Women strength gains in one month

By Ange

Have you ever wondered how quickly you should be able to build strength?

My MFD girls are currently in week 3 of a 4 week strength building training phase, which is focused on building pure strength in four compound lifts; the deadlift, back squat, chest press and bench row.  Now, of course any increase in strength is a positive step towards building larger amounts of metabolic tissue and an amazing shape and tone on the female physique.

But I got thinking, what is the realistic amount of muscle tissue and strength that can be gained in one month for a beginner and more advanced lifter? Read on to find out more.

A study conducted by Stronger by Science revealed that for women with 0-3 months training experience, the average 1 RM back squat is 65kg, which increased to 76kg after 3-6 months of training. This means that on average, women can expect to gain about 3.6kg on their squat per month.

Unfortunately, the law of diminishing returns will see that a more advanced lifter with 6-12 months will only increase at a rate of 1kg per month and even less for girls that have been training for a longer period of time.

When reviewing bench press data, beginners benched on average 40kg, and the women training for between 3 and 6 months benched 47kg, for a difference of about 2kg per month.

And lastly, beginners on the deadlift recorded on average a 1 RM of 83kg  and the women training for between 3 and 6 months deadlifted 93kg on average, for a difference of about 3.3kg  per month.

While there are several variables that will affect training results such as training frequency, intensity and duration, there are other factors women can easily manipulate to ensure maximum strength development:

Here are my  four top tips to increase strength development

  •  If you are new to the gym, keep rep range higher to allow maximal neuromuscular adaptions. Because your muscles are not familiar with lifting heavier loads, the muscles need to adapt to the movement first. This will also minimise the chance of injury as you have built more solid muscle endurance.
  • Focus on mobility and flexibility. This will allow you to execute each rep more powerfully and efficiently, as a decreasing the chance of injury.
  • Periodise your training to ensure that there is variety in intensity and volume. Your training program should change every 4-6 weeks and there should be adequate overload applied to promote muscle catabolism.
  • Focusing on recovery will help support muscle tissue growth. Ensure that you get quality sleep and eat a high carbohydrate meal after training.

Many women start their fitness journal with high expectations of weight loss and lean muscle mass gain. The reality is that rate of progress can be slow. This should not be a reason not to start somewhere.

As the saying goes “When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.” (Author Unknown)

If you or a friend would like to hear more about MFD’s 30 days of Strong or how we help everyday women find the athlete within, get in touch today.


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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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