Blog Fitness Workouts 3-Day Workout Plan Female: Here’s How You Should Structure Your Workout

3-Day Workout Plan Female: Here’s How You Should Structure Your Workout

Are you looking for a female version of a 3-day workout plan to help you lose weight? If you are, then you’re in luck. In this read, we’ll explore a 3-day workout plan that’s female-oriented for weight loss. It’s simple and has been specifically designed for individuals at the beginner fitness level. 

In addition to weight loss, this circuit can help with toning and maintaining your ideal weight. That being said, before you start following this regime, make sure you get the go-ahead from your doctor and certified trainer. 

What Is the Best 3-Day Workout Routine?

A well-structured 3-day workout routine is designed to efficiently target all major muscle groups while still designating enough rest and recovery time. Some of the most effective approaches to try are the Push-Pull-Legs (PPL) split, the Upper-Lower Body split, and the Full-Body split. According to a 2018 meta-analysis, in terms of strength, anywhere between 2 and 5 days per week can provide the same results (12). 

An example of the popular PPL routine divides workouts into three main categories: pushing movements, pulling movements, and leg exercises.

Day 1: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)

  • Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Tricep Dips: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Overhead Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Day 2: Pull (Back, Biceps)

  • Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Bent Over Rows: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Face Pulls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 3: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves)

  • Squats: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Lunges: 3 sets of 10-15 reps for each leg
  • Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Calf Raises: 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Such a split is efficient as it allows each muscle group sufficient recovery time while ensuring all major areas are worked on. The combination of compound and isolation exercises ensures balanced development and strength gains. Research supports that such a routine, with adequate intensity and progressive overload, can yield significant strength and hypertrophy improvements (11). In addition, including 30 minutes of cardio a day can enhance cardiovascular health and support overall fitness goals.

3-Day Workout Plan Female

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A 3-Day Workout Plan for Female Beginners

Congratulations on your decision to start exercising. This positive choice will motivate you to keep pushing. We’ve made things easier for you by developing an easy 3-day workout schedule for female beginners.

On these three days, we’ll target different muscle groups. It’s crucial that you take rest days and don’t exercise every day of the week because your muscles need recovery and growth time. You can opt for an active recovery day during your days off from lifting. This could be something simple such as walking. 

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Here’s an overview of how we’ve structured the workout plan:

Day 1: Legs and abdomen

Day 2: Rest day

Day 3: Chest and shoulders

Day 4: Rest day

Day 5:  Back, biceps, and triceps 

Day 6: Rest day

Day 7: Rest day

3 day workout plan female  

The 3-Day Workout Circuit

Let’s delve deeper into this exercise regime to determine what exercises you’re required to perform. 

Day 1: Legs And Abdomen

On this day, you’ll be focusing on exercises that target your core and leg muscles. As previously mentioned, this workout plan has been designed for female beginners, so most of these exercises will look at the regular variation. Similarly, there will be no use of weights or equipment. Here are the activities you’ll be required to perform on this day:

  • Lunges

Lunges are practical full-body exercises, so they’ve been added to this 3-day full-body workout plan for females. Here’s how to perform them (8):

  1. Stand upright and take one giant step forward using your right leg.
  2. Lower yourself as if you’re kneeling, but make sure you rest your knee slightly above the floor. Your bodyweight should be felt on the ball of your front foot.
  3. Hold this position for several seconds before returning to the initial starting position. Repeat 10 times before switching legs.

Most trainers will tell you that one of the best and most functional lower-body exercises is the bodyweight squat. It’s an effective exercise that helps tone your entire body and also helps with day-to-day tasks. To perform them, all you have to do is:

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Breathe in and start to crouch down as if taking a seat. This means pushing your butt behind and bending your knees to get into a squatting position. You can clasp your hands in front of your chest or stretch them forward. 
  3. Hold this squatting stance for a second or two.
  4. Exhale and return to the standing position. As you come up, clench your glutes to further activate them at the top of the exercise. 
  5. Repeat at least 10 times.

