Bare Minimum Strength Workout

Know you should be strength training, but only want to do the bare minimum? This one’s for you.

When it comes to strength training, more is not always better. And, you really do have to complete a minimum “volume” of work each week in order to see some progress.

That being said, my preference is that all women strength train three times every week, following what’s called a “split” program. This means that each of the three workouts are different, addressing different muscles and movement patterns. Now, that’s ideal. Each workout would include around 24 total sets of exercises, addressing all of the major muscle groups of your body, split up amongst the three different workouts.

If you want to truly transform your body through strength training, three to four workouts per week is ideal.

While three to four strength workouts are ideal, I know that you may not have the time or interest in that much time in the gym. You know that strength training is critical to your health and the only way to change your body, but are only able to fit in two workouts per week.

Any strength training is better than none. You can still reap great benefits with as little as two strength workouts per week.

This Bare Minimum Strength Workout is the perfect option for you and will help you…

  • Improve neuromuscular facilitation
  • Make modest improvements in muscular strength
  • Improve stability and strength around joints
  • Combat stress and elevated cortisol levels
  • Create a solid strength foundation to build upon in the future

Be sure to check out the video tutorials below!

The Bare Minimum Strength Workout

  1. Below you will see the video tutorials for workout days A and B (toggle the window to make all videos visible)
  2. Perform a 5-10 minute warm up prior to beginning the workout. Check out my Perfect Warm up video HERE.
  3. Complete 3 sets of each exercise with 30-60 seconds rest in between each set.
  4. Aim for 10-12 reps for each set, using a weight load where the last two reps are hard.
  5. Complete all 3 sets of an exercise before you move on to the next exercise. This is called a “straight set” protocol.



5 replies
  1. Christina Hartmeyer
    Christina Hartmeyer says:

    L.O.V.E. this, Holly! I’ve spent 2018 & 2019 channeling “lean” and “less is more”, and have recently experimented with this concept in my lifting regimen. A couple weeks ago I switched to lifting 3x/week (from 2), and while it’s more in one sense, it’s also less. I now do about 4-5 exercises (instead of 8 or 9…..all from your recomendations over the years btw!!) and incorporate a longer warmup and cooldown. I’m just wrapping up a 12-week schedule, and look forward to using this Bare Minimum exercise next! Any suggestions for breaking up these 2 into 3 days (I know some of the exercises have the best result when strategically paired together)?

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Great! So glad you love it and are doing well! If you want to alter this workout, just try to keep all exercises for a given muscle group together!

  2. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    Hi Holly! I have been a follower since 2015. I recently had a change in jobs, which has made it hard for me to fit the gym in so I’m looking for an at home workout. Would you have something along these lines but meant for home with a few dumbbells?

    • Holly Perkins
      Holly Perkins says:

      Hi Jessica! I don’t have this exact workout as it was created for this story. But two options: 1) Check out my Women’s Strength Nation channel on YouTube. There are tons of video tutorials that you can pick from and do at home! 2)I’ll make a note to do a similar workout like this one but for home workouts! Stay tuned!


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