Lifting Workout For Weight Loss

Lifting weights is one of the best ways to lose weight, especially if you’re just starting out with exercise. You’ll burn calories and build muscle at the same time, which will help you look and feel better in no time.

But what’s most important is that lifting weights is fun! It’s a great way to spend time with friends, or even do it by yourself so you can zone out and focus on your own goals.

Right here on Buy and Slay, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on weight lifting for weight loss female, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Lifting Workout For Weight Loss

If your goal is to lose weight, how does lifting weights help in that endeavor? First of all, strength training is a great form of exercise and an excellent way to burn calories. Additionally, lifting weights can help you maintain and build muscle mass. The reason that this is such a benefit to someone trying to lose weight is the fact that muscle tissue burns more calories than fat.

It’s also important to know that muscle tissue is more dense than fat. This means that 1 pound of muscle will take up less space than 1 pound of fat in your body. Over the years, I’ve noticed that my clients who lose body fat during a strength training program don’t see their weight on the scale change as much as their physical appearance has changed.

They’ve dropped pant sizes and even look the way they wanted to when they set their goals, but the number on the scale is higher than they expected. Don’t panic! When you decrease your body fat percentage and increase muscle mass in a strength training program, it’s normal not to see the number on the scale drop dramatically.


For weight loss, it’s important to choose a strength training program that is efficient in burning calories while also helping you increase muscle and decrease body fat. Phases 1 and 2 of the NASM OPT model do just that.

Phase 1: Stabilization Endurance Training commonly uses circuits. In a circuit you go from one exercise to the next with little to no rest. Working in circuits during this phase will keep the heart rate elevated to increase the caloric burn during sessions.

Phase 2 of the OPT Model: Strength Endurance Training uses supersets. A superset is a group of two exercises performed back-to-back with little to no rest between sets. These phases of training are intended to help you build stability and strength as you work toward your weight loss goals.


Compound exercises are ideal when it comes to choosing exercises that will help aid weight loss. A compound exercise will involve the movement of multiple joints at once, which means that multiple muscles or muscle groups are involved in the movement. This results in higher calorie burn in the exercise itself and it means that you don’t have to do as many exercises to do a full-body workout. Winning!

In addition to compound exercises, it’s great to select a variety of movements to help you construct a full-body workout. Including a push, pull, hinge, squat, lunge, and rotational movement in each workout will keep your training program efficient and well-balanced. Here are some Phase 1 and Phase 2 examples of these movements:



The Move: Start in a high-plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your toes, and it should stay that way during the entire movement. Keep your abs and glutes tight as you bend the elbows to lower your chest toward the ground. Exhale as you press up to the starting position.

The Tempo: Go slow on the way down (about 4 seconds), stop at the bottom, and hold for 2 seconds, press up in 1 second.

Progressions: Start by doing push-ups on an elevated surface like a wall, countertop, or bench. The lower you go, the more challenging this move will be!


The Move: Face the anchor and hold the straps with your palms facing in toward one another. Start with your arms straight, with tension in the rope, and walk your feet forward until you’re standing at an angle leaning back. Your body should be in a straight line.

Pull your body up toward the anchor while keeping your elbows close to your body. Row until your wrists are next to your rib cage and squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top. Slowly return to the starting position.

The Tempo: One second to row up, squeeze and hold for 2 seconds at the top, 4 seconds to lower back to starting position.

Progressions: Walk your feet forward toward the anchor to make this move harder.


The Move: Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart, and arms at your sides with your palms up toward the ceiling. Squeeze the glutes and lift the hips up until your shoulders, hips, and knees are in a straight line. Lower down to the starting position.

The Tempo: One second to bridge up, squeeze and hold for 2 seconds at the top, 4 seconds to lower back to starting position.

Progressions: Progress by lifting a leg at the top of the movement. The goal is to keep the hips neutral at all times.


The Move: Lean against a ball on a wall with the ball on your lower back. Sit your hips straight down into a squat until the thighs are parallel with the ground. Push through the heels and squeeze the glutes to stand.

The Tempo: 4 seconds to lower into the squat, pause for 2 seconds at the bottom of the squat, one second to stand.

Progressions: Progress to free-standing squat with good form (not leaning too far forward or arching back)


The Move: Choose a step that’s 8-12 inches high to start with. Step up and raise the opposite knee up to hip height. Squeeze the glutes on the standing leg while you balance. Step all the way down to the starting position.

The Tempo: One second on the step up, two seconds to balance and hold at the top, 4-second descent on the way down.

Progressions: Increase the height of the step gradually, or change the plane of motion (forward, side, rotating).


