8 weeks - Strength Training and Diet plan

by Thomas Stieger on March 09, 2021



8 weeks women strength training and diet plan

Even though the treadmill is a great way to keep healthy and burn off those calories, loaded barbells are a great way to get to the next fitness level. Not only does strength training burn off calories, but it also tones the body. Strength training uses your body weight or equipment such as barbells and dumbbells to build strength, endurance, and muscle mass.

Those who are just starting with weightlifting should not let go of their preferred workout routines. Instead, they should begin strength training sessions a few times a week and work their way to higher training frequencies.

It usually takes a couple of weeks to notice results, but it is worth the wait. The primary function of strength training is to build strength, but it also sculpts your body as a whole. Another great advantage is that your body keeps burning calories beyond gym sessions, which is excellent for those with weight loss goals. There are many more benefits to strength training, which we mention below.

Strength training benefits

  1. Lower abdominal fat

study carried out by Harvard shows that strength training effectively prevents abdominal fat formation. As people gain more muscle, they burn more calories because muscle tissue is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat tissue. 

"When people incorporate strength training into their exercise routine, they not only burn calories but increase lean muscle mass, which stimulates the metabolism," according to Rebold.

  1. Improves mental health

It was shown that strength training improves symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety. When exercising, endorphins are released, which play a significant role in mental health. According to Harvard Medical School, another mental health benefit from strength training is overcoming obstacles, which increases mental resilience.

  1. Improved body image

A study carried out in 2015 by the Journal of Extension shows that strength training improves body image in middle-aged and older women. The exciting thing is that the perceived physical appearance improves in women who do strength training, no matter the actual aesthetic result.

  1. Improves cardiovascular health

Unfortunately, abdominal fat finds its way around vital organs, including the heart. This is why excess abdominal fat can be dangerous but can also be reduced by strength training sessions.

Strength training also impacts the heart directly, according to a

  1. Reduced cancer risk

Abdominal fat cells produce high levels of a protein called fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2), according to a study published by the Journal of Oncogene in 2017. This protein is known to trigger cancer.

Moreover, muscle mass is essential for cancer treatment. Loss of muscle is a common complication during chemotherapy and can result in higher toxicity rates, faster tumor progression, and lower survival rates in general.

Types of strength training

  1. Hypertrophy training

Hypertrophy is simply an increase and growth in muscle cells. When people say hypertrophy, what they mean is an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise. Lifting weights is one of the most common ways one can increase hypertrophy. Research shows that weightlifters should be aiming to do 6-12 repetitions in each set with a 60-90 second rest between each set.

  1. Muscle endurance

Muscle endurance focuses on doing more repetitions with lighter weights. This works well, especially for beginners, because it allows tissue to become more tolerant of intense training sessions. Do not look at other people in the gym and try to lift as much as they do. Concentrate on your daily progress. It is suggested to do 12-20+ reps with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

  1. Maximal strength training

This training type is excellent for people who have built up their muscle endurance and have experience performing exercises. In this training, the number of repetitions drops to 3-6, and the weight is increased.

  1. Circuit training

In circuit training, you will be performing a series of exercises until you reach the last exercise. After that, you will rest for a certain amount of time and repeat the sequence. If it gets easy, you can increase the number of reps in each exercise or reduce resting time.

  1. Explosive power training

Explosive power training is not recommended for beginners because one needs to develop maximal strength. Explosive power training combines the speed and strength of an individual to increase power output. This type of training is used primarily by athletes because they often need to generate a lot of effort in a short period.


Strength training for beginners

  1. Lift manageable weights

Don't go chasing heavy weights on your first session. Hire a personal coach or figure out what values work best for you.  If you realize that it becomes challenging in the last two reps of your set, you are probably using the right weights for you! A good practice is to measure your 1 REP max monthly; you can do this using this calculator.

You will be progressing as time passes, so increase your weights gradually.

  1. Warmups are crucial

A proper warmup will give you better results during your strength training sessions. Try to get some light cardio for 5-10 minutes before the workout to lubricate your joints and elevate your heart rate. Elevating your heart rate is essential to get the oxygenated blood pumping to your muscles before the actual training. Incorporate some dynamic stretches to increase flexibility.

  1. How long should you train?

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests training at least twice per week. The training should engage all major muscle groups: legs, core, chest, hips, arms, and shoulders. The last repetition, at the end of your set, should be challenging.

Bad habits can often get in the way of progress, which affects exercise more than anything, but this should not deter you from doing what is right for your health.

Now that we have covered some of the basics, you can start right away; here is an excellent eight-week training program. Don't fear the unknown, embrace a positive attitude, and go headfirst; you will live to see yourself change in a positive light, become more confident and happier.

If you are not sure how to do some of the exercises below, please follow the links to the exercises in the table below but always make sure to consult your physician or personal coach if you are unsure.


Eight-week strength training

This 8-week strength training routine is designed to engage your whole body. You will be doing three sessions per week. We suggest working out on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but you could choose any other days that fit your schedule as long as you have at least one rest day in between your strength training sessions. Abs and a cardio workout will be incorporated on a separate random day of your choice. If you are not sure how to do some of the exercises below, please consult a personal coach.





