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Busting The Myths Around Weight Training For Women

There are many myths and stories around weight training for women. Like “Women shouldn’t do deadlifts”. Or “Don’t go heavy or you’ll become bulky”. Or even “Tone up with high reps and just a little weight”.

Weight Training For Women

By and large, most of this is stereotypical nonsense. And not all of it is spouted by lay people. Even trainers who should know better carry around some misconceptions about weight training for women. Here’s how women should approach weight training.

Train With Real Weights

Women are protected by their hormones from accumulating large volumes of muscle mass the way men do when they heft heavy weights. No matter how often you lift weights or how hard you train or take protein supplements, as a woman you won’t develop the bulky physique of a bodybuilder.

That happens only when you take steroids and eat more calories than you burn off every day. And women bodybuilders who achieve this goal have worked specifically towards it, following a completely different workout plan than typical weight training that most women are interested in.

Train Heavy

Going the fat burning route with lighter weights is not great as weight training for women. Muscle tone depends on the density of your muscles. When they are dense, they look hard and firm. Lifting heavier weights causes a hypertrophy of muscle cells, leading to denser mass. On the other hand, lighter weights with more reps leads to fluid collection in your muscles which give you a pumped look.

That’s why lifting heavier loads for fewer reps will have you looking strong without bulking up massively. The myth that has been faithfully reproduced across generations that lifting lighter loads is better for women is rooted in the inherent belief that women are fragile and can’t handle anything harder or heavier. That’s ridiculous. There are some women who can handle workouts many men would struggle with.

So forget light workouts. To get a hard body, lift heavy. Deadlifts and squats are better than isolated body part exercises. Multi-joint exercises involving compound movements bring confidence and greater strength.

Weight Training For Women – How Much Is Good?

There isn’t a set weight that will make you hard and strong. What matters is choosing weights that are heavy – for you. As you grow stronger, this will change. If you can lift a weight at 3 to 6 reps comfortably without sacrificing form, it’s ideal to start with.

The single sensible difference in weight training for women is to aim for higher reps than men because of their lower ability to recruit muscle units during exercise. So where men would do 1 to 5 reps, women should aim for 3 to 6 in every set.

So now that you’re convinced that the best weight training for women involves heavy training involving multi-joint compound movements, what are the best routines and workouts to follow? Let’s talk about exercises that you can benefit from.

Weight Training For Women – Which Exercises Are Best?

Before going further, you must understand that to enjoy the greatest advantages from weight training, you will have to do those lifts, and do them correctly following proper form. Some of these lifts will not be easy, especially when you’re getting started. But don’t give up. After all, if weight training were easy and effortless, everyone would have a hard, toned body!

The best exercises for building muscle and getting a hard, lean, sexy body are:

1. Barbell Squats
2. Barbell Deadlifts
3. Chin Ups
4. Bench Dips
5. Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
6. Sit Ups
7. Incline Dumbbell Presses
8. Calf Presses

Work these into a routine. Perform the first exercise and then rest for a minute before beginning the next. Go back and forth between the first 2 exercises until you’ve done the target number of sets. Then move on to the next two workouts.

You are better off with short and frequent exercise sessions. Longer workouts tend to leave you exhausted and reluctant to continue. If you lose motivation, you won’t stick with it long enough to see results. When you leave the gym, you should feel refreshed and energized, not worn out and longing to just rest and relax for the remainder of your day.

Stick with this routine for 4 weeks. Once you reach a point where you can comfortably handle 5 reps for 6 sets each, you can increase the weights by 2 to 4 kilograms. Never try to overdo things when you raise your weights. That can lead to injury and soreness. Work your way slowly into the higher load and let your muscles grow used to the heavier weights.

Typically you will start seeing results from your workouts within 6 to 8 weeks. By combining this with an aerobic or cardiovascular routine involving walking or jogging, and stick with your weight training for 3 to 5 sessions a week, you can sustain that lean, hard, sexy look forever.