The Move: Hold a cable or band so that your straight arms are perpendicular to the band. Your feet should be hip-width apart with good posture and tight glutes and abs. Pull the handle close to your body and press it away without allowing your body to rotate.

The Tempo: 4 seconds as you pull the handle close to you, 1 second as you press it away, and 2-second hold with your arms straight.

Progressions: Narrow your base and progress to eventually standing on one foot during the press. You’ll stand on the foot closest to the anchor.


According to the CDC Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, it’s important to get either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like jogging or running) per week AND two or more days of strength training per week.

While these recommendations are for general health, they’re also a great starting place for anyone trying to lose weight.

Lifting weights 2-3 times a week will allow you to have sufficient recovery between strength training days while helping you progress in your goals.

For example, someone might lift weights on Tuesdays/Fridays if they do twice a week or do Monday/Wednesday/Friday if they choose 3 days a week. The key is to find a schedule that’s realistic and sustainable for you! Consistent effort over time will yield the results you’re looking for.


For Phase 1 Stabilization Endurance Training, you’ll work in a rep range of 12-20 reps for 1-3 sets at a slow tempo (4-2-1). In Phase 2 Strength Endurance Training, you’ll perform 8-12 reps for 2-4 sets.

When choosing the weight to use during an exercise, you want a weight that allows you to perform all reps with good form. You will probably feel a burn during the last 3-4 reps, and your muscles might even shake a little bit, but you should still have good control over the movement.

As you get stronger, you can use the 2 for 2 rule to know when to add weight. If you can do two additional reps with good form for 2 sets in a row, then it’s time to increase the weight! Start lighter than you think you need (especially when you are in Phase 1- that tempo is no joke!), and progress as needed. Remember, good form is more important than the amount of weight that you’re lifting!

Here are example workouts for Phase 1 and Phase 2:



Perform these exercises in a row with little to no rest in between. Rest 60 seconds between circuits.

Step-up to Balance12-201-34-2-1
Suspension Trainer Row12-201-34-2-1
Ball Squat12-201-34-2-1
Glute Bridge12-201-34-2-1
Pallof Press12-201-34-2-1


Perform each exercise in the superset back to back with little to no rest. Perform all reps/sets of the superset before moving on to the next superset.

Single Arm Row/Suspension Trainer Row8-122-42-0-2/4-2-1
Dumbbell Squat/Step up to Balance8-122-42-0-2/4-2-1
Bench Press/Push-up8-122-42-0-2/4-2-1
Wood Chop/Pallof Press8-122-42-0-2/4-2-1

Once you’ve spent 4 weeks in Phase 1 and then 4 weeks in Phase 2, you can start the cycle over. Each time you cycle through, look for new ways to challenge yourself! This might look like new balance challenges in Phase 1 and then heavier weights in the strength exercises in Phase 2. You should notice that you continue to progress little by little each time you repeat, and the results will speak for themselves.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your ideal physique won’t be either. When it comes to weight loss and seeing results, consistency is key! Find the workout schedule that works best for you and commit to 8-12 weeks of consistently eating well, working out, and getting sufficient rest. It will be worth it!

Weight Lifting For Weight Loss Female

Experts agree that if you want to lose weight and build muscle, you need to strength train, aiming for at least three weightlifting workouts a week. The best weightlifting exercises for losing body fat are the ones that recruit large muscles and work multiple muscles at one time, known as compound exercises. “These exercises burn more calories because more muscles are working,” CSCS-certified trainer and registered dietitian Audra Wilson says. “There will also be a more significant afterburn than with isolation exercises.”

These moves stimulate more muscles and burn more calories per rep, which translates to more muscle gained and more fat lost, explains NASM-certified trainer Eric Bowling. And since you’re working multiple muscle groups on each move, compound moves are more time efficient, so you don’t need to spend hours in the gym, he says. With all of that in mind, we gathered up the most effective strength-training exercises for weight loss.

One note before you get started: for all of these moves, ACSM-certified personal trainer Kekua Kobashigawa recommends, “You should begin with bodyweight only to learn proper movement.” You can progress to weights after you’ve nailed the form and built up some foundational strength. This way, you’ll “develop functional strength that transfers to daily life,” Kobashigawa explains. This can also decrease your risk of injury, which is higher with compound movements because you’re using multiple muscle groups at once, Bowling notes. Remember that you can always consult a trainer to ensure your form is on point.

1. Squat

The squat is one of the most recommended strength-training exercises for weight loss. Weighted squats call upon all of the lower-body muscles and recruit some back and abdominal muscles for support, Wilson says. “These exercises burn more calories because more muscles are working.”