Read more: Indoor Cycling Workout Plan – A Dynamic Program for Every Rider

  • Flutter Kicks

These abdominal exercises for beginners are also known as scissor kicks. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity as they effectively strengthen your core, hip, and lower back muscles (3). Here’s a guide to performing these kicks (3):

  1. Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and your palms facing down.
  2. Lift your legs from the floor, engage your core, and start kicking your right leg up and then the left one as if swimming. 
  3. Kick for at least 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat at least three times.
  • Bicycle Crunches
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The next exercise in this circuit is bicycle crunches. This exercise targets your abdominal area. Here’s how to do these crunches (3):

  1. Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head or on your ears as if trying to listen to something distant. 
  2. Bend your knees. Raise your right knee from the floor and try to bring it close to your chest. As you do this, twist and lift your left elbow, trying to make it touch your right knee.
  3. Extend your right leg and try to bring the left leg to your chest and right elbow to touch your right knee. 
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each side.
  • Mountain Climbers

Although most beginners hate them, mountain climbers are incredibly effective for toning your lower abdomen. They’re a great option for getting your heart rate up and increasing your likelihood of eliminating body fat. All you need to do is (4):

  1. Get into a high plank position. This position means you’re resting on the balls of your feet and palms. Your back must be straight and your arms should be directly under your shoulders and at least shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slightly tuck in your pelvis and start bringing your right knee toward your chest and then back. Pick up the pace and also do the same for your left leg. It will appear as if you’re jogging, but while lying prone. 
  3. Experts advise you to do at least 15 to 20 reps on each side. 

These are the exercises you’ll be required to do on the first day of this workout plan. Feel free to seek the help of a certified personal trainer if you need more guidance with these exercises. You’ll rest on day two and then resume the exercise program on day three.

3 day workout plan female

Day 3: Chest And Shoulders

There’s an assumption that chest exercises are only meant for men. The belief is that performing chest exercises can make women masculine, which may not blend with their physique. Following this belief, many women tend to avoid doing chest exercises. The reality is that women need to exercise their chests as this helps lift sagging breasts and chests (5). The following exercises can help you attain this goal:

  • Incline Push-up

The incline push-up is an effective push-up variation for female beginners who want to tone their chest area. To perform it, you must (14):

  1. Lie face down with your hands resting on something sturdy such as a bench or desk. Make sure your hands are slightly wider than the shoulder-width distance and your feet are stretched behind and hip-width apart.
  2. Start lowering your body toward the ground but rest your chest 4 or 8 inches above the bench.
  3. Hold for a second, then stretch your arms to return to the initial stance.
  4. Repeat this 10 times.
  • Inchworms
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The inchworm exercise will help work out your shoulders. All you have to do is (1):

  1. Stand upright with your feet either together or slightly apart.
  2. Tighten your abs, exhale, and start to bend downward while keeping your legs straight.
  3. Touch the floor and start to crawl forward until you’re in a push-up position. Hold for a second or two and then crawl back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.
  • Contralateral Limb Raises

The following limb raises target your shoulder muscles and here’s how you perform them (1):

  1. Lie on your belly and extend your legs behind. Make sure your toes are pointing away from your shin.
  2. Stretch your arms overhead and let your palms face each other. 
  3. Tighten your core, exhale, and start raising the opposite arm and leg a few inches from the ground. 
  4. Hold this stance for several seconds before repeating the same on the other limbs.
  5. Do this at least 10 times.
  • Regular Push-up

The other chest exercise to perform on this day is the regular or standard push-up. To perform a push-up:

  1. Place your palms on the floor and extend your legs behind. Make sure you’re resting on your palms and the balls of your feet. Make sure your arms are directly under your shoulders and your back is kept straight.
  2. Start to lower your body toward the floor, but rest your chest a few inches above the ground. If you find this difficult to perform in this stance, try the push-up on your knees. All you have to do is get on your fours and continue following these steps.
  3. Pause for a second or two, then stretch your arms to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

You can perform a set or two of each of these exercises, depending on what your instructor recommends. Remember to also perform warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after performing these workouts, respectively. 

