What’s the best training split for women?

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By Andrew Menechian

Most women that you find in your average gym tend to stick to the cardio section, and most men tend to gravitate to the weights section. However, this may not the best approach if you’re after that ‘toned’ look. Being ‘toned’ is going to take more than cardio, so you better get comfortable with being in that weight section because that’s where you’re going to get your best results!

Train like a man (but really, for your goals):

Women should really train like men… actually let me rephrase that. Men and women should train the same if they both have the same goals! What I mean when I say “train like a man” is that women and men should both train hard in the gym to achieve their goals.

What’s the goal for 99% of people that start up at the gym? To look better naked! Whether that means you want to build more shape throughout your body, grow more shapely glutes or even ‘tone’ up, the best way to do this is through weight training and not with cardio on its own1.

Tweakin’ the program for twerkin’:

The biggest mistake new, female gym-goers make when starting weight training is following the exact same training split and program that men do.

Now I know you’re probably thinking: “But wait, I thought you said to train like a man!?”. I did… BUT, you have to tweak the program to suit you and your goals.

What we need to do to optimise weight training for women is to focus more on the areas that they want to improve most. For the majority of women, this tends to be the legs, glutes and abdominals, whilst also not wanting to be too ‘bulky’ in the upper body.

This is why it’s best to simply spend more frequency or volume on the lower body, which isn’t how men tend to structure their training. A typical ‘bro-split’, which a large percentage of male gym-goers will follow, will only have you training legs once per week. This is far from optimal if your goal is that ‘toned, bikini body’ as we want more volume and frequency on your lower body to optimise results2, 3.


“So, how should I split my training?”:

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

The following 3 examples are how I would structure the most optimal training split for a woman with the goals I’ve mentioned above:


Beginner – 3-day split

  • Day 1 – Lower
  • Day 2 – Rest
  • Day 3 – Upper
  • Day 4 – Rest
  • Day 5 – Lower
  • Day 6 – Rest
  • Day 7 – Rest


Intermediate – 4-day split

  • Day 1 – Lower
  • Day 2 – Upper
  • Day 3 – Rest
  • Day 4 – Lower
  • Day 5 – Rest
  • Day 6 – Full body
  • Day 7 – Rest


Advanced – 5-day split

  • Day 1 – Lower
  • Day 2 – Upper
  • Day 3 – Lower
  • Day 4 – Upper
  • Day 5 – Lower
  • Day 6 – Rest
  • Day 7 – Rest


With all of that in mind, I want you to now go and grow that booty!

Psst! Do you need a bit more guidance or help with your training? I can coach you online or in-person and help you reach any goal! Let’s get you started today!


Andrew Menechian

Master Coach

Clean Health Fitness Institute


  1.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18089201
  2.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25932981
  3.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27102172

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