Begin with bodyweight squats, then you can add dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell as you progress. Here’s how to do a barbell front squat:

  • Start with an unweighted or loaded barbell. Beginners should start with just the barbell, gradually adding weight as they become familiar with the movement. More advanced squatters can start with a weight they know they can comfortably handle. (Remember: You can always add more weight during the next set if it felt too easy.)
  • Position your hands about shoulder-width apart on the barbell and lightly grip the bar.
  • Rest the bar on your clavicle and shoulders as you lift your elbows up. Your elbows should go as high as your mobility allows.
  • With your feet about hip-distance apart, lift the barbell off the rack. Take 1 to 2 steps backward.
  • Shift your weight back onto your heels. Brace your abs as you begin to lower into a squat, keeping your head and back straight. Your knees should be as close to 90 degrees as possible.
  • With your core still braced, drive through your heels to stand back up. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of your squat.
  • That’s one rep.

2. Deadlift

ACE-certified trainer Christian Koshaba, owner of Three60Fit, calls the deadlift “a fantastic, dynamic movement.” Though simple, “a deadlift engages your whole body, including all major muscle groups: glutes, hamstrings, quads, and the entire chain of back muscles,” Koshaba says. If you don’t have access to a barbell, you can do deadlifts with dumbbells or a kettlebell. Whatever weight you use, focus on form first with light weights, then gradually increase the weight as you’re ready.

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
  • Push your butt back as you bend your knees, grasping the barbell with your hands just outside the hips, with the shoulders slightly in front of the bar. Have both palms facing you, or if it feels more comfortable (or you’re lifting very heavy), turn one palm facing out. Keep your back straight, not curved or arched. Your chest should be parallel with the floor.
  • Stand up, raising the hips and shoulders at the same time, lifting the barbell off the floor so the bar moves over the middle of both feet.
  • Keep the heels down and make sure to fully extend the hips and knees to straighten the legs. That’s one rep.

3. Walking Lunge

ACE-certified trainer Rachel MacPherson recommends lunges to help with weight loss. You can do them in place by stepping one foot forward and then stepping back to the starting position or make it harder by doing walking lunges. “Walking lunges use unilateral training to increase your heart rate and increase metabolism for weight loss,” MacPherson says. “The continuous walking motion used for walking lunges makes them more of an efficient fat burner than regular lunges.”

  • Stand upright, feet together, holding dumbbells at your side. Take a controlled step forward with your left leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. Your back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over your ankle.
  • Press your left heel into the ground, and push off with your right foot to bring your right leg forward, stepping with control into a lunge on the other side.
  • That’s one rep.

4. Split Squat

Different than lunges, split squats involve standing in a split position as you lower and raise the hips, really firing up the lower body.

Bowling says this is a great alternative to back squats because you’re able to target the lower body efficiently without risk of injury to the back. “When done correctly, your legs will fail before your lower back does,” Bowling says. Adding a shoulder press to the split squat works the upper body and core as well, making this a total-body exercise.

  • Holding the dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing forward, take a big step backward with the left foot.
  • Bend your knees to lower the rear knee toward the floor, making 90-degree angles with both legs.
  • Straighten both legs as you press the weights up toward the ceiling.
  • That’s one rep.

5. Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a full-body movement that uses core, leg, and glute strength to create momentum and swing a kettlebell, MacPherson explains. Your heart rate will increase quickly because the motion is continuous, she adds, which will help you burn more calories.

  • Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Squat down, and pick up a kettlebell with both hands. Allow it to hang between your legs.
  • With a flat back and your core engaged, inhale to bend your knees and push your butt back. Your weight should be back on your heels so your knees are in line with your toes.
  • Keep your core engaged and arms straight. On an exhale, press into your feet, squeezing your legs and glutes as you aggressively explode up, extending through your hips and legs to stand, which drives the kettlebell overhead. If you have mobility issues in the shoulders or lower back or an injury, do a Russian kettlebell swing instead, where the bell only raises to shoulder height.
  • Inhale, and with control, come back to the starting position, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs.
  • That’s one rep.

6. Push-Up

Push-ups are “great for building muscles in your arms and stabilizing your core,” says Stephanie Blozy, an exercise-science expert and the owner of the Fleet Feet store in West Hartford, CT. She suggests starting push-ups with your knees resting on the floor and moving up to a classic push-up with straight legs.

  • Begin in a plank position with the arms and body straight, shoulders over the wrists. Keep the core engaged.
  • Bend the elbows behind you and lower your chest to the floor. Keep your upper arms tight to your body so your elbows are against your ribs on both sides.
  • Straighten the arms, coming back to plank position.
  • This counts as one rep.