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Day 5: Back, Biceps, and Arms

This 3-day-a-week workout plan for female beginners ends on day five. On this day, it targets your arms, biceps, and back. Below are some of the exercises planned for you to perform on this day:

  • Planks

Planks help strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. They also help build your core strength. Here’s how to perform this exercise (13):

  1. Start on the floor with your elbows and lower arms resting on the floor. Make sure your elbows are in line with your shoulders.
  2. Lift your body off the floor until your back is straight and your body forms a horizontal line to the floor.
  3. Keep your feet together, head facing down, and toes flexed to help support the body.
  4. Hold this position for 20 or 30 seconds. During the hold, don’t arch your back or make any movements to disrupt your form. In addition, as you breathe out, try to focus on squeezing your abs even tighter. Then when you breathe in, try to breathe in through your chest while still holding your abs tight. 
  5. After 20 or 30 seconds, lower to the floor and rest for a minute.
  6. Repeat for three to five minutes.
  • Burpees
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Burpees have been scheduled for this day as they’re an excellent full-body exercise, which means they’ll also target your arms, back, and triceps. Here are the steps to help you do a burpee:

  1. Start in a standing position and then drop down into a squat. Remember to keep your back straight and breathe in as you lower yourself to the squatting stance.
  2. Instead of returning to the standing position, move down into a high plank position. Keep in mind that your spine, back, and neck must be kept neutral while in a high plank position.
  3. Do a push-up and then return to the standing stance. If this proves challenging, try to walk out of the push-up instead of jumping. Similarly, you can lower the pace or do away with the push-up until you can comfortably incorporate it into the exercise.
  • The Bridge Exercise

The bridge exercise is sometimes listed among yoga poses. It helps stretch and strengthen your back muscles. Here’s how to perform it (2):

  1. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and make sure your feet are firmly pressing on the ground. 
  2. Relax your head and shoulders on the ground and allow your arms to rest by your sides with your palms facing down.
  3. Tighten your abdominal muscles and start raising your hips off the ground and up toward the ceiling.
  4. Hold this position for at least three deep breaths and then return to the starting stance. 
  5. Perform this five times.

3 day workout plan female

Is Working Out for 3 Days Enough?

Working out three days a week can be sufficient for maintaining overall fitness and achieving various health benefits, depending on the intensity and structure of the workouts. Research has indicated that frequency isn’t the sole determinant of fitness gains; intensity, volume, and consistency are also essential factors (10).

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What are some of the studies and research that prove this? Let’s take a look at what the scientific community has to say about a 3-day workout routine. 

  • A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that training three days per week with adequate volume and intensity was effective for promoting muscle hypertrophy and strength gains similar to those achieved when training more frequently (6). It also prevents the issue of overtraining, which is often seen when working out six times a week and can potentially lead to burnout and injury.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, which can be effectively achieved in three workout sessions. Combining resistance training with cardiovascular exercises in these sessions can help maximize overall fitness benefits. For example, incorporating HIIT together with strength training can optimize both cardiovascular and muscular adaptations (9).

Adding to this discussion, three days of exercise per week provides ample time for recovery and reduces the risk of overtraining and injury. Recovery is essential for muscle repair and growth, in addition to overall performance enhancement (7). Ensuring that your workouts are well-rounded, targeting different muscle groups each day, and progressively challenging will maximize the benefits. Furthermore, dietary adjustments such as being mindful of the total calories you consume in a day can help increase the likelihood of losing body fat. It can complement the workout routine and help you see results more quickly. 

Therefore, while more frequent workouts can offer additional advantages for specific goals, when it’s properly planned and executed, a three-day workout routine can be highly effective and sustainable for many individuals. 

Read more: Is a 7 Day Workout Plan The Best Choice For You?

3 day workout plan female 

FAQs

  • What is the best workout split for females?

