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A Beginner's Full Body Workout for Women

Here's an exercise training program combining free-weight and callisthenic resistance exercises with cardiovascular exercise (cardio) for a complete, full-body workout. This program has many benefits including:
-Improvements in your cardiovascular function due to enhanced efficiency and functional capacity of your heart, lungs, and blood vessels in order to ensure that your body is able to deliver the necessary oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to other organs through blood flow thereby reducing your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
-Improvements in your ratio of fat to lean mass due to reductions in body fat and increases in muscle mass, which, in turn, enhances your calorie burn rates, muscular strength, and muscular tone.
This full body workout can be performed at home or in a gym. Begin by warming up your muscles with some walking or light jogging in place and then perform the following exercises, one after the other, allowing 15 to 30 seconds of rest between each exercise.
  • Weighted standing squat (12 to 15 repetitions) OR
  • Unweighted standing squat (until exhausted) OR
  • Leg press (12 to 15 repetitions)
Cardio Break
  • Jogging/running in place, rope jumping, jumping jack or other cardio (3 to 5 minutes)
  • Arnold press (8 to 12 repetitions) OR
  • Barbell shoulder press (8 to 12 repetitions)
Cardio Break
  • Jogging/running in place, rope jumping, jumping jack or other cardio (3 to 5 minutes)
  • Weighted walking lunge or step-up (alternating legs for 12 to 15 repetitions) OR
  • Unweighted walking lunge or step-up (alternating legs until exhausted)
Be sure to perform all free-weight exercises with enough load (weight) to fatigue your muscles within the repetition range (i.e. 8 should feel like you can't make it to 12 but light enough for you to get there).  To maximize your results, perform this exercise sequence 2 to 3 times in a single session while varying the cardio. Try switching up the exercises if possible.  Another option is to end the sequence with an extended bout of cardio consisting of power walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, aerobic dance or other cardio for 30 to 45 minutes. If you cannot perform the cardio bout immediately after completing the sequence of exercises, you can implement a second exercise session at another time or even another day depending on your schedule.

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