What Is The Best 12-week Fat Loss Transformation Workout For Women?

What is the best 12-week fat loss transformation workout for women? It's a good time frame to set short-term fitness goals. Blast the fat and feel better by trying the following training programs and tips. Good luck!

TOPIC: What Is The Best 12-Week Fat Loss Transformation Workout For Women?

The Question:

Twelve weeks is a good time frame to set some short-term fitness goals. And for women it's just enough time to notice a positive transformation that could set the tone for a lifestyle change.

What is the best 12-week fat loss transformation workout for women? Be specific.

How much weightlifting should be included in this fat loss program?

How much cardio should be included in this fat loss program?

How much fat can you expect to lose on this plan?

Who would you recommend this workout program to and why?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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1st Place - rh19
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The Workout:

  • Frequency- 4-6 days/week.
  • Mode- running, various cardio machines, free weights/machines.
  • Intensity- 60-85% age predicted (HR) maximum, 60-70% one-rep. maximum (1RM).
  • Duration- 30-60 minutes, varies for resistance training.
  • Progression- varies.

Weeks 1-3:

Monday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 40 minutes.

Tuesday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 45 minutes.

Wednesday: Off.

Thursday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 60 minutes.

Friday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 60 minutes.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: Off.

Weeks 4-6:

Monday: 70-75% of age predicted max, for 35 minutes.

Tuesday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 50 minutes.

Wednesday: 75-85% of age predicted max, for 30 minutes.

Thursday: 60% of age predicted max, for 50 minutes.

Friday: 60-75% of age predicted max, for 45 minutes.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: Off.

Weeks 7-9:

Monday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 45 minutes.

Tuesday: 75-85% of age predicted max, for 35 minutes.

Wednesday: Off.

Thursday: 60-70% of age predicted max, for 45-50 minutes.

Friday: 75-85% of age predicted max, for 30-35 minutes.

Saturday: 60-75% of age predicted max, for 35-50 minutes.

Sunday: Off.

Weeks 10-12:

Monday:70-75% of age predicted max, for 35 minutes.

Tuesday: 60-65% of age predicted max, for 50 minutes.

Wednesday: 75-85% of age predicted max, for 30 minutes.

Thursday: 60% of age predicted max, for 50 minutes.

Friday: 60-75% of age predicted max, for 45 minutes.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: Off.

How Much Weightlifting Should Be Included In This Fat Loss Program?

      The amount of weightlifting in this fat loss program can vary, depending on goals. But regardless of goals, participating in resistance training can benefit women, or anyone for that matter. This can mean increases in muscular strength, endurance and more.

10 Reasons Why Women Should Do Resistance Training.
The benefits of weight training for women and those over the age of forty far outweigh those that just choose cardio.
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      Since the primary goal of this program is fat loss, strength training has only been incorporated 3 days per week at moderate to low intensities. To determine intensity for the exercises suggested, it is best to perform a one-repetition maximum test before starting the program. If that isn't something ideal, select poundage that feels manageable to complete the listed sets and repetitions.

Weight Lifted Reps
1 RM

    This should all allow for modest increases in strength and lean muscle mass while also giving a small contribution to the amount of calories burned. Not forgetting to mention, the increase in lean muscle mass can lead to a slight increase in the body's basal metabolic rate, allowing more calories to be burned throughout the day.

How Much Cardio Should Be Included In This Fat Loss Program?

      Aerobic exercise should be performed at least 3 to 4 days per week for at least 30 minutes with low to moderate intensity. This recommendation, however, is focused on developing and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

But for women who are looking to lose fat, it is important that physical activity levels are set for longer durations or higher intensities for noticeable results to be achieved. This is to ensure that an increased caloric expenditure is occurring, enough to place the body in a negative energy balance, an important concept that is necessary for weight loss (Strasser et al., 2007).

Cardio For Optimal Fat Loss: Structure & Methods!
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      Of course, diet is another important aspect that needs to be monitored along with this workout program which can greatly contribute to its effects. A weight loss strategy, in combination with a good diet, is to accumulate 200-300 minutes of aerobic activity a week (


      , 2006).

The mode of exercise for this program is left open as to allow for more variety and accommodate any particular need (medical or orthopedic). However, it would be best if whole or lower body exercise is performed for the given exercise program. This is more or less to obtain accurate heart rates and avoid other potential problems.

In Regards To Intensity And Duration?

      For simplicity, the intensity for the cardiovascular program is based on percentages of age-predicted heart rate maximum.

[220-age] x intensity%
Example: heart rate for 30 year old looking to exercise at 70%.
[220-30] x .70 = 133 bpm

Enter Your Age - Then press Calculate.
Max Heart Rate
70% Max Heart Rate

      If heart rate monitors are not available, taking a pulse on the radial artery in the wrist will work as well. Count the number of pulses for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. This can be done every 5-10 minutes during the cardio session. If trying to count for the entire minute, heart rate may decrease too much to get an accurate measurement, as well as more time lost in the session.

If this method is troublesome, then just use the best judgment possible. Understand, however, that there exists an inverse relationship between intensity and duration. If the workout is only going to last for 15-20 minutes, then work level should be higher. And if the work level is low, the exercise period should be increased.

How Much Fat Can You Expect To Lose On This Plan?

