10

    Lunges (w/ bar or dumbbells): 4x15

    Seated Chest Press (machine): light weight, 4x10

    Scissor Kicks: 3x35 seconds

    Seated Chest Fly (machine): light weight, 4x10 *keep elbows only slightly bent*

    Bent-knee Crunches (cross arms around chest; don’t grab your head!): 4x8

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 13 – Rest

    Day 14 – Rest

    Week 3: Consistency and Form

    Use same weight as Week 2 if not more

    Increase cardio difficulty; do hill walking, running, etc, or increase resistance

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    Day 15 – Lower Body

    Leg Extensions (machine): medium weight, 3x12

    Sitting Back Row (machine): medium weight, 3x12

    Calf Raises (machine): medium weight, 3x18

    Bend-over Rows (w/ bar): medium weight, 3x12

    Barbell Squats: bar with some weight, 3x12

    Seated Calf Raises (machine): medium weight, 3x18

    Bent-over rows (w/ dumbbell), one arm at a time, both done is a set: medium weight, 3x12

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 16 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 17Upper Body

    Bicep Curls (w/ bar): medium weight, 3x12

    Shoulder Press w/ bar (seated): medium weight, 3x12

    Triceps Push Down (machine): medium weight, 3x12

    Seated Preacher Curl (machine): medium weight, 3x12

    Straight-arm Pulldowns (machine): medium weight, 3x12

    Seated Behind-the-Head Triceps Extensions (w/ one dumbbell): medium weight, 3x12

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 18 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 19Core/Abs

    Straight-Leg Crunches (place hands on temples; don’t grab your neck!): 3x10

    Dumbbell Chest Press: medium weight, 3x12

    Lunges (w/ bar or dumbbells): 3x20

    Seated Chest Press (machine): medium weight, 3x12

    Scissor Kicks: 3x40 seconds

    Seated Chest Fly (machine): medium weight, 3x12 *keep elbows only slightly bent*

    Bent-knee Crunches (cross arms around chest; don’t grab your head!): 3x10

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 20 – Rest

    Day 21 – Rest

    Week 4: Strength Focus

    For the first 2 sets of every exercise, use weight from Weeks 1&2, then increase weight to either what you used in Week 3 or even more weight for the last 2 sets

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    Day 22 – Lower Body

    Leg Extensions (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Sitting Back Row (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Calf Raises (machine): 2x18 & 2x12

    Bend-over Rows (w/ bar): 2x10 & 2x8

    Barbell Squats: bar with weight: 2x10 & 2x8

    Seated Calf Raises (machine): 2x18 & 2x12

    Bent-over rows (w/ dumbbell): 2x10 & 2x8

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 23 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 24Upper Body

    Bicep Curls (w/ bar): 2x10 & 2x8

    Shoulder Press w/ bar (seated): 2x10 & 2x8

    Triceps Push Down (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Seated Preacher Curl (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Straight-arm Pulldowns (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Seated Behind-the-Head Triceps Extensions (w/ one dumbbell): 2x10 & 2x8

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 25 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 26Core/Abs

    Straight-Leg Crunches: 3x15

    Dumbbell Chest Press: 2x10 & 2x8

    Lunges (w/ bar or dumbbells): 3x25

    Seated Chest Press (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Scissor Kicks: 3x45 seconds

    Seated Chest Fly (machine): 2x10 & 2x8

    Bent-knee Crunches: 3x15

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 27 – Rest

    Day 28 – Rest

    Week 5: Strength Focus

    Slightly increase weight again for the last 2 sets while keeping close to what you did last week for the first 3 sets.

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    Day 29 – Lower Body

    Leg Extensions (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Sitting Back Row (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Calf Raises (machine): 3x15 & 2x12

    Bend-over Rows (w/ bar): 3x10 & 2x6

    Barbell Squats: bar with weight: 3x10 & 2x6

    Seated Calf Raises (machine): 3x15 & 2x12

    Bent-over rows (w/ dumbbell): 3x10 & 2x6

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 30 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 31Upper Body

    Bicep Curls (w/ bar): 3x10 & 2x6

    Shoulder Press w/ bar (seated): 3x10 & 2x6

    Triceps Push Down (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Seated Preacher Curl (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Straight-arm Pulldowns (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Seated Behind-the-Head Triceps Extensions (w/ one dumbbell): 3x10 & 2x6

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 32 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 33Core/Abs

    Straight-Leg Crunches: 4x12

    Dumbbell Chest Press: 3x10 & 2x6

    Lunges (w/ bar or dumbbells): 4x20

    Seated Chest Press (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Scissor Kicks: 4x30 seconds

    Seated Chest Fly (machine): 3x10 & 2x6

    Bent-knee Crunches: 4x12

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 34 – Rest

    Day 35 – Rest

    Week 6: Form Refocus and Drop Set

    For this, use highest weight you’ve achieved for each exercise for the first 2 sets, then reduce weight by 15-20% (ex: starting with 50lbs, then set 3&4 would reduce by 7.5lbs or be around 40lbs).

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    Day 36 – Lower Body

    Leg Extensions (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Sitting Back Row (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Calf Raises (machine): 2x12 & 2x15

    Bend-over Rows (w/ bar): 2x8 & 2x12

    Barbell Squats: bar with weight: 2x8 & 2x12

    Seated Calf Raises (machine): 2x12 & 2x15

    Bent-over rows (w/ dumbbell): 2x8 &2x12

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 37 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 38Upper Body

    Bicep Curls (w/ bar): 2x8 & 2x12

    Shoulder Press w/ bar (seated): 2x8 & 2x12

    Triceps Push Down (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Seated Preacher Curl (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Straight-arm Pulldowns (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Seated Behind-the-Head Triceps Extensions (w/ one dumbbell): 2x8 & 2x12

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 39 – Rest but with 30min of medium cardio

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    Day 40Core/Abs

    Straight-Leg Crunches: 3x15

    Dumbbell Chest Press: 2x8 & 2x12

    Lunges (w/ bar or dumbbells): 3x25

    Seated Chest Press (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Scissor Kicks: 3x45 seconds

    Seated Chest Fly (machine): 2x8 & 2x12

    Bent-knee Crunches: 3x15

    10 minutes of moderate cardio: fast walking/bike/elliptical

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    Day 41 – Rest

    Day 42 – Rest

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