My winner for the best strength training program for women is Starting Strength. The book is authored by Mark Rippetoe, a strength coach with decades of experience in strength and conditioning. The reason why I like it so much is due to the simplicity and overall effectiveness of the program. Beginners don’t need a super complicated routine with tons of isolation exercises such as tricep kickbacks or cable push downs. The program includes a total of 5 compound exercises including the squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press and power clean.
All of the exercises are performed with an olympic barbell and work the entire body. The bench press works the triceps, shoulders, chest and core in order to stabilize the weight. Deadlifts work the entire posterior chain including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, calves. Squats work the entire lower body as well as the back.
Starting Strength gives you the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to achieving maximum results and hitting all body parts. You won’t need to spend time doing isolation work because all of your muscles will be utilized. The lifts are performed in the low rep range consisting of three sets of 5, except deadlifts which are just one set of 5. Despite sounding deceivingly easy, the sets get very difficult once you are lifting heavy weight.
The majority of workout sessions will take less than an hour and you will be working out 3x a week. The book is a winner because it describes the lifts in such specificity and detail that you’ll probably know more than the average commercial gym trainer after finishing it. Sections of the book are devoted to each lift. In addition solutions are presented in case of difficulty such as not being able to lift the bar initially.
The book is available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle edition.
Read More Reviews of Starting Strength, 3rd edition
Best Runner Up Weight Training Program For Women
Our Runner Up is the Strong Curves program from Bret Contreras, a leading expert in gluteal muscle development. This program is more aesthetics oriented and focused on building glutes and very lower-body oriented. If you want to build a booty this program is definitely the way to go. The program still includes the basic compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts but it also incorporates more glute isolation work such as barbell hip thrusts and banded clams. Many followers of the program have noted improved glute appearance and perkier booties in general after the program.
This program made our list because it addresses the concerns of those who want bigger and firmer butts. One of the best exercises recommended in the book for the glute area is the hip thrust. However, keep in mind that a caloric surplus is required if you would like to increase glute size or any other muscle. Muscle will not grow if you are eating in a deficit. It’s important to track your diet, make sure to eat in a caloric surplus and consume adequate protein for optimum results. Strong Curves also includes a nutrition section.
Users have noted the paperback version to be more user-friendly than the Kindle version. Some had difficulty referencing the instructions for each exercise with the Kindle version.
Get Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body