The best workout split for females depends on individual goals, preferences, and fitness levels. A popular and effective split is the Upper-Lower split, where workouts are divided into upper-body and lower-body days (15). This split can be performed twice a week, which will ensure adequate muscle engagement and recovery. For example:

Day 1: Upper body (chest, back, shoulders, arms)

Day 2: Lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves)

Day 3: Full-body or active recovery

This approach ensures balanced muscle development and allows for flexibility in scheduling workouts. It can also be tailored to focus more on areas of specific interest or need. For example, some women may prefer to focus more on glute and leg development, which can be achieved by incorporating additional lower-body exercises or by slightly modifying the split to include a glute-specific day.

Upper-body workouts can include exercises such as push-ups, bench presses, dumbbell rows, and shoulder presses, while lower-body workouts may feature squats, lunges, deadlifts, and leg presses. Full-body or active recovery days can involve lighter activities like yoga, Pilates, or low-intensity cardio to promote recovery and flexibility. In addition, incorporating 30 minutes of cardio a day on these split days can enhance cardiovascular endurance and support fat loss goals.

  • Which 3 days are best to work out?

The best days to work out are typically spaced out to allow for recovery between sessions. A common schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This allows for rest days in between each workout day, which helps prevent overtraining and ensures your muscles have time to recover and grow.

However, the specific days can be adjusted based on personal schedules and preferences. The key is to ensure at least one rest day between each workout session to facilitate recovery. On non-training days, incorporating light physical activity such as walking, stretching, or yoga can be beneficial. Furthermore, consistency is more important than the specific days chosen, so it’s imperative to design a schedule that can be maintained in the long term.

  • How long does it take to see results from working out 3 days a week?

Results can vary based on individual factors such as starting fitness level, diet, workout intensity, and consistency. Generally, noticeable improvements in strength and endurance can be seen within 4 to 6 weeks. Visible changes in muscle tone and body composition may take approximately 8 to 12 weeks (16). Consistency, progressive overload, and proper nutrition are the keys to achieving and maintaining results.

  • Can you tone up in 3 days?

While significant muscle toning in just three days is unrealistic, incorporating targeted workouts over three days can jumpstart the process. For example, combining resistance training with cardiovascular exercises can help with fat loss and muscle definition over time (16). The key is to maintain a consistent workout routine and pair it with a balanced diet to achieve and sustain muscle toning. However, for lasting results, consistency is the most important factor. 

The Bottom Line

This  3-day workout plan for female beginners can help you lose weight or tone your body. All you have to do is follow the circuit as it has been designed and maintain the correct form of the exercises. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you find it difficult to perform any of the exercises that are listed in this regime. Keep in touch with us in the comment section and let us know how you’re progressing with this routine. We wish you the very best with this routine and you should remember to contact a medical professional before getting started on any workout program.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. 10 Best Shoulder Exercises for Your Home Workout (2021, medicinenet.com)
  2. Back exercises (2016, mayoclinic.org)
  3. Best Ab Exercises for Beginners (2020, webmd.com)
  4. Best Exercises for Lower Abs (2020, webmd.com) 
  5. Chest Exercises to Help Tone and More (2005, webmd.com)
  6. Comparison of 1 Day and 3 Days Per Week of Equal-Volume Resistance Training in Experienced Subjects (2000, journals.lww.com)
  7. Comparison of Two Different Modes of Active Recovery on Muscles Performance after Fatiguing Exercise (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  8. List of the best full-body exercises (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
  9.  Physical Activity Guidelines (n.d., acsm.org) 
  10. The Effect of Intensity, Frequency, Duration and Volume of Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents on Skeletal Muscle Fitness (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  11.  The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men (2015. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  12. Weekly Training Frequency Effects on Strength Gain: A Meta-Analysis (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  13. What are the best exercises for overall health and fitness? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
  14. What are the best lower chest exercises? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
  15. Upper/Lower Split: The Best Workout Plan? ( 2024, issaonline.com) 
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