For a more comprehensive and detailed program about fat loss and staying slim, take a look at Shaun Hadsall’s “14 Day Rapid Fat Loss” here. Jason Ferruggia has an excellent program on gaining muscle which can also be of help. Take a look at it here.


Weight Training For Fitness And Muscle Building

When a fitness coach or physical trainer recommends weight training for fitness and muscle building, understand that it is because you can tone your muscles, look better and reverse muscle loss due to aging through strength or resistance training.

weight training

Each time you see someone looking toned and fit, the chances are high that their workout includes weight training at the gym. Working out on weight machines or with free weights like barbells and dumbbells will always deliver reliable and lasting results. The concept driving this style of muscle building is the same – placing resistance on the action of muscles through weights. By placing a load on them, you are stimulating your muscles to grow bigger and gain strength.

How Much Weight Training Is Ideal?

The good news about weight training is that it doesn’t require very long workouts. The typical session lasts under an hour. Also, working out twice or thrice a week is enough and daily weight training might actually be less effective at bulking up.

You will begin seeing results from weight training very quickly. Even 2 or 3 sessions every week, each lasting under half an hour, will help firm up and grow your muscles. When combined with around 3 hours of aerobic activity every week, this can help overall muscle building and fitness.

Correct Weight Training Matters

When you do it correctly, weight training can deliver impressive results. But if you don’t learn to do it the right way, you could end up with injuries that are painful and even permanent. Sprains, strains and fractures are all risks with incorrect weight training technique.

1. Learn The Right Technique

While getting started, it is best to workout under the guidance and supervision of a fitness coach. Wrong habits can be difficult to break once they are established. And even experienced weight training participants can benefit from having a fitness specialist review their performance from time to time.

2. Start Slow

While a workout may recommend many sets of multiple reps, you are better off beginning your training with just a single set of repetitions. Starting at the right weight, do 12 reps of each exercise – and do not attempt multiple sets. This is in fact just as effective as doing 3 sets of fewer reps.

3. Don’t Push Too Hard

Trying to exercise at a weight that’s close to your limit in an attempt to push your muscle to grow faster is a mistake. The ideal starting weight is one that leaves your muscles fatigued after 12 to 15 reps. Ending each workout with at least one good set left in you is a good idea.

4. Stop Rushing

There’s no rush to scale up to heavy weights or perform 5 sets of each workout. Such growth and development will happen with time. If all you can do is lift a few pounds, start right there. Ignore what others are doing. Focus on working your muscles at or near the limits of their capacity. Only after you are comfortably able to perform atleast 12 sets of each exercise should you consider increasing the weight training load.

5. Get Rest

Muscles grow bigger and stronger only in the interval between workout sessions. That’s why experts recommend that you give muscle groups a break for 48 hours before exercising them again. One way of doing this is to alternate upper and lower body workouts, thus giving each group a break of 48 hours before the next session begins. When your workouts focus on developing a single muscle or group, then you can exercise it more often.

Enjoy The Rewards

Weight training helps preserve muscle mass despite aging. Naturally, the older you grow, the faster your muscles will atrophy. Lean muscle mass becomes lower. Unless you exercise regularly, the muscle becomes replaced by fat. Weight training can arrest this process and even reverse it, so that your muscles will not decrease in mass and keep growing bigger and stronger.

The benefits of having greater muscle mass are plentiful. You can work harder before becoming tired. Your body will be more supple and toned, with greater flexibility of joints and a lesser incidence of joint and back pain. Bone density grows higher with exercise, and osteoporosis-related fractures in the elderly population will drop in frequency is you consistently engage in weight training.

Weight training is also popular for its fat melting effects. With the dual benefits of greater lean muscle mass and lesser fat, it is no wonder that weight training is a popular choice for beginners and expert bodybuilders alike. Structured programs like “Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0” can guide you through the steps of developing your personalized weight training routines.