Are there are programs similar to the StrongLifts program for women? Or the StrongLifts tailored for women?

  • 4
    I'm not sure why women would need a different program, allowing that their upper body strength will likely develop at a relatively slower pace...
    – G__
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 5:55
  • My girlfriend for example is about 4'9-ish and I don't think she can carry the weights or the barbell on its own.
    – Ron
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 14:50
  • She might have to use a lighter bar to start, but she shouldn't have trouble carrying small plates. And you could always help her. :-) My wife is 5'1" and while she can perform lifts with an empty bar, I do need to help her with setup and loading.
    – G__
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


Stronglifts works quite well for women, as long as some adjustments are made. Do note that these tips may not be applicable to all, but certainly to those rather new to lifing weights (Stronglifts is a beginners programme, after all)

  1. Lower the starting weights. This can be tricky, if your gym doesn't have any bars which allow you to go lower than 20kg. If there are lighter bars with fixed weights, use them for e.g. presses, where it is most likely that there are insufficiencies in strength. If not, there are usually lighter dumbells to use until the strength is enough for a bar.

  2. Because of (1), elevate the bar from the floor when doing deadlifts and rows. Otherwise the technical training (which Stronglifts puts a lot of emphasis on) will be suffering.

  3. If there is too much problem with increasing the weight between workouts, consider finding in-between weights so that you can up the load in finer increments. There are smaller discs (small enough to carry them in your gym bag), and some locks can be used to get somewhere in-between the 2,5 kg interval.


You could always do the program: The New Rules Of Lifting For Women instead. I started this but now am doing Stronglifts instead because i missed doing squats and was keen to do bench presses since i have all the gear at home, and there wasn't alot of that in the new rules program. Also New Rules can take a really long time to do, stronglifts looked quicker which was definitely quicker.

And i'm a woman. I didn't lower the starting weight at all. In fact i actually increased it by 5kg for both the squats and the dumbell row since i've done some weights before. I still used the 20kg start weight though for bench presses as it was my first time doing them. And i found this starting weight actually pretty easy so am looking forward to future workouts where i can increase the weight.

People really underestimate how strong girls can be.

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