Wanna know a little secret? How to start weight training for females is pretty much identical to how men start too. But I’m gonna tailor this a little bit for the ladies. Lifting weights is one of the best things I ever started doing for myself. It makes me feel strong and powerful and that’s one of the reasons I’ve never quit. I’ve taken several long “breaks”… but it’s something I always, always, always come back to.
If you’re like me, the thought of weight training in a public gym is really not an option. Haha. You can hire personal trainers to come to your home to train you but that’s something I’ve never wanted to try either.
The solution? Weight training at home!
First, you should know that I’m not a professional whatsoever. I’m not a certified personal trainer either. I’m just a mom who taught myself with the help of just a few amazing resources.
I have been lifting weights and working out at home since I started this crazy journey in 2008. If you aren’t sure where to start at all, I’m going to share some of my favorite resources that have helped me along the way.
In the beginning, I didn’t create my own workouts. I found workouts designed by trainers to follow so that I could learn a bunch of different exercises along with their correct form.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Where to find a home workout program
- Workout equipment needed (if any)
My Top 5 Weight Training Home Workout Resources
Finding a good workout program first will then tell you what kind(s) of equipment you’ll need.
1. YouTube is what I use for looking up specific exercises and learning how to do them. Like deadlifts. I don’t remember YouTube being super popular wayyy back in 2008 so initially, that was not a resource of mine but I do use it now.
To start your search, just think of what kind of workout you’d like to do. Dumbell workout? No equipment? HIIT?
Search ideas to try:
- home weight training workout
- home strength training workout no equipment
- dumbbell workout for beginners at home
2. Magazines. This is actually where I learned a lot of what I know now. Muscle and Fitness is my favorite. Even though it’s a “men’s” magazine I like it better than women’s fitness mags (although I do like Oxygen). It just seemed like M&F had a LOT more to consume. More workouts, more recipes and more informative articles.
3. Books. I’m going to share just two of the books that I have because I still think they’re the best ones I’ve ever bought.
The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess
When we moved into our first home together this was one of the first workouts I tried and I really liked it. I actually followed it for more than a couple weeks.
- You can expect 3 workouts per week
- Workout A and Workout B alternate each workout day
- There are 7 total stages of the program
- Detailed explanations of each move with photos
- Answers how much weight you should use
- A complete meal plan with breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, dessert and post-workout shake
- Dumbbells. I started out using colorful, rubber-coated 5#, 8# and 10# dumbbells like these. After a couple years of working out I did upgrade to the Select Techs (December 7th, 2013 to be exact). When you’re just starting out a few sets of dumbbells in various weights is perfectly fine. As you get stronger you’ll find your dumbbell collection growing and Select Techs take up a lot less room while giving you options to create dumbbells as light as 5# and as heavy as 52.5#.
Thinner, Leaner, Stronger
Yes, sometimes I use receipts as bookmarks. Haha!
Of the two books, this one is my favorite. It just has so much information inside. It also has varying workouts with minimal equipment needed.
- You can expect 3, 4 and 5-day lifting plans
- Contains 7 sections on the 1. Fundamentals (physiology, nutrition and general health), 2. Inner Game (willpower, self-control and setting goals), 3. Nutrition and Diet (beyond “clean eating”, pre- and post- workout nutrition to maximize progress, eating healthy on a budget), 4. Training (philosophy, how to train, the workouts, tracking progress and preventing injury), 5. Supplementation (what’s worth your money and what’s not), 6. The Beginning (beginning your self-transformation) and 7. Q&A and End of Book Goodies. Plus bonuses!
- There is a lot of information to digest but it’s all so important. No get-fit quick stuff here, just hard work.
- Focuses on power lifts.
- Also details proper form and includes images for each exercise.
- Dumbbells. At least! Again, I’d recommend these if you’re just starting or go all-out with Select Techs if they fit your budget.
- Olympic weight set. You can do most of the exercises in this program with dumbbells but using a barbell and plates is so much fun! We started with a bench and a 300# weight set. You’ll either want to buy these locally so you don’t have to pay for freight or shop on Amazon if you’re a Prime member because shipping will be FREE and you’ll get your items in 2 days. There are so many affordable options on there. We spent $300 on our first barbell and plates set and then another $150 on a bench. Prices are better these days! And you don’t need anything fancy, it just needs to be heavy. :)
4. Beachbody On Demand. This right here is worth it’s weight in GOLD. Beachbody On Demand (or BOD) is a streaming service that brings every single Beachbody workout right to your living room. It’s an annual membership and it’s just $99. That breaks down to $8.25 per month. I wish this was available when I started but it’s only been around for a couple of years. If you get nothing else, I promise this membership is worth it.
If following workout videos isn’t your thing then the books mentioned above may be a better fit for you. I tend to do a mix of both. I love the structure of BOD workout programs but I like to change it up all the time too. It’s nice to have the BOD workouts available and you get access to every single workout in the entire Beachbody library. They used to sell these home fitness dvd sets for $90 a pop + shipping! I know, because I have most of them and they take up a lot more room!
To get started, you can try their service risk-free for 30 days and if you don’t like it you can get your money back. If you don’t want to commit to an entire year, they do have several different membership options now.
- 3-month membership for $39 ($13/month) and you’re auto billed quarterly. This option offers a 14-day free trial and you won’t be charged unless you decide to keep your membership.
- 6-month membership for $59 ($9.83/month) and you’re billed twice a year.
- 12-month membership for $99 ($8.25/month) and you’re billed annually.
If the auto billing scares you, don’t let it. If you use my links you can send me a message and I’ll send you reminder emails prior to your next billing date in case you’d like to cancel. :)
- Dumbbells. At the very least I’d say you need a few sets of dumbbells. Again, going with 5#, 8# and 10# if you’re just starting is perfectly fine.
- Workout-specific equipment. For instance, 80 Day Obsession uses fitness loops; Transform: 20 uses a step and dumbbells, etc. You don’t have to purchase that equipment from Beachbody, you’ll find similar items cheaper on Amazon. Just be sure you read reviews on the fitness loops, you don’t want to use ones that are made cheaply because the chances of them snapping are good and that is not fun! Many of the workouts you can also begin with no equipment at all.
5. Pinterest. Pinterest is a search engine in itself, just like Google, but with all image results! Simply type in a specific type of workout you’re looking for and you can choose from thousands.
Here are a few of my workout boards to get you started if you’d like:
- Fitness (general fitness board w/workouts)
- Strength Training Workouts
- Home Workouts for Abs (ab/core workouts only)
Those boards are filled with my own workouts but mostly the awesome workouts from other people! You can follow me on Pinterest here.
I think that’s probably enough to get you started. Overwhelmed? Don’t be! Just pick whatever motivates you to get going and get started!
If you start something and you end up not liking it, it’s okay to stop and try something else. It’s okay to stop but it’s not okay to quit. And I’ve stopped a lot. Haha! But I always start again. That’s what matters.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below. :)