      Exercise, when done correctly and consistently, can lead to noticeable physical improvements which includes weight loss. Realistically, the amount of fat that can be lost on this program can be anywhere around 10 to 15 lbs. This could be more or less due to other factors such as



Healthy choices and portion control should be implemented so that the body has reason to metabolize its stored fat. Should this be an area of concern, it would be best to consult with a nutritionist or other professional that can asses current habits and give recommendations.

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      Also, it would be of benefit to have percent body fat estimated before the program begins and monitor throughout (middle and end). This would be done as not to let scales be misleading, such as losing 5 pounds of fat mass and gaining 2 pounds of lean, the observed difference is only 3 pounds. For reference, the average, healthy, body fat percentage for women is around 25%.

A goal or goals should be set prior to starting the exercise program for weight loss, such as obtaining a certain body fat percentage or losing x number of pounds. This will give measured progress more meaning and create an objective for each workout. However, the overall results will depend on the amount of effort put in; no deposit, no return.

Who Would You Recommend This Workout Program To And Why?

      I would recommend this program to healthy women, from late teenager to middle-aged. For those who have some exercise experience and who perhaps have gotten


      and are now working out "here and there."

It would be for those looking to get into exercise a little more aggressively and have their goals include losing weight. I recommend to this group because I feel that they can adjust to and handle the intensity as well as having a desire to complete it.

The above program is not set in stone and can work with a multitude of women. Exercises, durations, etc. can be modified or substituted to fit different schedules or situations; think of it as a template.

For those who are extremely overweight, have never exercised at all (sedentary), or have any medical condition that may cause potential complications, I would recommend another program after examination by a health care professional.

I say good luck and stay strong to anyone who wishes to complete this program, or any other for that matter. Cheers.


  1. American College of Sports Medicine. (2006). ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (7th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  2. Strasser, B., Spreitzer, A., Haber, P. (2007). Fat Loss Depends on Energy Deficit Only, Independently of the Method for Weight Loss. Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism. (51) 428-432.

2nd Place - greenamethyst
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

What Is The Best 12-Week Fat Loss Transformation Workout For Women?

Normally, a person beginning a fat loss transformation needs a simple program. The more complicated it is, the more difficult it will be to follow. Since compliance is crucial to achieve results, if a program is easier to follow, it will be more effective.

Most people will not follow a routine with many complicated exercises, especially if they are starting from a point where they don't know how to do any. They may be more likely to follow a complicated routine if they have a personal trainer, but not everyone has the budget for a trainer.

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It's also important to avoid overtraining. Overtraining, with excessive fatigue and soreness, may make someone quit too soon. That's why my sample routine is limited to 3 workouts per week.

You also need simplicity in terms of diet. Further details are below.

How Much Cardio And Weightlifting Would Be Required?

      This program would combine


      and weightlifting in the same workout. If you are working out in a gym it would be as follows: three workouts a week. First, do 15 minutes cardio to begin the workout, on elliptical or treadmill. The cardio will serve as a warm up.

Follow the cardio with a whole body weight workout. Five sets of five should be done for all exercises. The lower body portion would include squats, stiff-leg deadlifts, and the leg press. The upper body portion would include the bench press, upright rows, bent over dumbbell rows, and one exercise for triceps, such as the skull crusher; since females may need extra triceps work. An abdominal exercise can be added if desired.

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Mike Mahler

      Since you are only doing 5 sets of 5 for each exercise, you should be able to start fairly heavy. Add at least 5 pounds to your weights every two weeks. So, for example, if you begin the bench press at 40, you would end at 65.

You can also add 5 to 10 minutes of cardio after the first six weeks. Do not go beyond 30 minutes.

Again, the set up of this plan emphasizes simplicity. Since it will be fairly easy to learn the basic exercises, and you don't need to follow a trainer around and listen to explanations, you should be able to go through the workout fairly fast. This fact, combined with the chosen exercises, which use major muscle groups, will trigger more HGH (Human Growth Hormone) release, which will trigger more muscle growth.

You also only are working out or going to the gym three days a week. How can someone get in shape with this frequency of exercise? Easily. We are not talking about training for a competition, necessarily, but simply fat loss and transformation. The time for rest and recovery will help the results, as long as there is no over eating.

How Much Fat Can You Expect To Lose On This Plan?

      The amount of fat you can expect to lose would depend upon your diet. I would recommend eating no more than 100 grams of


      per day, at least 100 grams of


      , lots of


      , and no more than 2000 calories. As long as you follow these rules, you can eat whatever you want.

It is good to make sure and eat enough fruits and vegetables, and have a protein shake after training, but the most important thing is the macros. Again, simplicity. Not everyone has the ability or desire to follow 50 diet rules.

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    Using myself as an example (5' 5" and 130 pounds) and assuming I am burning 2500 calories per day, I would lose 1 pound of fat per week or 12 pounds total. (I know from past experience that I lose weight at less than 2500 calories.) Hopefully I would also gain muscle, or I would end up way too skinny. Metabolism varies, so some women would have to cut calories lower than 2000. I would not recommend going too low though.

Who Would You Recommend This Workout Program To And Why?

      I would recommend this program to someone who is just getting started or getting back into fitness or someone who is busy and needs a simple fitness plan.

It's actually a basic plan that I recently created for myself. I have been exercising at home, but recently joined a gym. I have an opportunity now to increase weights and do more than I was doing at home, but I know myself, and I know that I need to keep it simple as I progress.

Regards, "Greenamethyst"