BY: Lisa Payne

December 21, 2018

How Often Should Women Work Their Upper Body?

Having strong, toned arms is like walking around with a gold star for all the training you’ve put in at the gym. Nothing says confidence like a girl who commits to her fitness goals and achieves them. But how much weightlifting for women does one need to do to get arms like Jessica Biel or Michelle Obama?

With the proper weightlifting routine, you should see a difference in your body every 4 to 6 weeks. Consistency is key to seeing and feeling the best results. Your first step is to establish how often each week you need to lift. Here’s how:

weightlifting for women

Set a Baseline

Wherever you’re at with your fitness goals, establish a baseline. Complete three sets of 16 reps of each of the following exercises:

  • Chest press
  • Lat pull-down
  • Overhead shoulder press
  • Tricep extension
  • Bicep curls

Choose a weight that makes finishing each set challenging but not overly impossible. Baselines can also include taking measurements and pre-workout plan photos. Write this information down. Check in with yourself about the amount of weight you need and add weight when it’s time to progress.

RELATED: How to Get Stronger Arms: Trainer-Approved Exercise Moves

Create a Six-Week Plan

Finding time to train can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Eventually try for two to four 30-45 minute whole body strength weekly workouts. At least two of those workouts should include upper body exercises that utilize all of your upper body muscles. Weightlifting for women is healthy. But doing too much or too little isn’t. Find a happy medium where you’ll reap the benefits of your training but without feeling burned out, or so sore you can’t lift your arms to blow dry your hair.

weightlifting for women

Micro-Cycle Periodization

Once you have your baseline set and a game plan in motion, start to break apart your weekly workouts into exercises by muscle group. For example, set one day aside to work on biceps and back, and another work triceps and shoulders.

Micro-cycle periodization is training that alternates arm muscles and exercises in a standardized way throughout the day, week or month. It produces lean muscle mass while preventing overtraining and injury.

The best thing you can do to get lean, toned arms is simply to get started. Even if it’s once a week, strength training is strength training. Assess your baseline, implement a consistent plan and standardize your workouts to rotate in all upper body muscle groups. Weightlifting for women boosts strength and confidence!

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