7. Pull-Up

Pull-ups and chin-ups, the ultimate upper-body moves, will work your lats, upper back, arms, and core, Bowling says. Doing a pull-up requires you to “maintain some form of thoracic extension throughout the movement, getting the back involved,” he adds. If you can’t do a strict pull-up, use a band to assist you or do ring rows instead.

  • Place a large resistance band securely around a pull-up bar. A band with more resistance will provide you with more assistance to pull yourself up.
  • Stand on a stable object (such as a bench or plyo box), and grip the pull-up bar. With one hand, place the band around the arch of your shoe. Fully extend the banded leg.
  • With a neutral spine and your core engaged, pull yourself up. The band will provide you with momentum to lift your body up.
  • Lower back down to the starting position. That’s one rep.

8. Bench Press

Bowling calls the bench press “the king of pressing movements” because so many muscles are recruited to perform a single rep. Whether using dumbbells or a barbell, a proper bench press requires the legs to get involved. “As you press the weight away from you, your legs are actively driving the floor down as hard as possible,” Bowling explains, making this a full-body movement.

  • Grab a set of dumbbells and sit on a flat workout bench.
  • With one dumbbell in each hand resting on your thighs, lie back onto the bench.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your chest, arms straight over shoulders, palms facing away from your face.
  • Inhale and lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest with control, creating a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm.
  • Exhale as you push the dumbbells up, fully extending your arms.
  • That’s one rep.

9. Glute Bridge With Chest Press

“This is another one of those exercises that involves every single muscle in the body, mainly the glutes, pectorals (chest muscles), and core,” says ACSM-certified trainer Raquel Santos. This compound movement allows you to build muscle in your hamstrings and glutes while also targeting your chest and shoulders.

“Besides increasing your metabolic burn by being a great compound movement, the glute bridge itself is a very important movement for building strength in the posterior chain and preventing/alleviating lower-back and knee pain,” she adds.

  • Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Hold weights by your chest.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you push your pelvis toward the ceiling, coming into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
  • Holding the bridge, press the weights to the ceiling directly above your shoulders.
  • Lower the weights to your chest without dropping your hips. That’s one rep.

10. Thruster

Santos is a fan of the thruster because it combines squatting and vertical pushing, using nearly every muscle to perform it correctly. “The squat alone involves every lower-body muscle from the low back to the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and even the calves,” she says. “Adding in the overhead press utilizes a bunch of upper-body muscles with a focus on the shoulders and the core.”

  • Stand with your legs just slightly wider than hip-distance apart, arms raised to shoulder height with elbows bent, holding weights by your ears.
  • Hinge at the hips and bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair.
  • Press into feet to straighten your legs and return to standing, using the momentum to press the dumbbells overhead, weights directly above shoulders. That’s one rep.

11. Renegade Row

The renegade row is an awesome exercise that utilizes the entire core, as well as the back and biceps, Santos explains. “For beginners, I recommend starting with your knees down and light or medium weights.”

  • Start in high plank with feet wider than shoulders, each hand holding onto a dumbbell that’s resting on the floor.
  • Pull right elbow back, raising dumbbell toward chest, keeping right elbow close to torso, core engaged, and hips and chest facing down.
  • Lower the weight and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

12. Dumbbell Box Step-Up

“Step-ups are another great exercise to strengthen your legs and stabilize your core and lower-back muscles,” Blozy says.

Begin with a small step, then gradually work up to a 20- or 30-inch box. When you’re ready, intensify the move by adding weight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side or a kettlebell or two at your chest. “Not only will your quads burn, but your heart rate will also accelerate and sweat will pour,” Blozy says.

  • Find a sturdy bench, wooden box, or chair that allows your knee to be at about a 90-degree angle or larger when you place your foot squarely on it.
  • Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand by your side (or, for a more advanced version, in the front rack position at your shoulders).
  • Step your right foot onto the box, then your left, so both feet are on top of the box.
  • Softly step the right foot back to the ground, then the left.
  • That’s one rep. Repeat leading with the opposite side.

Diet Is Also Important

Diet Is Also Important

It’s imperative to note that although exercise plays a role in weight loss, it can be difficult to lose weight with exercise alone, registered dietitian Emily Tills said in a June 2019 interview. In order to lose weight sustainably, Tills recommends eating a balanced diet, which can support weight loss and maintenance.

Aim to get all three macros  protein, carbs, and healthy fats in each meal. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. To find an exact eating plan that works for you, including how many calories to eat in a day, speak with a registered dietitian.

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