Is ‘Female Specific Weight Training’ A Thing?


By Jamie Bantleman

UK Personal Trainer 

A myth that has been a part of the fitness industry for a long period of time is that women should not weight train due to ‘putting too much muscle on’.

This is, in most cases, close to being impossible due to the hormones that women do and do not possess. Therefore, there isn’t really a specific type of lifting applicable to females – it’s more of a stereotype. Women can train extremely hard – even lift as much as males, yet their body composition will not replicate that of a male bodybuilder.


The ‘male’ hormone, testosterone, and the ‘female’ hormone oestrogen play different roles in the body that causes chemical reactions that create changes to body composition and general health and wellbeing.


The male androgen that increases muscle cell development, fat loss and in some cases cognition. As we get older, testosterone is effected and can be decreased especially in those who live a more sedentary lifestyle.


The female hormone that regulates the reproductive hormones alongside metabolic processes such as bone growth and cholesterol levels. It can also mediate fat metabolism and cognition.

However an excess in estrogen can lead to an increase in body fat percentage.

Why Women Won’t Turn ‘Bulky’

Hormones dictate the rate in which we gain muscle mass. Females, without a high level of testosterone will not apply muscle mass without serious increase in calories intake or of course, the usage of anabolic performance enhancing drugs.

For this reason it maybe be very beneficial for women to spend more time weight training, to help maintain a healthy balance in hormones.

Without the adequate amount of testosterone production it is very unlikely a woman will gain a huge amount of muscle mass to make them appear ‘bulky’.

Therefore, a training plan should be devised to ensure you are lifting weights alongside conditioning/cardio as secondary level of importance.

Ladies may want to develop areas of their bodies, men may not want to.

For example: you may want to focus more on the development of the glutes rather than the biceps and triceps.

Example Training Plan

glute kick backs

Week Overview

Monday Glutes dominant Leg workout
Tuesday Chest and Shoulders workout
Wednesday REST
Thursday Quad and Hamstring dominant Leg Workout
Friday REST
Saturday Back and Shoulders workout
Sunday REST

The Workouts

Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 Wide Stance Barbell Squat 5 40s 3110 10s
A2 Sumo Squat with weight belt and dumbbell attached 5 40s 3110 10s
A3 DB RDL 5 40s 3110 10s
A4 DB Long Range Lunge 5 40s 2110 10s
A5 High Step Up 5 20s each leg 2010 10s
A6 Banded High and Wide Leg Press with 10s isometric hold at bottom of movement 5 10 reps 3-10-0-1 120s
Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 Wide Grip Assisted Chin Up 5 8 3110 10s
A2 Seated Row 5 8 3110 60s
B1 High Face Pull 5 10 3110 10s
B2 Seated Side Laterals 5 10 2010 60s
C1 Supinated Grip Lat Pull Down 5 12 3010 10s
C2 Seated DB Bicep Curl 5 12 3010 60s
D1 Duel Rope Tricep Extension 1 D/S 3010 X
Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 Flat DB Press 5 8 3110 10s
A2 Kneeling Incline Press Up 5 8 3110 60s
B1 Seated DB Shoulder Press 5 10 3110 10s
B2 Incline DB Chest Press 5 10 2010 60s
C1 Seated Cable Flies 5 12 3010 10s
C2 Seated Cable Press 5 12 3010 60s
D1 Machine Chest Press 1 D/S 3010 X
Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 Deadlift Up Set x 3 5 6-8 3010 120
B1 Db Walking Lunges 5 20 2010 10s
B2 Bulgarian Split Squat 5 10 2010 60s
C1 Low Foot Leg Press 5 20 3010 10s
C2 Lying Leg Curl 5 8-10 3110 60s
D1 Leg Extension 1 Amap 3010 X

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