Week 1-2



Week 3-4



Week 5-6



Week 7-8




The number of sets and reps for each abdominal exercise for cardio and ab workout will change each week as follows:




Week 1-2



Week 3-4



Week 5-6



Week 7-8







Abs and Cardio

Barbell Squat

Machine Squat Press


Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlifts


Elliptical training (20 minutes)

Bench Press

Leg Press Machine Calf Raises


Dumbbell lunges

Flutter kicks

Cable seated row

Dumbbell flat bench press

Standing dumbbell calf raise

Lying Leg Raise

Barbell Curl

Wide grip lat pulldown



Cable Triceps kickback

Alternative bicep curl


Plank (60 seconds)

Seated Barbell Military press

Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extensions


Dumbbell reverse curls

Ab Roller



Dumbbell lateral raise

Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extensions


Heel touches


Knee raise

Dumbbell front raise








8 weeks nutrition plan


Eight-week nutrition plan

Whether the goal is to maintain or lose weight, the diet will play a more significant role than the exercise sessions themselves. Many people believe that doing excessive cardio and strength training is required to lose or maintain weight. Unfortunately, it is not the case; show that people overestimate the amount of burned calories and end up eating more food. This results in gaining more calories than the calories they have burnt, which simply does not work.

When following a strength training program, your body will require different nutritional needs to a person who is not working out. So, we will discuss a couple of ways to get in the right number of calories when hitting the gym. For your information, you can eat as many vegetables as you desire, and drink as much water as you need – fibers and oxygenated blood will contribute to overall health.

Is timing important?

Getting a snack within 30 minutes of your training session can help with muscle recovery and help you avoid overeating later in the day. Chose if you want to have a snack before or after your workout. If you have a snack before your workout, make sure to end your workout before breakfast, lunch, or dinner to replenish all the macronutrients you've spent straight after your workout.

Those who exercise on an empty stomach should eat 100-200 calories, protein-filled, post-workout snack with. Protein bars are a quick solution for a post-workout snack.

Concentrate on protein

It is suggested that women take

Vegetarians can also get the right amount of protein by incorporating certain protein powders such as SunWarrior. Greek yogurt, edamame, quinoa, and almonds are also excellent sources of protein.

Cherry juice

Tart cherry juice was shown to reduce inflammation and help muscles recover faster. This is because it's full of antioxidants. Drink some cherry juice before you go to sleep, and you will be surprised at how it helps you recover and feel refreshed in the morning.

Below we have included a 1-week meal plan developed by Linda Stephens to get maximum results from your strength training program. Keep in mind this is just a sample plan; each individual has to have a personalized diet made for their needs. This is why we highly advise you to visit your local dietitian or find a dietitian online.



Snack 1


Snack 2



1⁄2 cup oats


One whole egg, plus 3⁄4 cup egg whites


1⁄2 cup berries

One medium apple plus 1 tbsp natural nut butter

3 oz sliced turkey breast in low-carb wrap


1 tbsp Dijon mustard, plus lettuce, tomato,


2 tbsp avocado


One orange.

Ten almonds.

1⁄2 cup nonfat yogurt

Fajita with 2 oz chicken

1⁄2 cup black beans

1⁄2 cup rice

2 cups sliced bell pepper and onions, sautéed in a skillet with spices and non-stick spray



8 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

1⁄2 cup fruit.

1⁄8 cup walnuts


1⁄2 cup 1% no-salt cottage cheese.

Ten almonds

3 oz smoked turkey breast on two slices whole-grain bread

1 tbsp low-fat mayo.


1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese

12 baked tortilla chips


One scoop whey protein with 8 oz almond milk

4 oz 99% fat-free ground lean turkey, made into patties

2 cups steamed broccoli

One small sweet potato with 2 tsp coconut oil



Two slices whole grain bread

1/2 cup no-salt cottage cheese

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup cantaloupe


One low-carb protein bar such as Quest Bar

4 oz lean turkey burger in a whole-wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, mustard

15 baked potato chips


8 oz nonfat Greek yogurt with 1⁄2 cup melon

4 oz grass-fed flank steak

Baby spinach sautéed with 1 tbsp of olive oil, sea salt, garlic, pepper to taste

5 oz sweet potato



Omelet with one egg, plus four egg whites, bell pepper, tomato, spinach, onion

1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese

One slice whole-grain toast


1⁄2 grapefruit; 10 toasted almonds

4 oz chicken breast over mixed salad greens;

Balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp sliced avocado

One slice sprouted bread

Calories: 324, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 18g, Protein: 39g


One small apple with 1 tbsp natural almond or peanut butter

4 oz grilled salmon

2 cups steamed broccoli or asparagus

5 oz baked red potato



Two whole-grain waffles

4–5 hardboiled egg whites

1 tbsp natural nut butter

1⁄2 cup fruit


1⁄2 sprouted English muffin; 1⁄2 cup 1% no-salt cottage cheese; 1⁄2 cup pineapple

4 oz tuna in water

1 tbsp Dijon mustard on one slice sprouted bread

Salad made of lettuce, four grape tomatoes, 1⁄2 small bell pepper, 1⁄8 cup walnuts, 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries


Whey/casein shake blended with ice, 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter; add instant decaf coffee and/or cinnamon to taste

4 oz lean pork

1⁄2 cup unsweetened apple sauce

asparagus spears

4 oz sweet potato



1⁄2 cup oats

One scoop vanilla whey protein,

1⁄8 cup crushed walnuts

1⁄2 cup berries

All mixed with hot water


3 oz grilled chicken; 2 tbsp avocado; sliced cucumber

4 oz lean ground turkey over mixed greens

1⁄2 small avocado

Two slices lean turkey bacon

15 baked tortilla chips; low-sodium salsa


One small apple; 1⁄2 oz unsalted mixed nuts

4 oz shrimp

3⁄4 cup mixed vegetables stir-fried in 1 tbsp olive oil

1⁄2 cup brown rice



















There are different types of strength training. We have made a beginner routine for people planning to engage in a new strength training routine. Remember that your safety is important, so if you are unsure about performing specific exercises, please ask an experienced coach for guidance. Diet plays a crucial role in your overall health and progress. Many people believe that they can achieve great results without a diet, which is a huge misconception.

All it takes is to start this routine, and you will be on your way to reaching the goals you desire.